Prep boys basketball: Grant checks in, propels Marquette over Gladstone

GLADSTONE – With one of its leading scorers leaving five minutes into the game with flu-like symptoms, Marquette Senior High School was forced to turn to its bench early.

Luckily for the Redmen, Cam Grant checked in and netted eight quick points, helping propel Marquette to a 70-39 Great Northern Conference boys basketball victory over Gladstone on Monday.

“We kind of had to adjust on the fly and Grant came in and carried us for about six minutes in the first half and really was able to open the lead up for us,” said MSHS head coach Brad Nelson.

“He has been waiting for his opportunity. I told him you’re going to get it, it’s just a matter of what time and what situation and tonight, he was the guy we needed to go to.”

Grant replaced usual starter Larry Burnette five minutes into the first quarter. The senior guard responded to his opportunity by draining a 3-pointer on his first shot of the game to put the Redmen up 12-7 with just under three minutes left in the stanza.

Grant’s play carried over into the second quarter as he forced two Gladstone turnovers and netted the Redmen’s first five points.

Gladstone’s Jake Peterson scored to stop the MSHS run, but Marquette’s Andrew Nyquist responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Redmen ahead 32-11.

Marquette finished the game shooting 21 of 35 from inside the arc, while connecting on eight 3-pointers against Gladstone’s 2-3 zone.

“We wanted to play a zone because they’re better than we are and we were hoping they wouldn’t shoot the ball so well and they did, to their credit,” said Braves head coach Dale Hongisto.

“Their guards are good and it’s not like their guards are 5-foot-6 or anything. They’ve got 6-foot-1 kids out there shooting the lights out and handling the ball really well.”

Nyquist, the Redmen’s starting point guard, netted a game-high 18 points. Nelson had high praise for the senior and third year varsity player.

“He’s kind of, in my opinion, underrated as far as how good he is,” the coach said. “He controls the basketball game better than anybody that I’ve seen so far this year.

“He knows when to push it, he knows when to back it out when we need a good shot and that’s what you look for in a point guard.”

The Braves fell to 5-7 overall and 1-4 in the GNC. Marquette improved to 11-0 and 5-0 in the league.