The Tigers knew they had to come back strong for today’s regional contest against Moody Bible Institute after losing last night to #2 Valley Forge. “Every regional game is crucial for seeding in the regional tournament at the end of the year,” commented Coach Gary Bailey. “We know Moody always plays us tough and we couldn’t take this game for granted.”
Coach Bailey shook up the starting lineup a bit, bringing his three seniors, who usually start, off the bench. The message of the coaches to their charges this afternoon was “keep it simple.” The game plan worked well after the first three minutes. That first three minutes put a little nervous buzz in the Tiger faithful as the Archers jumped out to a 9-2 lead on the shooting of senior Steve Harrison and some botched defensive rotations by the new Tiger starters. But the Tigers pulled things together and evened the score before they turned to the seniors coming off the bench with 14:06 left in the first half. They brought a lot of energy and some defensive intensity with them as they pushed the Tigers to a lead they never relinquished and they led at the break, 32-25.
The Tigers continued their solid play in the second half and built the lead to 19 at one point. Greg Salmon, Nick Mascorro, Zach Schutte, and Michael Miller all took turns guarding the talented Harrison, who has been a prolific scorer. He did score 21 points but the he was pretty much the Archer offense as the Tigers held him to 8 of 23 from the field and only one rebound.
Bailey played all twelve players significant minutes and eleven of them scored. Brad Rosenzweig and Zach Schutte led the Tigers with 11 points and Cameron Cramer continued to impress the coaches with his solid play with 10 points. Grace again dominated the boards 46-31 as four Tigers led the team with 7 (Rosenzweig, B J Van Loo, Travis Rader, and Lucas McKian).
“This was a solid win for us and we got contributions from everyone,” said Bailey. “I’m hoping we can build on this for the remaining games.” The Tigers face four consecutive road games before returning to Grace to hold the Midwest Regional Tournament.