Grant drops Antioch to earn first win
With just days of practice to prepare for the start of this strange season, most high school basketball teams were lucky to thoroughly work the basics, like shooting and out-of-bounds plays, and defensive rotations.
Finding time to practice late-game strategies is probably pushing it a little bit.
But both the Grant and Antioch boys teams had their own successes in game and clock management as the final minutes ticked on Thursday night.
Visiting Grant, which was trying to protect a lead and got in some good work playing keep-away and shooting free throws, had a bit more luck at its late-game strategies and pulled out a 47-38 Northern Lake County Conference win over Antioch.
It's Grant's first win of the season. The Bulldogs are now 1-3. Antioch drops to 0-4.
"It wasn't too bad (working the clock) because we do have a few kids from last year (who remember how to do it)," said Grant forward Chad Kiesgen, who finished with a team-high 14 points. "But it can get better because we haven't had much time (to work on late-game scenarios)."
Grant was up 41-30 with 3:28 left in the fourth quarter when Antioch started cutting its deficit, and smartly using its timeouts.
The Sequoits revved up their full court pressure defense and caused some turnovers and quick shots by Grant. Senior guard Kobe Kriese, who will be playing at Wisconsin Lutheran next year, then made the Bulldogs pay.
He hit three straight shots to cut the Grant lead to 5 points, and because a timeout was called with each make, the Sequoits made up that margin by using just a little more than a minute of clock.
"We were just trying to fight back in the fourth," said Kriese, who scored a game-high 19 points. "We just fell a little short."
The Sequoits finally got to the point where they had to foul Grant as their only means to stop the clock and Grant made free throws. RJ Holm, Carter Kaye and Kiesgen all made clutch fourth-quarter free throws.
Overall, the Bulldogs were 8-for-11 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
"It feels better to win a game like that than to lose it, that's for sure," Grant coach Wayne Bosworth said. "We'll take the win. We were a little more patient in the second half. In the first half, our shot selection was terrible, but I was proud of them in the second half because we were able to extend our lead and then finish it."
Holm added 11 points for Grant.
Kriese was the only double-figure scorer for Antioch.
"I was very happy with how we handled things at the end of the game, and also our effort," Antioch coach Tim Bowen said. "But with only five practices to get ready for a season and just a few games, on top of everything else happening, I thought we did a good job. We've had a few situations where we've looked scared at the end of games. Tonight we did pretty good. We handled it really well. We just needed to make a couple more shots at the end."