Grace defeated the Red Lions of Lincoln Christian University, 82-66, in the last game of the Midwest Region Tip-off tournament Saturday afternoon and stretched their NCCAA II winning streak to 65 consecutive games. With their third victory in three days they once again established themselves as the team to beat in the Midwest Region.
The Tigers played without two big starters Saturday afternoon as Ryan Dame (Wayland) and Ryan Krombeen (Calvin Christian) nursed leg injuries. “That provided opportunity to play a lot of players who don’t usually get as many minutes,” said head coach Gary Bailey. “We have three tough games coming up next week in Florida and we needed the help from deep in our bench tonight. We had stretches where our bench made some defensive mistakes but for the most part I was pleased with the effort. The important thing is we got a good win and didn’t have to play Krombeen and Dame.” Bailey got help from Aaron Schutte (Sioux Center HS, IA), forced into a starting role because of the injuries stated above. The 6’2″ power forward scored 13 points and was a presence in the paint defensively. Bailey again played all 17 players who dressed with no one playing more than 23 minutes. The Tigers were led in scoring by seniors Matt Kurtz (Lowell) with 16 and Cory Jamieson (Wayland) with 14. The other Tiger in double figures was Aaron’s brother, junior Zach Schutte (Calvin Christian) with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
Grace dominated the boards once again, holding a 42-25 advantage. Even missing 6’7″ Dame and 6’6″ Krombeen the Tigers again won the battle in the paint, outscoring the Red Lions there 44-28.
The Tigers will play next in a classic format tournament at Florida Christian College in Kissimmee, Florida beginning Thursday, December 8. All three games will be webcast. See our link for details.