AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP — The Grand River Academy opened its doors for senior night for the varsity basketball team. This gave 10 seniors their final night of home basketball. They earned an opportunity to play under the GRA gym lights one more time. Pam Wooding kicked off the night belting out the Star Spangled Banner, setting the night off right. The starting line-ups were read off for both GRA and Cleveland Heritage, and the teams warmed up for what was about to be a phenomenal game.
The referee threw up the tip and Houston Dugan slapped the ball back to Blaise Kanimba, a fourth year senior and the most dynamic athlete on the team. The GRA boys passed the ball around finally kicking it to Dugan down low for an easy two. The boys jumped back on defense and Francis Hutton stole the ball and kicked it to Michel Ntagungira for an easy lay-up. The horn blew and in came D.J. Lewis, a junior from Berea. After a hard fought first quarter, GRA was up 21 to 10. The whistles blew and the second quarter started with a bang as Houston Dugan stole the ball taking it straight to the rack for a Jordan-like dunk. The Heritage boys had no idea what hit them as Lewis stole the ball right back for another easy two. The boys played excellent lockdown defense for the rest of the quarter leaving the half 34 to 22.
During the half coach Dave Scharping said, “I’m so happy to see my guys playing so well in their final game. It’s extremely satisfying as a coach to see them play with such spirit in their final game.”
The Grand River team came out of the locker rooms all smiles ready for the second half of the game. The refs came out indicating the second half was about to be under way. Heritage passed the ball in kicking the ball around and scoring a hard-fought three from the corner. The GRA Eagles were not frightened though as they came back with a three of their own from D.J. Lewis.