A massive performance from Brooke Sugg lifted Grace’s women’s basketball team over Spring Arbor on Saturday, 71-61.
The Lady Lancers (15-13, 9-7 Crossroads League) have won five of their past six games and currently sit tied for fourth place in the league standings.
Sugg erupted for 30 points in the victory, and Vironnica Drake added 18 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
Grace put its mark on the game early. The Lady Lancers scored the first 12 points of the game thanks to five points from Sugg and a 3-point play from Drake.
The Cougars (10-17, 4-12 CL) were held to 23 percent shooting in the first quarter and trailed 18-9 at the quarter’s end.
Midway into the second quarter, Grace made another surge. The Lady Lancers went on an 11-1 run to beef up their lead to 39-19. Drake had five points in the run, and Sugg added four more.
By halftime, Grace owned a comfortable 18-point lead.
Spring Arbor struggled to put together a rally and faced a double-digit lead throughout the third quarter.
The Cougars began to threaten in the final period. Grace led by 13 with 8:54 remaining, but SAU quickly cut the deficit to 55-46 a minute later.
Shortly after, Spring Arbor hit a pair of 3-pointers which sliced Grace’s cushion down to four with 4:10 on the clock. Sugg hit a timely bucket on the next possession to slow the Cougars’ momentum. Drake then converted an and-1, and the Cougars could not put together another push.
Sugg made 11-of-17 from the floor for her 30 points, hitting four 3-pointers to go along with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
Micaela Box finished with six points, Kaylie Warble had three points and five boards, Kyannah Stull had three points and three assists, and Pam Miller added four points and three boards.
Grace shot 44 percent from the floor, 30 percent from beyond the arc and 69 percent from the foul line. Spring Arbor was 38 percent from the floor, 36 percent on 3-pointers and 79 percent on free throws.
For the game, Grace had a season-low eight turnovers — the first time Grace had less than 10 this year. Spring Arbor was also outrebounded by seven.
The Lady Lancers end the regular season next week. Grace travels to St. Francis on Wednesday before hosting Taylor on Saturday at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
Grace’s men’s basketball team picked up one of its biggest road victories of the season with an 84-78 upset of No. 22 Spring Arbor on Saturday.
The Lancers (11-17, 4-12 Crossroads League) used sharp shooting and muscle inside to down the Cougars (19-9, 7-9 CL). Haden Deaton scored a career-high 19 points to lead Grace, drilling five 3-pointers in the process.
Grace edged out SAU by three points in each half. The Lancers held a steady lead throughout the opening half, although the Cougars refused to get blown out.
Eight straight points early in the first half gave Grace a cushion, and the Lancers slowly extended their lead.
Deaton buried a triple with four minutes left in the half to give Grace its largest lead at 32-21. But the Cougars roared back with 10 points over the final 3:14 and trailed 34-31 at halftime.
Grace made 50 percent of its shots in the first half and also had a plus-10 advantage in rebounds.
SAU came out firing after halftime. The Cougars erupted with an 11-0 run to regain the lead and still were on top 54-48 with 11:50 to play.
A pair of 3-pointers courtesy of Charlie Warner and Jaret Sons swung momentum back to the Lancers to tie the game. Three minutes later, Logan Godfrey and Matt Jennings spearheaded a 10-0 run. Jennings hit two free throws at the end of that run, giving Grace an eight-point lead with 4:04 to play in the contest.
The Cougars put forth a valiant comeback and quickly trimmed Grace’s gap down to two points after Paul Marandet hit a shot in the paint. Deaton responded with one of the biggest shots of the afternoon, hitting a corner 3-pointer with 1:18 left. Soon after, Sons scored in the paint to effectively seal the win.
Grace made sure of the victory from the foul line, making five free throws in the last 39 seconds.
Marandet led all scorers with 26 points on 9-12 shooting and added three assists and two steals. Zach Medendorp added 22 points for Spring Arbor.
Deaton only needed nine shots for his 19 points. He made 7-of-9, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc to go along with six boards.
Godfrey added 14 points and five rebounds, and Jennings tallied 13 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.
Sons produced 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks, Warner chipped in nine points and four assists, and Braxton Linville added 7 points, 5 assists and 5 boards.
For the game, Grace made 53 percent of its field goals compared to 44 percent for SAU. Grace also hit nine 3-pointers, while the Cougars struggled to shoot 4-of-16 (25 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Lancers wrap up the regular season next week, playing at No. 3 St. Francis on Wednesday and hosting Taylor on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Track And Field
Grace’s track and field team took on the first Crossroads League Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday.
Isaac Stuckey and Jacob Brown had the best individual showings for the Lancers as both took home All-League recognition in the weight throw.
Stuckey was runner-up in the weight throw with a toss of 58-feet-6.75, and Brown was third at 54-7.25. Caleb Brown also scored in the event with a seventh-place throw of 47-3.75.
Sam Hall, Jonathan Balda and Carter Meyer impressed on the track for Grace. Hall and Balda joined with Brendan Hamilton and Brady Willard to place fourth in the 4×800-meter relay at 8:04.16.
Hall, Hamilton, Balda and Meyer finished seventh in the distance medley relay, and Willard, Hall, Balda and Edison Snyder were eighth in the 4×400.
In the 800, Hall (1:57.79) and Balda (2:00.08) each had indoor PRs to finish fourth and sixth respectively, and Meyer was sixth in the mile and seventh in the 1,000.
Thomas Hickerson scored in two events, including seventh place in the long jump and eighth in the triple jump, Cameron Johnson placed seventh in the 60 hurdles, and Ben Rankin was eighth in the 3,000.
“The men scored in 15 of the 20 events, so we had a well-rounded meet in that perspective. Our weight throwers led the way with two All-League finishes by Isaac Stuckey and Jacob Brown,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “I have to mention Sam Hall and Jonathan Balda who helped three relays score points and also placed in the 800. Carter Meyer also had a strong weekend by scoring in three events.”
The women’s team competed at less than full strength, hampered by injuries and illnesses. Jesse Zvers was a standout performer. She had a PR in the 3,000 at 11:19.13 and just missed scoring in ninth place, and she was also 12th in the 5,000.
The indoor season will wrap up with the NCCAA National Championships starting Feb. 16 and the NAIA Championships starting March 1.