DeWitt at Grand Ledge – – Girls Basketball – – The Bleacher Denizen – – January 21, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

Tonight, your Bleacher Denizen is heading out to Grand Ledge where the Comets will host the Panthers from DeWitt in Girls Basketball. The Comets are 3-4 on the season with a 1-2 record in the CAAC-Blue. DeWitt is 8-2 overall with a 2-2 record in the CAAC-Blue.

Your Bleacher Denizen got to Grand Ledge. Since there is a large construction project at the school, your Bleacher Denizen logically managed to park as far from the door to the gym as possible. Mercifully, there were no polar bears, walruses or seals to menace your Bleacher Denizen as he made the extremely chilly walk from his car to the gym. The Bleacher Denizen and his sensitive (very cold) ears made it to the gym in time to see the end of the JV game.

Grand Ledge’s JVs were missing three starters; a review of their varsity roster also shows four sophomores and a freshman up on the varsity. (DeWitt has two freshmen on its varsity.) This helps to explain how DeWitt won the JV game 50-4. However, kudos to the Panther JVs for doing what they needed to do.

Brooklyn Rogowski had 3 points and Ella Baird had 1 point for Grand Ledge.

Madison McDonald led the DeWitt JVs with 13 points. Kennedy Goerge joined her teammate in double figures with 11 points. Sarah Reynolds added 7 points. Nicole O’Neal and Emmalee Wolfe-Plain each put in 4 points. Eliana Logan scored 2 points and Maddie Bekkering tallied 1 point.

Grand Ledge Coach Beth Perez was able to share this information about her Comet players. Ava Scanlon is the only returning starter from last year. She can score in a number of ways and most teams will have a challenge trying to defend year. Taylor Piper is in her fourth year on the varsity. She is a crafty player with a fine shot and excellent court vision. Olivia Navin will run the point and has a lot of range on her shot. Grace Pribble is a quick defensive specialist. Claire Willoughby and Alayna Armstrong are strong defenders and rebounders inside who get their share of putbacks.

Taryn Gustafson is the Panthers’ leading scorer and leading rebounder. She has a great three point shot and can also drive to the basket to score. Peyton Anderson is an aggressive perimeter defender who leads the team in steals. Karissa Cochran is a returning starter who brings experience and poise her team. Morgan Bethard is a physical rebounder and defender in the post. Madison Uyl is the point guard. She leads the team in assists and is a solid passer, ball handler and shooter. Tara Kurncz and Gabbie Brya are strong three point shooters.

Your Bleacher Denizen wishes to bestow good vibrations from his “Chuck Krafft” You Tube page upon both teams!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3482fQh0Rdo

It is now time to look at the results of this game through the eagle eyes (I try at least) of an aging Bleacher Denizen who was never able to escape church league when he attempted to play basketball in times past. It is rumored that six houses were built in the Bleacher Denizen’s hometown (Frankenmuth) from bricks that I tossed during games. I contend that’s an exaggeration, but I have no proof of this.

Grand Ledge takes the opening tap. Ava Scanlon hits a jumper off the dribble from the free throw line to give her Comets the first two points of the game. Peyton Anderson passes to Morgan Bethard, who hits a layup for DeWitt. The Comets turn the ball over. Taylor Piper gets her hand on the ball, but DeWitt is able to recover. Olivia Navin steals the ball for the Comets. Grand Ledge misses a driving layup. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Panthers take possession.

DeWitt misfires on a threeball from the wing. Madison Uyl steals the ball for the Panthers. DeWitt misses a fast break layup. Grand Ledge fouls on the rebound. Madison Uyl passes to Taryn Gustafson, who throws in a threeball from the wing to give DeWitt a three point lead. Olivia Navin passes to Ava Scanlon, who hits a layup for Grand Ledge. DeWitt misses a three point attempt from the wing. Morgan Bethard hits a putback for DeWitt. Madison Uyl steals the ball for DeWitt. The Panthers miss a fast break layup. Karissa Cochran is fouled on a putback and hits one of her two free throws to give the Panthers a 10-4 lead with 4:15 to play in the first quarter.

