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Defense helps GR Catholic erase 21 point deficit at GR Christian

Cougars allow just ten points in second half en route to 48-45 win
GR Catholic erases deficit against GR Christian
Posted at 11:53 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 23:53:27-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After a season opening victory over South Christian on Tuesday, Eric Taylor's Grand Rapids Christian boys basketball team looked to pull off an upset over defending state champion, Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

Early on, the Eagles would come out on fire, knocking down three triples to take a 9-0 lead in the opening two minutes.

Grand Rapids Christian would continue to knock down shots throughout the first half taking a 21 point lead at one point, 32-11 with 4:11 left in the second quarter.

GR Catholic Central 48, GR Christian 45

The Eagles would lead 35-22 at the break behind great halves from seniors Nick Cassiday, Jasiah Rainey and Delon McCloud.

However, in the third quarter, the Cougars defense would force several turnovers as they continued to chip away.

In the fourth quarter, Jack Karasinski and Kaden Brown would continue to spark the comeback, taking the lead 45-43 with 2:23 remaining.

Rainey would score a lay-in just one minute later to tie the game, 45-45.

Kaden Brown would step to the free throw line with 26.5 seconds left and knock down a pair of free throws.

The Eagles would get a decent look until Karasinski would come through with a big block to help the Cougars prevail, 48-45 the final.

"It was a good team win today," said Kaden Brown, who finished with 11 points, "we came into a tough environment and fought and knew what we needed to do to come away with the win."

Head coach TJ Meerman credits his team's experience in big games, such as the state championship last season.

"I'm just proud of our guys, that was a gutsy effort," said Meerman, "Grand Rapids Christian was great tonight, and we knew they would be. They hit a lot of buckets in the first quarter but we just kept battling back, it's a sign of the leadership we have."

Karasinski finished with a game-high 17 points in the win to help fuel the comeback.

"It was kind of just about our pace," Karasinski said, "I thought we were a little bit soft and tried to shoot ourselves out of the slump but we got out in transition and started attacking the rack."

The Cougars won't play again until December 27 when they travel to Detroit to take on UD Jesuit.