Fowler at Fulton – – CMAC Boys Basketball Game of the Week – – The Bleacher Denizen – – January 4, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

The first CMAC Game of the Week for 2022 brings the Bleacher Denizen to Fulton High where the Pirates will host the Eagles from Fowler. These teams are only a few miles from each other and their games are always competitive. Your Bleacher Denizen managed to avoid the notorious Fulton Weather Curse (the most recent event was a rained out football game that ended in the middle of the third quarter this last fall. There have been many other too-thrilling rides or inclement weather conditions that have happened when the Bleacher Denizen covers Fulton games. I’m surprised that the Fulton Powers-that-be still allow me to attend games!!

Fulton brings a 1-2 record into the game while Fowler is at 3-1. I’ve seen each team once before the Christmas break; it will be interesting to see how the teams have developed since then.

Fulton’s scoring is generally led by Senior Joe Iung and Junior Bruce Thelen. Joe Iung is an athletic player with really creative ball handling that he can use to get himself a shot in nearly any situation. He is also very creative with his shooting and can make shots most players would not dare to attempt. He is a competitive defender as well. Bruch Thelen is a strong ball handler who runs the point most of the time. He is a steady outside shooter and defends well on the perimeter as well.

Xander Ramsey is a fine three point shooter and a persistent defender. Walker Eyer plays tough defense and is willing to scrap for rebounds and talked charges. Renn Spaulding, Markus Mills and Dezmond Blair are tough interior defenders. Jadon Podolak is a three point threat who handles the ball well. Zach Saller is tall and can defend inside or outside. He also brings an accurate three point shot to the Pirate arsenal.

For Fowler, Freshman Jacob Halfmann runs the point most of the time. He provides strong ball handling and can hit outside shots. Chase Pung has been a varsity player for four years. He provides a confident, fearless flair to the Eagle basketball team. When he gets going, he can hit the three and has a huge variety of off the dribble moves he can use to get open. Treagan O’Rourke is a senior who rebounds, scores and has a way of being involved in a lot of plays on defense.

Nick Epkey plays the middle for the Eagles. He is a tough defender, rebounder and scorer near the basket. Alas, he is one of those tall people who used to delight in sending the Bleacher Denizen’s layups to the Great Airball in the Sky. In an earlier Fowler game this year, he had 19 points against St. Patrick and scored the winning point on a free throw with only a half second left in the game. Alex Halfmann is a freshman who provides rebounding and defense near the basket. Ben Schafer brings intensity and scoring to the Eagles when he comes in off the bench.

I saw most of the JV game; Fowler won 57-20 after getting off to a big halftime lead.

Parker Duflo led the Fulton JV scoring with 9 points. Thomas Thelen added 5 points. Wyatt King, Peyton Reynolds and Brayden Marvyn each scored 2 points.

Asher Koenigsknecht led the victorious Fowler JVs with 14 points. Cam Simmon joined his teammate in double figures with 10 points. Nathan Spicer put in 8 points. Nathan Hamilton and Jack Schafer each added 5 points. Ben Kohagen and Tristan Smith each scored 4 points. Donovan Fenning threw in 3 points. Jonathan Ruiz and Adyn O’Rourke each tallied 2 points.

It is now time to reveal the events of this game through the cloudy, aging lenses of a Bleacher Denizen who was never able to escape church league. Alas, it was too late before he was finally able to learn that while charging can be important on a medieval battlefield, most coaches find charging to be really disruptive to their offenses.

Fowler wins the opening tap. The Eagles miss a baseline runner. Fulton misses a coast to coast layup. Fowler misses a threeball from the wing. Joe Iung passes to Bruce Thelen, who hits a reverse layup to give the Pirates the first two points of the game. Fowler misfires on a threeball from the wing. Fulton reciprocates and misfires on a threeball from the wing. Fowler misses a three point shot from the side. Nick Epkey pulls down the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Jacob Halfmann drives the baseline and hits a reverse layup for the Eagles to tie the game at 2-2.

Fulton misses a layup. Walker Eyer and Renn Spalding double team Fowler to cause a tieup. The Possession Arrow is impressed by their tough play and awards the ball to Fulton. Fulton misses an eight foot runner in the lane. Treagan O’Rourke passes the ball to Nick Epkey, who hits a layup to give the Eagles a 4-2 lead.

