Portland at Ovid-Elsie – – Boys Basketball – – The Bleacher Denizen – – December 13, 2021 – – by Chuck Krafft

Back in the days of yore when I played with the Firefox Band in the early 90s, one song we did was “There’s a First Time for Everything.” You never know when this song will apply to something. Today, it’s the first time I have ever been to Ovid-Elsie High School. Today, the Ovid-Elsie Marauders will host the Raiders from Portland High in a boys basketball game.

In addition, it was a big day because earlier, I completed this video at L.A. Productions in DeWitt, where Ricky Nalett, the finest piano/keyboard player I know, put this video together. (I sing and play most of the piano, but Ricky played an excellent lead in the instrumental.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15alGV17hKI

Both Coach Josh Latz from Ovid-Elsie and Jason Goerge from Portland were helpful with information about their players.

For Ovid-Elsie, Braxton Stenger runs the point. He is a tenacious perimeter defender and a fine passer. Adam Barton, Gunner McCreery and Dylan Carman are all capable of hitting shots from the three point line. Logan Thompson is a versatile scorer who can slash to the basket or hit the three point shot. Axel Newell is a freshmen who rebounds and defends well in the post. He is able to either score near the basket or on jumpers – – either midrange or from the three point line. Jacob Tomasek is a strong perimeter defender. Colin Fluharty is a strong rebounder and defender in the post.

For Portland, Trent Meyers is a strong three point shooter who defends well on the perimeter. Dalton Becker and Christopher Battley are strong rebounders and defenders in the post. Marc Nobis is a good ball handler and perimeter defender who runs the point for the Raiders. Freshman Dom Novara is a freshman who is not at all intimidated by the varsity game. He is a versatile scorer who can drive for layups, shoot the midrange shot and stroke the three.

I was able to see most of the freshman game. (There was not a JV game tonight.) Ovid-Elsie got off to a 12-6 lead after one quarter. In each of the following three quarters, Portland outscored Ovid-Elsie by one point. Ovid-Elsie hung on for a 38-35 win.

For the Portland Raider Freshmen, Carter Higbee led the scoring with 8 points. Joshua Allerding supported him with 7 points. Keaton McGregor added 6 points. Cody Hengesbach put in 4 points. Even Thelen tossed in 3 points. Jacob Farley, Trey Hengesbach and Tyler Smith each scored 2 points. Jack Gensterblum tallied 1 point.

Tucker Loynes led the victorious Ovid-Elsie Marauder Freshmen with 18 points. Jayce Herblet joined his teammate in double figures with 10 points. Clayton Fruchey had 4 points. Joey Bancroft and Jake Bowen each scored 3 points.

It is now time to look at the events of this game through the over-seasoned eyes of an aging Bleacher Denizen who was never able to escape church league back in medieval times when he attempted to play. Many Coaches criticized your Bleacher Denizen’s lateral movement. It was too late before your Bleacher Denizen learned that it is not enough to wave an arm as you watch a dribbler blow by you, even if you shout, “Ole” as the guy gets the rest of the way to the basket. (That’s an old Matador Defense joke from the ancient days when the Bleacher Denizen could count his facial wrinkles on one hand.)

Ovid-Elsie wins the opening tap. Axel Newell passes to Dylan Carman, who hits a layup to give his Marauders the first two points of the game. Braxton Stenger steals the ball for Ovid-Elsie (hereafter to be mostly known as O-E to save wear and tear on your Bleacher Denizen’s aging fingers). Dom Novara knocks the ball out of bounds to stop an O-E fast break; the Marauders get to inbound the ball. O-E misses a driving eight footer from the side. Braxton Stenger gets his hand on the ball and Portland loses it out of bounds.

Ovid-Elsie misses a six foot banked shot from the side of the lane. Portland misses a twelve foot shot from the baseline. O-E misfires on a triple try from the wing. Marc Nobis passes to Christopher Bentley, who hits a layup for the Raiders to tie the game at 2-2.