Madison Uyl gets her hand on the ball and a Grand Ledge dribbler loses the ball out of bounds. Grace Pribble ties up a Panther pass. The Possession Arrow is too busy watching You Tube videos on the “Chuck Krafft” channel, misses the play, and awards the ball to the Panthers. DeWitt misses a driving layup. Gabbie Brya pulls down the offensive rebound for the Panthers.

DeWitt misses a three point shot from the top of the key. Grand Ledge reciprocates and misses a three point shot from the top of the key. Gianna Naccarato gets the offensive rebound for the Comets. Grand Ledge commits a traveling violation. Ava Scanlon blocks a Panther layup. Gianna Naccarato hits a sixteen footer off the dribble from the wing to trim the DeWitt lead to 10-6.

DeWitt misses a three point shot from the wing. Alex Charles gets the offensive rebound for the Panthers. DeWitt misses a threeball from the wing. Grand Ledge misses a ten foot shot in the lane. Tara Kurncz hits a fast break layup for DeWitt. She is fouled on the play, but misses her free throw. With 1:42 to play in the first quarter, DeWitt has a 12-6 lead.

Madison Uyl steals the ball for DeWitt again. Grand Ledge knocks the ball out of bounds to stop a DeWitt fast break. DeWitt retains possession. A Panther dribbler steps on the baseline and turns the ball over. Taryn Gustafson steals the ball for DeWitt and hits a fast break layup for the Panthers. Taylor Piper passes to Claire Willoughby, who hits a fast break layup for Grand Ledge. Claire Willoughby knocks a DeWitt pass into the lane out of bounds; the Panthers retain possession. DeWitt loses a pass out of bounds. Peyton Anderson knocks the ball away from Grand Ledge and Taryn Gustafson picks it up for DeWitt. DeWitt misses a three pointer from the wing as the first quarter buzzer makes its presence known.

After one quarter, DeWitt holds a 14-8 lead.

Grand Ledge has the ball to start out the second quarter. Gianna Naccarato passes to Olivia Nevin, who tosses in a fifteen foot shot from the baseline for the Comets. Karissa Cochran hits a three point shot from the wing for DeWitt. Grand Ledge misses a layup. Alayna Armstrong hits a putback for Grand Ledge. DeWitt misses a three point shot from the side. Grand Ledge misses a three point shot from the wing. Madison Uyl passes to Taryn Gustafson, who hits a three point shot from the wing to give her Panthers a 20-12 lead.

Morgan Bethard knocks the ball away from the Comets and Karissa Cochran picks it up for the Panthers. Madison Uyl passes to Taryn Gustafson, who hits a layup for DeWitt. Grand Ledge turns the ball over against the DeWitt press. Madison Uyl passes to Tara Kurncz, who tosses in a threeball from the side to give DeWitt a 25-12 lead.

Tara Kurncz steals the Comet inbound pass. DeWitt misses a sixteen foot shot from the baseline. Grand Ledge is assessed with a traveling violation. DeWitt misses a fifteen foot shot from the side. Alex Charles steals a Comet pass. DeWitt misses a three point shot from the wing; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Panthers get another opportunity. DeWitt misses a driving layup. Grand Ledge misses an eight footer from the baseline. Alayna Armstrong is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws to trim the Panther lead to 25-14 with 3:39 to play in the first half.

Olivia Navin knocks the ball away from a DeWitt dribbler and out of bounds; DeWitt gets the ball back. Alayna Armstrong blocks a Panther six foot shot from the side. Madison Uyl steals the ball for DeWitt. (There has been a lot of theft going on here; your Bleacher Denizen contemplates as to whether he needs to contact the authorities about this.) DeWitt ignores your Bleacher Denizen’s angst and goes on with the game; they miss a three point shot from the wing. The rebound goes out of bounds and Grand Ledge gets the ball.

