In almost 11 months to the day, Gabriel Richard Catholic would open up the Men’s Basketball season on Monday Night. In fact, it would be the first game (MHSAA) to be played in the state of Michigan in almost a year.
“We definitely didn’t plan this.” Said Head Coach Kris Daiek. “We go the call on Friday (from Collegiate) and we accepted the game, however, we had to play early due to the Girls Basketball teams playing later that evening.”
Regardless, the Pioneers would take the floor versus Michigan Collegiate who ended their season a year ago with 12-7 record.
In the first, both teams found an early rhythm scoring 12 points a piece. Junior, Nick Szczechowski would score 4 points. Seniors, Mike Holdsclaw and Drew Daiek would add 3 points a piece. Junior, Cainan Harrison would add 2 points. Michigan Collegiate was paced by Tre Johnson with 8 points.
“We looked like we hadn’t played in a year.” Coach Daiek said. “We haven’t been able to have any contact for the last few weeks and it showed. We struggled to secure rebounds and take care of the ball.” Coach Daiek added.
In the second, the Pioneers struggled on offense while the Cougars continued to find the range outscoring GR 10-7 and carrying a 22-19 lead into halftime. Senior, Joe Wisniewski would score 4 points to lead the Richard.
“They (Michigan Collegiate) where a little bigger inside and gave us some trouble on the glass.” Coach Daiek added. “We definitely got out played physically in the first hale. I wasn’t happy with our effort and toughness.”
In the third, the Cougars would take a 7 point lead in the first 2 minutes of the quarter. However, the Pioneers would answer with defense outscoring their opponent 17-5 in the last 5 minutes of the third. Junior, Michael Calhoun scored 8 points in the quarter and Drew Daiek scored 5 points. Mike Holdsclaw would add 4 points in the run as Gabriel Richard would take a 6 point lead into the fourth.
“Our defense stepped up.” Coach Daiek said. “We did a good job of containing attacks to the basket and did a better job of rebounding. When we can secure rebounds and keep teams to one shot…it gives us a chance.” Coach Daiek added.
In the fourth, Richard’s defense put the clamps down, holding Collegiate to just one basket and a total of 3 points. GR would only score 6 points but that was all that they needed to secure the first win of the long awaited season. Michael Calhoun would lead all scorers with 12 points and 6 rebounds while Drew Daiek added 9 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Mike Holdscalw added 7 points and 4 rebounds. Nick Szczechowski scored 6 points and dished out 4 assists and Joe Wisniewski added 6 points.
“The game wasn’t the prettiest game…but we told the kids having an ugly win is better than not playing.” Coach Daiek added. “It has been a long time for these guys and getting to this point has been a challenge but we are here and we are hoopin!”
The Pioneers will play on Thursday at Royal Oak Shrine. Shrine is coming off a loss to to Berkley 43-37.