Adam Barton hits a two point shot for O-E. Christopher Bentley responds with a fast break layup for Portland that ties the game again. Axel Newell passes to Dylan Carman, who throws in a threeball from the wing for O-E. Portland misses a jump shot. O-E misses a reverse layup. A traveling violation negates a three point shot from the top of the key for the Raiders. Axel Newell passes to Logan Thompson, who hits a fifteen foot jumper to boost the Marauder lead to 9-4.

Braxton Stenger partially blocks a Portland shot; the ball goes out of bounds and the Raiders get another opportunity. Dom Novara drives and scoops in a reverse layup for Portland. Axel Newell puts in a putback for the Marauders. Portland misses a jumper from the free throw line. Dom Novara blocks a Portland layup. Portland misses a driving layup. Dalton Becker knocks a Marauder pass out of bounds; O-E retains possession. O-E misfires on a threeball from the wing. Dom Novara drives and hits a six foot banked shot from the side to cut the Portland lead to 11-8.

Dalton Becker steals the ball for the Raiders. Trent Meyers hits a fast break layup for Portland. Dalton Becker steals the ball and hits a fast break layup to give Portland a 12-11 lead.

Axel Newell hits a putback for O-E to retake the lead. The lead switches back to the Raiders when Marc Nobis passes to Christopher Bentley for a Portland layup. Trent Meyers steals the ball for Portland. Gunner McCreery steals the ball for O-E. Dylan Carmen hits a layup to give the Marauders a 15-14 lead.

Portland misses a driving six foot banked runner. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Raiders get another opportunity. Portland misses a three point attempt from the wing at the buzzer.

After one quarter, Ovid-Elsie holds a 15-14 lead.

Portland inbounds the ball to get the second quarter started. The Raiders misfire on a threeball from the wing. O-E misses a three point shot from the wing. There is a double foul on the rebound. The Possession Arrow mulls the possibilities and decides that Portland shall have the ball back. Dom Novara drives and dishes the ball to Christopher Bentley, who hits a layup to give Portland a 16-15 lead.

O-E misfires on a threeball from the wing. Gunner McCreery gets the offensive rebound for the Marauders. Logan Thompson hits a three point shot from the top of the key to give the lead back to O-E. Dylan Carman steals the ball for the Marauders. Dylan Carmen passes to Clay Wittenberg, who hits a layup for O-E to boost his Marauders to a 20-16 lead.

Portland misses a driving layup. O-E travels with the ball. (Basketball cliches can be interesting. I wonder if there would be much interest if someone traveled without the basketball.) Jacob Tomasek blocks a Raider shot; Portland gets the loose ball. Portland misses an eight foot shot from the side of the lane; O-E fouls on the rebound. Dom Novara drives the lane and hits a six foot banked shot for Portland. He is fouled on the play, but misses his free throw. With 4:48 remaining in the second quarter, O-E has a 20-18 lead.

Dalton Becker pulls down the offensive rebound from the missed free throw for the Raiders. Dalton Becker tosses the ball to Marc Nobis, who throws in a threeball from the side to give Portland a 21-20 lead.

Marc Nobis knocks the ball out of bounds; O-E retains possession. O-E misses a three pointer from the corner. Adam Barton gets the offensive rebound for the Marauders. Logan Thompson drives the baseline and hits a layup to give the lead back to his Marauders. Portland misses a six foot shot in the lane. O-E misses a three point shot from the side. The rebound goes out of bounds and Portland takes possession. Jacob Tomasek blocks a Portland layup. Gunner McCreery passes to Adam Barton, who hits a three point shot that gives O-E a 25-21 lead.

Portland misses a five foot shot from the baseline. Axel Newell is fouled and hits two free throws to give the Marauders a 27-21 lead with 2:19 to play in the half.