Nick Epkey steals the ball for Fowler. Fowler misses a three pointer from the wing. Treagan O’Rourke gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Fowler misses a layup. Bruce Thelen passes to Walker Eyer, who hits a layup, is fouled and hits his free throw to give Fulton a 5-4 lead with 5:04 remaining in the first quarter.

Fowler is whistled for carrying the ball. Bruce Thelen drives and dishes the ball to a teammate who is fouled on a layup, but misses both his free throws. Fowler misfires on a threeball from the side. Treagan O’Rourke pulls down the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Jacob Halfmann inbounds the ball to Peyton Follick, who hits a layup to give the lead back to the Eagles. Fulton turns the ball over. Treagan O’Rourke hits a fast break putback to give the Eagles an 8-5 lead.

Fulton misses a three point shot from the wing. Joe Iung rushes at a Fowler dribbler and causes a traveling violation. Fulton misses a three point shot from the corner. Joe Iung steals the ball and is fouled on a fast break layup. He hits two free throws to trim the Fowler lead to 8-7 with 3:10 to play in the first quarter.

Chase Pung passes to Ben Schafer, who hits running layup for Fowler. Fulton misses a three point shot from the wing. Nick Epkey takes the ball coast to coast for a Fowler layup. Walker Eyer bounces the ball to Xavier Ramsey for a Fulton layup. Walker Eyer blocks a Fowler shot. Fulton misses a driving layup. Jadon Podolak pulls down the offensive rebound for the Pirates and passes to Xander Ramsey, who hits a three point shot from the top of the key for Fulton to tie the game at 12-12.

Ben Schafer passes to Nick Epkey, who hits a layup to give Fowler the lead. Fulton is whistled for a traveling violation. Jadon Podolak knocks the ball away from Fowler and Xander Ramsey picks it up for Fulton. Fulton misses a layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Pirates get another opportunity. Treagan O’Rourke steals the ball for the Eagles. Joe Iung swats a pass to break up a Fowler fast break; the ball goes out of bounds and the Eagles get it back. Xander Ramsey and Walker Eyer team up to cause a Fowler traveling violation. Treagan O’Rourke steals the ball for Fowler. Chase Pung hits a sixteen foot shot from the baseline at the buzzer for Fowler.

After one quarter, Fowler has a 16-12 lead.

Fowler inbounds the ball to open the second quarter. The Eagles miss a threeball from the side. Treagan O’Rourke gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Chase Pung passes to Jacob Halfmann, whohits a three point shot from the top of the key for Fowler. Walker Eyer hits a layup for Fulton; he is fouled on the play, but misses his free throw. With 7:20 to play in the first half, Fowler’s lead is at 19-14.

Fowler misses a three pointer from the side. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Eagles get the ball back. Fowler misses a three point shot from the side. Nick Epkey gets the offensive rebound for Fowler. Joe Iung blocks a Fowler layup and causes a tieup. The Possession Arrow takes note of Mr. Iung’s fine defense and awards the ball to Fulton. A Fulton basket is negated because a foul is called before the shot. Fulton gets another crack at the basket; a Pirate is fouled on a layup, but misses two free throws. With 6:05 remaining in the first half, the Fowler lead remains at 19-14.

Walker Eyer rebounds the missed free throw for the Pirates. Fulton misses a layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and Fowler gets the ball. Fowler misses a three point shot from the side. Fulton is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity. Zach Saller’s defense forces the Eagles into a traveling violation. Joe Iung is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws to trim the Fowler lead to 19-16 with 5:18 remaining on the first half clock.

Fowler misses a three point shot from the wing. Chase Pung gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Jacob Halfmann hits a layup for the Eagles. Fulton is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one opportunity. Renn Spaulding knocks the ball away from Fowler and Xander Ramsey picks it up for Fulton. Fulton misfires on a triple try from the wing. Bruce Thelen steals the ball for Fulton. Jacob Halfmann steals the ball for Fowler. Bruce Thelen steals the ball for Fulton. Xavier Ramsey spots Joe Iung cutting him to the basket and gets him the ball. Joe Iung hits a layup, is fouled and makes his free throw to chop the Fowler lead to 21-19 with 2:55 to go in the half.

