FARWELL – Ethan Shea scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds to help Gladwin to a 55-49 win over Farwell Monday night. The Flying G’s jumped out to a 44-28 lead through three quarters then had to hold on as Farwell outscored them 21-11 in the fourth. “We got off to a much better start tonight offensively and on the defensive end,” said Coach Mike Verellen. “We kind of got a little stagnant late in the second half and started to settle for some shots that were less than ideal, but did enough to seal the deal down the stretch.”
“Ethan Shea and Hunter Williams really stepped up for us by pushing the ball and getting good post touches that led to good looks,” continued Verellen. Williams finished with 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. Shea also had four steals in the game.
Gladwin opened the season last Thursday with a 76-73 loss to Pinconning. The Spartans are a solid team this year. They have started the year by winning their first three games including double-digit victories over Clare and Shepherd. “Our undoing was really a bad second quarter,” said Verellen. “We just didn’t get back in transition defense and got a little stagnant in the post at times and weren’t moving like we can.” Pinconning held a slim 16-15 lead after the first quarter, but outscored the G’s 23-13 in the second.
Gladwin fought back in the second half and trailed by one, 74-73, after a Wilson Bragg three pointer with 23 seconds left. After Pinconning missed three straight free throws the Flying G’s had a chance with about 10 seconds remaining. They grabbed the rebound on the last miss and pushed the ball up the court. Rather than settling for a mid range jump shot they tried to get the ball down low. The Spartans were able to tip the ball off of a Gladwin player and out of bounds forcing Gladwin to foul again. This time they made both free throws with two seconds on the clock to make the final margin of victory three points.
It was a good sign that after trailing by 11 at halftime Gladwin was able to battle back and make a game of it. They are a much deeper team this year. Verellen was able to use nine guys, which will bode well for the future. Bragg scored 26 points including eight three point buckets. Williams had 18 points while Derek Sackitt had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Verellen highlighted two of the younger guys when he said, “sophomores Lucas Mead and Logan Kokotovich played well and really gave us that second half boost we needed.”
Gladwin is 1-1 and will host Clare tonight a 7:30 p.m.