Axel Newell nearly steals the ball for O-E and leaves the Portland possession in chaos. Adam Barton steals the ball for the Marauders. O-E misses a layup. Adam Barton gets the offensive rebound for the Marauders. O-E misses a three point shot from the wing. Adam Barton gets another offensive rebound for O-E. O-W misses a shot. Portland misses a three point shot from the wing. O-E misses a driving layup. Portland misfires on a threeball from the side. Dom Novara blocks an O-E layup; the ball goes out of bounds and the Marauders get another opportunity. Braxton Stenger inbounds the ball to Axel Newell, who hits a layup to give O-E a 29-21 lead.

Portland misses a ten foot shot from the side. Marc Nobis blocks a Marauder layup; the ball goes out of bounds and O-E gets another possession. O-E misfires on a triple try from the corner. Dalton Becker drives in and hits a layup for Portland. O-W misses a threeball from the wing. Dylan Carman hits a putback at the buzzer.

Ovid-Elsie takes a 31-23 lead into the locker room at halftime. If conventional basketball practices hold up, the Marauders will also have a 31-23 lead at the start of the third quarter. (Basketball cliches can be interesting. Although, to be fair, announcers have to repeatedly say the same things over and over (basket, layup, block, etc.) and it’s easy to get into a rut. (I’m sure I have my own cliches that I get away with mostly because most people only read articles about their own team.)

Christopher Battley has 8 points to lead Portland at halftime. Dom Novara has 6 points.

Dylan Carman has 9 points to lead Ovid-Elsie at halftime. Axel Newell has 8 points and Logan Thompson has 7.

Ovid-Elsie inbounds the ball and the third quarter is underway. O-E misses a threeball from the corner. Adam Barton gets the offensive rebound for the Marauders. O-E misses a three pointer from the corner. Logan Thompson gets back quickly on defense and forces a Portland traveling violation to foil a fast break. O-E misses a three point shot from the corner. Conner Kazamer passes to Marc Nobis, who hits a six foot shot from the side to shave the O-E lead to 31-25.

O-E misses a layup. Mark Nobis passes to Conner Kazamer for a Portland layup. Dom Novara steals a Marauder pass. The Raiders miss a fast break layup. O-E issues a six foot shot from the side. Portland misses a driving layup. Marc Nobis steals the ball for the Raiders. Portland misses a layup. Adam Barton passes to Axel Newell, who throws in a threeball from near the top of the key for O-E. Braxton Stenger knocks the ball away from the Raiders and Adam Barton grabs it for the Marauders. O-E misses a driving layup. O-E is assessed with a technical foul. Trent Meyers hits two free throws to close the Marauder lead to 34-29 with 4:32 to play in the third quarter.

Portland inbounds the ball after the technical free throws. Dom Novara drives and hits a six footer from the side of the lane to trim the O-E lead to three points. O-E misses a three pointer from the wing. Gunner McCreery gets the offensive rebound for the Marauders. O-E misses a layup. Portland is assessed with a traveling violation. Clay Wittenberg passes to Dylan Carman for a Marauder layup. Portland misses a three point shot from the side. Marc Nobis snares the offensive rebound and passes to Dalton Becker, who hits a layup to shave the O-E lead to 36-33.

Dom Novara steals a cross court pass from the Marauders. He is fouled on a fast break layup and hits one of his two free throws to close the Marauder lead to 36-34 with 3:04 to play in the third quarter.

Braxton Stenger hits a layup for the Marauders, is fouled and sinks his free throw. Portland misses a three point shot from the side. Evan Gross gets the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Portland misses a layup. Trent Meyers steals the ball for Portland. The Raiders miss a layup. James Parish pulls down the offensive rebound for Portland. Portland misses a layup. Portland gets another offensive rebound. Dom Novara passes to James Parish, who hits a layup to cut the O-E lead to 39-36.

Marc Nobis blocks a Marauder shot. Portland misses a threeball from the top of the key. O-E misfires on a threeball from the wing. Portland misses a three point attempt from the corner. James Parish gets the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Axel Newell steals the ball for the Marauders. O-E misses a layup. Axel Newell hits a putback for O-E. Axel Newell knocks the ball away from Portland, but the Raiders are able to recover. Braxton Stenger steals the ball for O-E. Braxton Stenger passes to Dylan Carman, who hits a layup to give O-E a 43-36 lead.