Jadon Podolak dives and causes a tieup. The Possession Arrow was obviously watching puppy videos on You Tube and missed the play; the ball is awarded to Fowler. Fowler is fouled on a driving layup, but misses two free throws. Joe Iung drives and dishes the ball to Bruce Thelen, who is fouled on a layup and hits one of his two free throws to trim the Eagle lead to 21-20 with 2:13 to play in the half.

Fowler misfires on a triple try from the corner. Andrew Piggott seizes the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Bruce Thelen knocks the ball away from an Eagle dribbler; the ball goes out of bounds and Fowler gets another possession. Fowler misses a six foot shot in the lane. Chase Pung knocks the ball away from Fulton and Andrew Piggott picks it up for Fowler. Jacob Halfmann hits a three point shot from the wing for Fowler to boost the Eagle lead to 24-20.

A Fulton timeout call negates a Pirate basket. Joe Iung is fouled on his way to the basket and hits two free throws for Fulton. Alex Halfmann hits a putback for Fowler at the buzzer.

At halftime, the Eagles have a 26-22 lead.

Jacob Hamilton leads the Fowler halftime scoring with 10 points and Nick Epkey has 6 points.

Joe Iung has 9 points for Fulton; Walker Eyer and Xander Ramsey each have 5 points.

Fulton has the ball to start the third quarter. The Pirates miss a driving layup. Fulton is fouled on the rebound and gets the ball back. Alex Halfmann blocks a Fulton layup. Bruce Thelen knocks the ball away from Fowler and Renn Spaulding picks it up for Fulton. Alex Halfmann sends another Fulton layup to the Great Airball in the Sky. Fulton fouls while trying to reclaim the loose ball. Bruce Thelen gets his hand on the ball, but Alex Halfmann saves the loose ball for the Eagles. Jacob Halfmann inbounds the ball to Chase Pung, who hits a layup to stretch the Fowler lead to 28-22.

Joe Iung is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws for Fulton. Joe Iung steals the ball and hits a fast break layup for Fulton. Joe Iung taps the ball away from Fowler and Renn Spaulding picks it up for Fulton. Renn Spaulding passes to Joe Iung, who hits a layup for Fulton to tie the game at 28-28.

The Halfmann Connection comes through for Fowler as Jacob drives and dishes the ball to Alex, who hits a three point shot from the side to give the Eagles the lead. Walker Eyer is fouled on a putback and hits one of his two free throws for Fulton. Fowler misses a sixteen foot shot from the baseline. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Eagles retain possession. Ben Schafer passes to Treagan O’Rourke, who throws in a threeball from the side to give Fowler a five point lead. Joe Iung is fouled on a drive and hits two free throws for Fulton. With 4:41 left in the third quarter, Fowler’s lead is at 34-31.

Joe Iung’s spirited defense causes a Fowler over and back violation. Joe Iung passes to Bruce Thelen, who hits a three point shot from the corner for Fulton to tie the game. Jacob Halfmann hits a fourteen foot shot off the dribble in the lane for Fowler to retake the lead. Bruce Thelen passes to Zach Saller, who spins and hits a layup for Fulton; he is fouled on the play, but misses his free throw. Xander Ramsey pulls down the offensive rebound for the Pirates. He passes to Zach Saller, who is fouled on a three point shot from the top of the key. Zach Saller hits one of his three free throws to close the Fowler lead to 37-36 with 3:29 remaining in the third quarter.

Jacob Halfmann is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws for Fowler. Fulton misses a ten foot banked shot off the dribble from the side. Renn Spaulding gets the offensive rebound for the Pirates and passes to Bruce Thelen for a Fulton layup. Fowler misses a ten foot shot from the side and a putback. Fulton misses a driving layup. Fowler is whistled for a traveling violation. Joe Iung banks in a trey from the wing to give Fulton a 42-38 lead. (I’m pretty sure I heard him call, “Bank!”)

