The Tigers won their fifth consecutive game Saturday afternoon at home against Silver Lake College, 77-57, featuring senior Zach Schutte’s 1,000th point of his career. “I wouldn’t say we’re where we want to be at regional tournament time,” said Coach Bailey after the game, “but we’re getting there.”
The Tigers looked like they were going to put the game away early but Silver Lake kept chipping back each time the Tigers built a lead. Grace led at the half by only four, 31-27, as inconsistent defense and poor shooting on their part kept Silver Lake in the game. The second half was a different story as the Tigers shot selection improved dramatically and they made 17 of 28 attempts from the field at a 61% clip. There were no big runs but Grace steadily built the lead in the second half to the winning margin as Bailey used various combinations of lineups and played every player significant minutes. The Tigers again dominated the boards, 50-32, and had 28 assists to Silver Lake’s 12.
Schutte had a solid game en route to becoming the 23rd player in Grace history to score 1,000. With 22 points on 60% shooting from the field and 80% shooting from the charity stripe, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists he led or tied the Tigers in every category for the game. With only a couple minutes left in the game, Schutte entered the Grace record book as he took a pass from Nick Van Loo on a hard cut to the basket and finished strong as he made the bucket and was fouled. Coach Bailey immediately called time to give the Tiger fans the opportunity to recognize Zach for his accomplishment of 1,000 career points. Cameron Cramer also had 9 rebounds and 6 assists off the bench to tie Schutte in those categories. Cramer also impressed the coaching staff with his leadership in directing the defense in the second half. Aaron Schutte joined his brother in double figures with 12 points.
It was also Senior Night as seniors Greg Salmon and the Schutte brothers, Aaron and Zach were honored, along with their parents. Each senior was given a framed game jersey as a momento.
The Tigers face a stiff challenge in their next game as they face #2 Valley Forge Christian College at home next Friday, February 1, at 7 pm.