Knights run past Emeralds

NORWAY – John Grayvold Jr. put in 16 of his game-high 26 points in the second half, as Norway dashed away from Manistique 60-31 in Mid-Peninsula Conference boys basketball here Friday evening.

“In the first half we did a lot standing around both on offense and defense,” Knights coach Ben Leiker said. “In the second half we switched to man, and I think that got us a little more into the game.”

Grayvold, reaching double-double territory by also pulling down 12 rebounds, went off in the third quarter with 11 points. The game was tied 18-18 at halftime, but by the time Grayvold sank consecutive threes later in the third, the Knights lead surpassed double digits for good.

“That’s a kid we need to score,” Leiker said. “He’s probably the only pure scorer we have, certainly the only inside presence we have right now. We rely on him a lot to do a lot things for us.”

Not lost by Grayvold’s performance was the effort of the supporting cast. Austin Grayvold added nine points, Isaac Bray chipped in seven, and a total of eight Knights contributed points.

Some 26 Emerald turnovers led to a number of quick Norway buckets.

“When we get a couple of turnovers, our guards are pretty fast and they can get up and down the floor,” Leiker said. “And to be honest, we need to get easy shots to score.”

The Emeralds (2-6, 1-5), led by Coby Ryan’s nine points, recovered from an 0-for-11 start from the field to reach the Knights just before half. But Manistique never led in the contest.

“We’re not very good at times, and tonight we were not very good,” Emeralds coach Todd Kangas. “I don’t know if Norway played great defense, but they certainly looked like they played great defense.”

Manistique managed just one fourth-quarter field goal.

“Our guys got to challenge themselves to be a little better offensively,” Kangas said. “We were very poor tonight. We missed a lot of shots, turned it over too many times and it wasn’t exactly a full court pressure defense they threw on us.

“Give Norway a lot of credit for what they did, but give us a lot of the blame for the things we didn’t do.”

Norway also won in the junior varsity contest. The Knights (3-4, 2-3) play at North Dickinson Monday.