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Posted On: 12/1/17 12:13 AM
Ankeny — Though last season they were bitter conference rivals slugging it out for conference supremacy, this season, they’re just rivals, sans the conference. Defending 1A champs Grand View Christian left the Bluegrass Conference after last season, leaving the door wide-open for Ankeny Christian Academy to reign supreme. But that didn’t make this game any less fun.
It was GVC, led by super athlete Mach Nyaw that got out to a hot start in this one, and they seldom trailed (very briefly to end the first quarter). Nyaw started the game by notching back-to-back triples, and the Thunder would never look back. The 5’11 guard was more athletic than anyone on the floor, and was skying for rebounds on both ends of the floor as adeptly as he was getting buckets. He led the Thunder with 23 points, and had them up 43-35 at the break.
GVC would come out hot in the second half, and it was senior point guard Grant DeMeulanaere who too the reins for the Thunder in the third and fourth quarters. He tossed a half-court alley-oop to Nyaw late in the third quarter to push the lead to 16, 56-40, and it seemed like a rout was blooming. But the Eagles scored eight of the next 10 points and trailed by just 10 heading into the final frame.
Though the Eagles would cut the lead to as little as four late in the game, GVC was always in control, and it never really seemed like the Eagles were going to complete the comeback. It was an impressive win by the Thunder. Both of these teams will win a ton of games this season.
Grand View Christian 21 22 15 18 — 76
Ankeny Christian Academy 24 11 13 22 — 70
GVC: Mach Nyaw 23, Grant DeMeulanaere 21, Bryce Crabb 12, Arturo Montes 8, Andrew Long 4, Andrew Gatto 4, Sam Glenn 3, James Glenn 3.
ACA: Drew Wilken 21, Caleb Grizzle 17, Chad Elrod 12, Jace Goergen 11, Clay Ramseyer 3, Peyton Leever 2, Colby Elrod 2.
Mach Nyaw’s Stock is Rising
Coming into this game there were a number of players we knew could be dynamic, and Grand View Christian’s Mach Nyaw was on that list. What we didn’t anticipate, was that one single player would separate himself from everyone else in such a dynamic way. It was two quick 3s to start the game that got Nyaw’s night going, and he never slowed down. What makes him so dangerous, especially at the small school level, is how much more athletic he is than everyone else on the floor. He got up and snared at least four offenseive rebounds, and we’re almost certain, despite being one of the smaller players on the floor, that he finished with double-digit boards. He’s going to rise in the next 2019 rankings, and is poised for a special next two seasons.
When Grant DeMeulenaere tossed his half-court alley-oop to Nyaw in the third quarter and extended the lead to a game-high 16 points, it seemed very much like the rout was on. But that would have been very wrong to assume. ACA never wavered, and countered with an 8-0 run right after the highlight play. They went into the fourth quarter down 10, and continued to chip away at the lead, despite the almost overwhelming amount of talent on the opponent’s roster. Caleb Grizzle and Drew Wilken got their team to within four late in the final frame, and that’s as close as they would get, but all else considered, it was a hell of an effort in the final quarter-and-a-half from ACA.
If you’re not a fan of the NBA, we’ll explain better what this category represents. The Warriors and Rockets are two teams that like jack up 3s, and probably shoot as many 3s as they do twos on any any given night. And that’s the way this game went, especially early. During the first quarter there were 16 total field goals, amazingly, 11 of those were 3-point field goals. They were letting the long balls fly very time down the floor, it was something to see. Later in the game, things normalized a bit; but that first quarter, wow.
There were two freshman, one from each team, that caught our eye tonight, and we love to see fresh blood come into our radar. From GVC, it’s another Glenn; there was Stephen, who graduated last year, then Sam, who’s a junior this year, now there’s James Glenn, a sharpshooting, dead-eye freshman sniper. We saw James launching 28 footers in warm-ups and swishing them with ease and regularity. So, it came as no surprise when he canned his first attempt after coming off the bench in the second quarter. For ACA, it’s Colby Elrod. He played significant minutes for the Eagles, and immediately caught our eye while disrupting the game with his length and activity in the passing lanes. He got himself a bucket tonight, too, and should be a guy to keep an eye on moving forward.
On every team there’s a guy that might not get quite the recognition he might deserve, but he’s just as responsible for the team’s success as the dynamic guys who catch all the headlines. For the Golden State Warriors, that could be Draymond Green, he’s the X-factor. For Grand View Christian, that’s Bryce Crabb. The junior wing isn’t as highly regarded as Grant DeMeulanaere, Mach Nyaw ot Arturo Montes, but we feel he’ll be just as critical to the team’s success this season. Crabb is athletic, skilled, tough, rebounds exceptionally well, and plays both sides of the ball. He’s going to make a lot of big plays, and help win this team a ton of games the next two seasons.