Madison Uyl (who else???) steals a Grand Ledge pass. DeWitt misses a six foot shot from the side. Karissa Cochran pulls down the offensive rebound for the Panthers. Alayna Armstrong steals the ball for the Comets. Grand Ledge misses a three point shot from the top of the key. Taylor Piper gets the long offensive rebound for Grand Ledge. Grand Ledge misses a layup. Alayna Armstrong is fouled on a putback and hits one of her two free throws to trim the Panther lead to 25-15 with 1:51 left on the first half clock.

Peyton Anderson zips by everyone as she goes coast to coast for a DeWitt layup. Grand Ledge turns the ball over. Peyton Anderson is fouled on a six foot shot from the baseline and hits two free throws for DeWitt. Ava Scanlon passes to Alayna Armstrong, who is fouled on a layup and hits two free throws for Grand Ledge. With 1:24 remaining in the first half, DeWitt holds a 29-17 lead.

DeWitt misses a three point shot from the corner. Gianna Naccarato makes a beautiful lead pass to Taylor Piper, who is fouled on a fast break layup. Taylor Piper hits two free throws for Grand Ledge with 49 seconds to go in the half. DeWitt misses a three point shot from the side. Peyton Anderson gets the offensive rebound for the Panthers. The ball is tied up; the Possession Arrow polls the basketball universe and decides to give the ball to DeWitt. With one second left in the first half, Alayna Armstrong knocks a Panther pass out of bounds and the Comets take possession. Taylor Piper’s three quarter court heave at the buzzer came so close to going into the basket that even she was a bit surprised!

After one half, DeWitt has a 29-19 lead.

Alayna Armstrong has 7 points and Ava Scanlon 4 points to lead the Comet scoring.

For DeWitt, Taryn Gustafson has 10 points to lead the scoring. Peyton Anderson has 6 points and Tara Kurncz has 5 points. Morgan Bethard and Karissa Cochran each have 4 points.

Grand Ledge has the ball to commence the third quarter. (In an attempt to appear to be literate, your Bleacher Denizen occasionally likes to throw in one of those high-falutin’ words!) Grand Ledge misses a twelve foot shot in the lane. Ava Scanlon hits a putback for the Comets. DeWitt turns the ball over on a fast break. Grace Pribble drives and hits a layup for Grand Ledge. Grace Pribble steals the ball for the Comets. Taryn Gustafson steals the ball for the Comets. DeWitt misses a driving layup and fouls on the rebound. Grand Ledge misses a layup; Ava Scanlon is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws to chop the Panther lead to 29-25 with 6:11 to go in the third quarter.

DeWitt throws pass out of bounds. Madison Uyl gets yet another steal for the Panthers. She passes to Gabbie Brya, who is fouled on a layup. Gabby Brya makes one of her two free throws to boost the Panther lead to 30-25 with 5:41 remaining in the quarter.

Grand Ledge misses a hook/layup. DeWitt misfires on a triple try from the wing; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Panthers get another opportunity. Grace Pribble knocks the ball away from DeWitt and Olivia Nevin picks it up for Grand Ledge. The Comets launch, but miss a three point shot from the wing. DeWitt loses the ball out of bounds. Olivia Nevin passes to Grace Pribble, who hits a fifteen footer from the side for the Comets. Ava Scanlon blocks a Panther layup. Claire Willoughby hits a fifteen foot shot from the baseline to close the DeWitt lead to one point at 30-29.

Taylor Piper and Ava Scanlon put on a fierce double team that forces DeWitt to call time out to avoid losing the ball. DeWitt misses a jump shot from the free throw elbow; the rebound goes out of bounds and Grand Ledge takes possession. Karissa Cochran steals the ball for the Panthers. DeWitt travels as they shoot a layup. Karissa Cochran knocks a Comet pass out of bounds; DeWitt gets the ball. The Panthers misfires on a threeball from the side. Taryn Gustafson’s harassment causes a Comet dribbler to step out of bounds. Madison Uyl drives and hits an eight foot shot off the dribble from the side to boost her Panthers to a 32-29 lead.