Chase Pung drives and passes the ball to Peyton Follick, who is fouled on a layup and hits two free throws to trim the Fulton lead to two points. Fulton is assessed with a double dribble violation. Fowler misses a three point shot from the side. Xander Ramsey banks in a fast break runner for Fulton. Fowler misses a seventeen foot shot from the wing. The rebound goes out of bounds and Fowler gets another opportunity. Chase Pung passes to Jacob Halfmann, who hits a three point shot from the corner to cut the Fulton lead to 44-43.

Fulton misses a layup. Fowler holds the ball for the last shot of the corner. Jadon Podolak blocks a Fowler three point shot from the corner. The ball goes out of bounds and Fowler gets it back. Fowler misses a ten foot shot in the lane. Fulton rebounds the ball as the third quarter buzzer sounds.

With three quarters in the books, Fulton has a 44-43 lead.

Fowler inbounds the ball to get the final quarter underway. Jacob Halfmann drives and dishes the ball to Chase Pung, who banks in a six foot shot to give Fowler a one point lead. Treagan O’Rourke steals the ball for Fowler. Fowler misses a three point shot from the side. Xander Ramsey hits a fast break layup to give the lead back to Fulton. Zach Saller blocks a Fowler layup; the ball goes out of bounds and the Pirates get the ball. Fulton misses a three point shot from the corner.

Bruce Thelen gets the offensive rebound for the Pirates. Alex Hamilton blocks a Fulton scooping layup. The ball goes out of bounds and Fulton gets it back. Zach Saller inbounds the ball to Joe Iung who steps back, leans back and hits a twelve foot shot in the lane than no one else would be able to take or make to boost the Fulton lead to 48-45.

Bruce Thelen knocks the ball out of bounds; Fowler retains possession. Fowler misses a sixteen foot shot from the baseline. Alex Halfmann steals a Fulton pass. Fowler misses on a threeball from the side; Alex Halfmann gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Treagan O’Rourke throws in a threeball from the side for Fowler to tie the game at 48-48.

Fulton misses a three point shot from the wing. Fowler is fouled on the rebound, but misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity. The rebound goes out of bounds and Fulton takes the ball. Treagan O’Rourke is fouled and hits one of his two free throws to give Fowler a 49-48 lead with 4:45 left on the clock.

Fulton misses a three point shot from the corner. Xander Ramsey knocks a Fowler pass out of bounds; the Eagles retain possession. Fowler misses a six foot driving baseline shot. Fulton misses a twelve foot shot from the baseline. Fowler misses a three pointer from the wing. Peyton Follick gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Fowler misses a layup. Treagan O’Rourke pirates a Pirate pass. Xander Ramsey knocks the ball away from Fowler and Joe Iung picks it up for Fulton. Joe Iung is fouled on a fast break layup and hits two free throws to give Fulton a 50-49 lead with 2:27 to play.

Joe Iung steals a Fowler pass and passes to Xander Ramsey for a layup that gives the Pirates a three point lead. Fowler misses a driving layup. Jacob Halfmann is fouled on a layup and hits one of his two free throws to trim Fulton’s lead to 52-50 with 1:48 remaining in the game.

Nick Epkey pulls down the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Fowler misses a layup. Bruce Thelen is fouled; he makes the first free throw of a one and one opportunity, but the successful free throw is negated by a lane violation and Fowler gets the ball. Chase Pung drives from the side and hits a layup for Fowler. He is fouled on the play and hits his free throw to push his Eagles to a 53-52 lead with 50.2 seconds left.

Bruce Thelen gets the ball to Zach Saller, who launches and sinks a three point shot to give the lead back to Fulton. Alex Hamilton gets the ball to Chase Pung, who hits a three point shot from the corner with 6.4 seconds left to give Fowler a 56-55 lead.

Fulton misses a rushed three pointer from the wing at the buzzer.

Fowler wins by a 56-55 score.

Fulton’s Joe Iung led all scorers with 24 points. Xander Ramsey supported him with 11 points. Bruce Thelen added 8 points. Walker Eyer and Zach Saller each scored 6 points.

Freshman Jacob Halfmann led the Eagles with 18 points. Chase Pung joined his teammate win double figures with 12 points. Treagan O’Rourke had 9 points to go along with a lot of offensive rebounds and fine defense. Nick Epkey added 6 points. Alex Halfmann scored 5 points. Peyton Follick had 4 points. Ben Schafer tallied 2 points.

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