GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It was the third meeting of the season between Grand Rapids Catholic Central and South Christian as the two programs squared off in Tuesday's regional semifinal.
It would be back and forth in the opening quarter before the Sailors took an early 11-8 lead after back-to-back triples from Sam Meengs.
In the second quarter, Luka Ressler would step up in a big way for the injured Gabe Quillan to help the Cougars to a 28-23 halftime lead with his ten points.
The Sailors would make a big push in the third quarter behind five consecutive points for senior Elliott Grashuis to take a 33-30 lead.
A Ryan Grantham and-one would tie the game at 35 all and Grand Rapids Catholic Central wouldn't look back from there.
Kaden Brown would knock down one of his four triples in the game to give the Cougars a three point lead before a big Cougar run to end the third quarter.
Brown would find junior Jack Karasinski for an alley-oop finish to put an exclamation point on a 68-50 win, completing the season sweep over the Sailors to advance to the regional finals.
Ryan Grantham and Luka Ressler would play big roles in the Cougars' win, combining for 21 points.
"Our defense is what keeps us in games, makes us go on runs," said Grantham, who scored nine, "we rebound, we defend, we run, we score, that's the key to our game, that's what our coaches preach every day."
And Ressler scored a season-high 12 points in the big game.
"It was definitely a bit of pressure but I was ready for it," Ressler said after the win, "all I had to do was step up, play Gabe's position and play hard, it's nice to have this one over with, they gave us a good battle and now we're ready for the next one."
The Cougars will take on Coopersville on Thursday in the regional championship at South Christian.