Portland misses a three point shot from the side. O-E’s heave is released just after the buzzer sounds. It goes in from more than half court, but does not count.

Ovid-Elsie has a 43-36 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Portland has the ball to open the fourth quarter. The Raiders miss a driving layup. Marc Nobis blocks an O-E fast break layup; the ball goes out of bounds and the Marauders get the ball back. O-E misses a three point shot from the side. Logan Thompson gets the offensive rebound for the Marauders. Braxton Stenger drives and hits a layup for O-E. Portland misses a three point shot from the side. O-E is fouled on a driving layup, but misses its free throws. Marc Nobis passes to Trent Meyers, who hits a threeball from the corner for Portland. Alex Eichenberg is fouled on a driving six foot shot and hits one of his two free throws to boost the O-E lead to 46-39 with 6:02 remaining in the contest.

Portland misses a layup. O-E misses a ten footer from the side of the lane. Dylan Carman gets the offensive rebound for the Marauders. Dylan Carman hits a six foot shot in the lane for O-E. Portland misses a three point shot from the side. Evan Gross nearly steals the ball for the Raiders, but the Marauders recover. O-E misses a jump shot. Dom Novara drains a threeball from the wing to trim the O-E lead to 48-42.

O-E misses a three point shot from the wing. O-E is fouled on the rebound, but misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity. Adam Barton snags the offensive rebound for O-E and passes to Jacob Tomasek, who hits a layup. Portland misfires on a triple try from the wing. Axel Newell passes to a teammate who is fouled before he can shoot a layup; O-E misses the front end of a one and one opportunity. Dom Novara hits a jumper off the dribble from the free throw line to trim the O-E lead to 50-44.

Braxton Stenger is fouled and hits both shots in a one and one opportunity for O-E. Marc Nobis is fouled and hits one of his two free throws for Portland. Marc Nobis gets the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Portland misses a three point shot from the corner. Logan Thompson is fouled and hits two free throws to boost the Marauder lead to 54-45 with 2:18 left on the clock.

Portland misses a six foot shot in the lane. Dom Novara steals the ball for the Raiders. Portland misses a layup. Dylan Carman is fouled and hits two free throws for O-E to open up a 57-47 lead with 1:33 to play in the game.

Portland misses a three point shot from the wing. Dylan Carmen is fouled and hits two free throws for the Raiders. Portland misses a three point shot from the corner. The ball wedges between the rim and the backboard. Instead of asking the aging and overweight 65 year old Bleacher Denizen to get the ball down, one of the players knocks the ball down before they even think to ask me to get it. (I would have come through, I would have; I WOULD HAVE!!!) Alas, opportunity fades as fast as it knocks some times.

O-E is fouled, but misses two free throws. Adam Barton gets the offensive rebound for the Marauders. Marc Nobis knocks the ball out of bounds; O-E retains possession. Conner Kazamer steals the ball and hits a fast break layup for Portland with about 30 seconds left. Ovid-Elsie dribbles out the clock.

Ovid-Elsie wins this game 59-49.

Dom Novara led the Portland scoring with 16 points. Christopher Battley scored 8 points – all in the first half. He rolled his ankle in the second quarter and I’m not sure he played again. Trent Meyers added 7 points. Dalton Becker and Marc Nobis each contributed 6 points. Conner Kazamer had 4 points and James Parish scored 2 points.

Dylan Carman led the victorious Marauders with 20 points. Axel Newell joined his teammate in double figures with 13 points. Logan Thompson contributed 9 points. Braxton Stenger had 7 points to go along with many fine defensive plays. Adam Barton tossed in 5 points. Jacob Tomasek and Clay Wittenberg each added 2 points. Alex Eichenberg tallied 1 point.

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