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Game Recap: GR Catholic Central 48, GR Christian 45
Two of the premier basketball programs in West Michigan shared the court on Friday night in what turned out to be another classic in this budding rivalry. Grand Rapids Christian stormed out of the gates with perimeter shooting and high activity on defense to build a sizeable lead. The Eagles led 35-22 at halftime, however, in the second half, Catholic Central got back to what they do best and narrowed the margin quickly. In the fourth quarter, Catholic Central’s defense squeezed Christian on every possession, holding the Eagles to only four points in the final eight minutes, completing the comeback and taking home a 48-45 win.
Catholic Central’s Transition Offense
After the game, I spoke with Jack Karasinski about what led to their comeback, and he spoke about getting back to what CC does best. “Our motto is defend, rebound and run, and we put that into place in the second half and came out on top,” said Karasinski. The Cougar’s have two of the best on-ball defenders in the state in Kaden Brown and Durral Brooks, and when you combine that with their elite finishing ability, good luck stopping them.
Jack Karasinski’s 3rd Quarter Explosion
A big reason why Catholic Central trailed by double digits at halftime was the lack of production the Cougars were getting from Karasinski. That changed quickly after the break as Karasinski had his way with the Christian defense. Jack got to the rim on several baseline drives, finishing with authority on each possession. Additionally, Jack got out on the break and capitalized on a few key turnovers to help bring back the Cougars within striking distance going into the 4th quarter. Defensively, Jack erased numerous layup attempts from the Eagles, further showing why he’s one of the top prospects in the state.
Dono’ Thames Impact Off The Bench
The biggest surprise of the night was the impactful play of Christian’s junior guard Dono’ Thames. Thames’ game was poised, under control and effective at producing quality shots for his teammates and himself. Dono’ has a great handle and was able to keep Catholic Central from getting out on the run via turnovers. Dono also hit several big shots from the perimeter that helped Christian build a sizeable first half lead.