The Tigers were on their game on Thursday afternoon in first round action at the Midwest Regional Tournament, downing Lincoln Christian University by an 86-63 score, and Coach Gary Bailey was a happy man, not just because the Tigers won but because his team executed the things they had worked on in practice. “It’s a lot of fun when everyone on the team gets to contribute in a win. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
All eighteen Tigers played in the game and all eighteen contributed in some fashion to the win. “I was especially proud of some of our seniors who have worked hard for four years,” said Bailey, “but have played a limited role as far as playing time in most games. When they were called upon tonight, they did just what we asked of them.” Seniors Carl Getty (Wayland), David Steenstra (Grant Home School), and Matt Kurtz (Lowell) led the Tiger assault in rebounding with 6 boards each as Grace dominated the Red Lions 49-17 in rebounding. The team also continued its excellent free throw shooting over the last few games with a 14/17 (82.4%) performance led by Cory Jamieson (Wayland) with 4/4. Captain Ryan Krombeen (Calvin Christian) dished out 9 of the 20 Tiger assists. The Tigers held the Red Lions to 20/55 (36.4%) shooting for the game while scoring on 32 of 67 attempts (47.8%) themselves. No Tiger played more than 21 minutes but four of them still finished in double figures in scoring led by John Oostema (Grand Rapids Christian) with 15, Kurtz with 14, Krombeen with 13, and Zach Schutte (Calvin Christian) with 10.
The win marked the 20th of the season and the 7th consective season of 20 or more wins for Head Coach Gary Bailey and Assistant Coach Dan George.
The Tigers will play at 6 PM CST on Friday night against Maranatha Baptist. The other semifinal will be played at 8 PM and features Kuyper College vs. Moody Bible Institute.