To look at Delaware Hayes freshman Nate Griggs, it isn’t hard to be reminded of the fictional character Fortune (Charles S. Dutton) in the film Rudy (1993).
Fortune described the title character as “five-foot, nothin’, 100 and nothin’.” Fortune went on to say that Rudy had “barely a speck of athletic ability.”
Griggs may not look like much, but he showed off his athletic ability with a 19-point performance to lead the Pacers to a 54-28 victory over visiting Teays Valley in boys basketball non-league action Friday in Delaware.
“It’s hard when you’re 14 (years old) in a varsity game,” Pacers coach Jordan Blackburn said. “The game is like an EKG … up, down, up, down, up, down.”
He scored 11 points in the first quarter – nine of which came from behind the arc – as Delaware raced out to a 25-6 lead and never looked back.
“They were going under the screen, so (I) just let it fly,” Griggs said. “We practiced all different kinds of situations – going over (the screen), going under – they went under, so we just let it fly.”
Senior Will Yoakum talked to the team about being the pup on a squad of talented scorers. Yoakum was a sophomore on a team that featured Khalil Iverson, Noble Moore and Zach McIntire and wasn’t expected to add much offense.
So, if Yoakum or one of the other role players on that team had a good game, the veterans would say that, “no one could believe it – it just came out of nowhere,” according to Blackburn.
Griggs might be five-foot nothin’ and 100 and nothin’, but he’s a varsity player for a reason.
“He’s really worked at it,” Blackburn said. “He was our ball boy in the second grade, so he’s been around the program. We know he’s capable of doing it.”
And he’s going to grow.
“I think his ceiling is really, really high because he’s going to grow,” Blackburn said. “He can already palm the ball and he’s got big feet … he’s going to grow at some point.”
Yoakum finished with 11 points and four rebounds as the smaller Pacers out-rebounded Teays Valley 34-14, led by a 10-rebound effort by Terin Kinsway and six more by Sam Midura.
“It’s what Coach Blackburn preaches to us every day,” Midura said. “We play as a family and we want to fight for each other – we’re brothers out there and that goes a long way. Terin and I get a lot of boards, but it’s never about us, it’s about the team. That gives us a really big advantage.”
Kinsway added nine points, five assists and a couple of blocks to his stat sheet. Tracey Sumner also finished with nine points for the Pacers (5-3).
But, just as important to Blackburn was the effort the Delaware defense put on Javhon Poindexter, who was held to eight points – half of his season average.
Sumner, Anthony Rodgers and Addison Harvey were charged with keeping Poindexter in check.
“We really keyed him,” Blackburn said. “In the half-court set, I think he had two points.”
Brett Carson also finished with eight points to lead the Vikings (3-2).
Delaware returns to action against Mount Vernon in the Larry Eberst Classic Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Delaware Christian’s boys basketball team started strong and never looked back, rolling to an impressive 83-50 MOCAL win over host Northside Christian Thursday night.
The Eagles, now 4-0 in league play, jumped out to a 26-12 lead after the first quarter. They outscored Northside 22-11 in the second and 21-9 in the third to all but seal the deal.
Isaac Rindfuss led a group of four DCS double-digit scorers with 18 points. Adam Standley and Andrew Dunnavant added 12 apiece while Curtis Bean had 11 points in the win.
Orange 56, Walnut Ridge 46
The Pioneers picked up a solid non-league win Thursday, using a strong middle two quarters to pull away from the visiting Scots.
Up 9-8 after one, Orange outscored Walnut Ridge 13-9 in the second quarter and 17-12 in the third to get some separation.
Zack Stablein hit three three-pointers on the way to a team-best 13 points. Cam Barron and Alex Eha were also solid, finishing with 12 points apiece.
Also: Marion Harding 76, Big Walnut 47.
Schae Lilley scored a game-high 13 points, but it wasn’t enough as Orange fell to visiting Watterson 49-38 Friday in Lewis Center.
The Pioneers were forced to play catch up from the start, falling behind 16-11 after the first quarter and 29-19 by halftime.
Hannah Sargent backed Lilley with nine points while McKenna Ford finished with eight.
Gabby Garrett led the Eagles with 11 points.
Big Walnut used a balanced attack as nine different players cracked the scoring column on the way to a 49-38 non-league win over host Johnstown Thursday night.
The Golden Eagles outscored the Johnnies 20-8 in the second quarter to take control.
Taryn Hammond and Kelly Kreager led the way, each scoring eight points in the win.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.