Grand Ledge misses a three pointer from the side. Ava Scanlon gets her hand on a Panther pass and DeWitt loses the ball out of bounds. Grand Ledge misses a three point shot from the side. DeWitt misses a layup. Morgan Bethard gets the offensive rebound for the Panthers. DeWitt misses a shot. Madison Uyl racks up yet another steal for the Panthers. DeWitt drives and misses a layup. Grand Ledge misses a three point shot from the wing. Ava Scanlon grabs the offensive rebound for the Comets. Grand Ledge misses a layup. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Comets get the ball back. Olivia Nevin inbounds the ball to Ava Scanlon, who is fouled as she shoots a layup. She hits two free throws for Grand Ledge just before the third quarter ends.

After three quarters, Grand Ledge has cut the DeWitt lead to one point at 32-31.

DeWitt has the ball to start out the fourth quarter. Madison Uyl drives to the basket and hits a left handed hook layup from about eight feet away on the left side to give DeWitt a three point lead. Tara Kurncz steals the ball for the Panthers. Taylor Piper knocks the ball away from DeWitt, but Karissa Cochran is able to recover it for the Panthers. Karissa Cochran is fouled on a six foot shot in the lane and hits one of her two free throws to boost the Panther lead to 35-31 with 7:07 remaining in the game.

Grand Ledge misses a twelve foot shot from the wing; the rebound goes out of bounds and DeWitt gets the ball. Morgan Bethard passes to Karissa Cochran, who throws in a threeball from the top of the key to give DeWitt a seven point lead. Grand Ledge misses a threeball from the top of the key. Gianna Naccarato ties up the rebound. The Possession Arrow loves her energy and gives the ball back to DeWitt. Olivia Nevin passes to Ava Scanlon, who hits an eight foot hook in the lane to trim the DeWitt lead to 38-33.

Taryn Gustafson drives and hits a layup for DeWitt. Grand Ledge throws a pass out of bounds. DeWitt misses a ten foot shot from the side. Grand Ledge misses a three point shot from the corner; the rebound goes out of bounds and DeWitt gets the ball. DeWitt misses a three point shot from the side. Taryn Gustafson pulls down the offensive rebound for the Panthers. Claire Willoughby steals the ball for the Comets. Grand Ledge loses the ball out of bounds. With a seven point lead and about 2:20 left in the game, DeWitt goes into a delay game.

Grand Ledge commits its fifth and sixth fouls of the half so that they can foul and force DeWitt to shoot free throws. (This happens after a team fouls seven times in a half.) They foul the Panthers with 1:21 left and DeWitt misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity. Olivia Nevin passes to Taylor Piper, who hits a three point shot near the top of the key to cut the Panther lead to 40-36.

DeWitt is fouled and misses the front end of another one and one opportunity. Grand Ledge misses a three point shot from the wing. Claire Willoughby gets the offensive rebound for the Comets. Grand Ledge misses a ten foot shot in the lane. Madison Uyl is fouled and hits one of her two free throws to give DeWitt some breathing room and a 41-36 lead with 31 seconds left in the game.

Grand Ledge misses a twelve foot shot from the wing. Madison Uyl is fouled with three seconds left on the clock and hits two more free throws for Grand Ledge. The Comets miss a heave at the buzzer.

DeWitt wins this game by the score of 43-36.

Ava Scanlon led the Grand Ledge scoring with 12 points. Alayna Armstrong supported her teammate with 7 points. Taylor Piper put in 5 points. Grace Pribble and Claire Willoughby each added 4 points. Olivia Nevin and Gianna Naccarato each had 2 points.

Taryn Gustafson led DeWitt’s scoring with 12 points. Karissa Cochran added 8 points. Madison Uyl had 7 points, but that does not even begin to tell her impact on the game. Late in the game, she hit three of four important free throws. During the game, she was constantly creating turnovers for the Comets. Peyton Anderson had 6 points. Tara Kurncz put in 5 points. Morgan Bethard put in 4 points. Gabbie Brya tallied 1 point.

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