East Lansing at Portland — Girls Basketball — The Bleacher Denizen — January 25, 2022 — by Chuck Krafft

Tonight, your Bleacher Denizen’s journey takes him to Portland where the Raider girls will host the East Lansing Trojans. The Raiders are 8-1 with only a loss to undefeated Lansing Catholic blemishing their record. East Lansing brings an 8-3 record into the game.

For Portland, Ashley Bower is usually the leading scorer; she is a versatile player who excels on both offense and defense. On offense, she runs the point where she is equally comfortable running the offense, slashing to the basket or shooting three point shots. She defends well either on the perimeter or can help out inside. Breckyn Werner is a formidable post defender and rebounder for the Raiders. She scores well near the basket, especially on putbacks and can also hit the open three point shot.

Alivia Densmore can play in the post or on the perimeter, especially on defense. She scores well near the basket and can also hit the outside shot. Ava Guilford is the shortest of the Raiders, but you forget that when you see how well she rebounds either on the offensive or defensive boards. She is a quick, determined and fearless perimeter defender who hits the three point shot well, especially when she is open in the corner.

Shalyn Dziewiatkowski is possibly the fiercest defender on an excellent defensive team. She is long and quick and really knows how to disrupt an opposing offense. She also has the amazing ability to disrupt the opposing offense by kicking the ball. While the opponent gets the ball back, the event is still deflating for their offense. (She almost never kicks and misses; in fact, I’ve never seen her miss.)

Malia Thelen is a great perimeter defender who can make shots from the three point line. Alexa Weber is a fine defender and rebounder in the post. She is also able to score on layups or putbacks. Doltza Oiartzabal is a creative ball handler who defends persistently and can hit the open three point shot.

Thanks to Coach Rob Smith from East Lansing for providing me with some information about his Trojan players. East Lansing is one of the finest girls’ basketball teams in the area going back at least fifteen years (if not more.) They have three seniors who are in their fourth year of varsity basketball. Soraya Timms is an excellent ball handler who runs the Trojan offense like a pro. She is a fine scorer on drives to the basket or from the three point line. Like all the Trojans, she is a committed, fierce defender.

Ella Miller is a tall player who makes life tough on the inside for East Lansing’s opponents. She is a tough defender and shot blocker inside. She also rebounds and scores well inside. She shoots well from the three point line as well. Corinne Jones is a tough, energetic defender who runs the floor well and scores a lot of fast break layups. Aaliyah Morehouse is a great, versatile defender who can help out on the perimeter or in the post. Sophie Klinger is a fine ball handler and defender at her guard position. On offense, she is comfortable slashing to the basket or shooting the three point shot.

It is now time to look at the events of this game through the aging eyes of a Bleacher Denizen who was never able to escape church league when he attempted to play basketball in ancient times. While people criticized his ball handling, to be fair, no one could handle the rocks we had to use for basketballs back in the days when mammoths and saber-toothed tigers roamed the earth.

East Lansing wins the opening tap. The Trojans miss a ten foot shot from the side. Corinne Jones pulls down the offensive rebound for East Lansing. The Trojans miss on a threeball from the side. Corinne Jones grabs another offensive rebound for the Trojans. East Lansing misses a layup. Corinne Jones gets another offensive rebound; East Lansing misses a layup and fouls on the rebound. Shaelyn Dziewiatkowski drives the baseline and hits a layup to give Portland the first two points of the game.

East Lansing is whistled for a traveling violation. Soraya Timms knocks the ball away from Portland and Corinne Jones picks it up for East Lansing. Shalyn Dziewiatkowski steals a Trojan pass. Portland misses an eight foot shot from the baseline. Breckyn Werner gets the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Portland misses a layup. Alivia Densmore hits a putback to give Portland a 4-0 lead.

East Lansing misses a layup. Portland reciprocates and misses a layup. East Lansing returns the favor and misses a layup. Anika Mullins knocks the ball away from the Raiders, but Portland recovers. Portland misses a ten foot shot in the lane and fouls on the rebound. Soraya Timms hits a jump shot off the dribble from the free throw line to give East Lansing its first points; the Portland lead has been trimmed to 4-2.

Ella Miller blocks a Raider threeball from the side. The ball goes out of bounds and Portland gets another possession. Soraya Timms steals the ball for the Trojans. Soraya Timms passes the ball to Ella Miller, who is fouled on a layup and hits one of her two free throws to bring her Trojans to within one point at 4-3 with 3:12 left in the first quarter.

Sophie Klinger ties up the rebound for East Lansing. After consulting with its panel of consultants, the Possession Arrow agrees that her hustle was impressive and awards the ball to the Trojans. East Lansing misfires on a threeball from the wing. Ella Miller knocks the ball away from Portland and Corinne Jones picks it up for East Lansing. East Lansing misses a layup. Ella Miller gets the offensive rebound for the Trojans. East Lansing misses a layup. Ella Miller is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws to give the Trojans a 5-4 lead with 2:20 to play in the quarter.

Aaliyah Morehouse steals the ball for East Lansing. Corinne Jones is fouled on a fast break layup and hits one of her two free throws for East Lansing. Ella Miller blocks a Portland reverse layup. Portland tries to recover the loose ball and commits a foul. Aaliyah Morehouse passes to Corinne Jones, who sinks a three point shot from the side to give East Lansing a 9-4 lead.

Soraya Timms steals the ball for East Lansing. Ava Guilford steals the ball for Portland. Corinne Jones steals a Portland pass. East Lansing misses a three pointer from the top of the key. Portland misses a ten foot shot from the side of the lane. Soraya Timms passes to Hannah Wakulsky, who hits a layup for East Lansing. Portland misses a thirty foot shot from the wing at the buzzer.

After one quarter, East Lansing holds an 11-4 lead.

Portland inbounds the ball to start out the second quarter. Hannah Wakulsky steals a Raider pass. East Lansing misses a twelve foot hook from the baseline and fouls on the rebound. Ashley Bower is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws to shave the Trojan lead to 11-6 with 7:12 remaining in the first half.

Alivia Densmore steals the ball for the Raiders. Ashley Bower passes to Alivia Densmore, who hits a layup for Portland. Ava Guilford dives to the floor to steal a Trojan pass. Portland misses a driving layup. Shalyn Dziewiatkowski gets the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Ava Guilford hits a fifteen foot shot from the baseline to trim the East Lansing lead to 11-10.

East Lansing misses a three point shot from the wing. Ella Miller pulls down the offensive rebound for the Trojans. East Lansing misses a three point shot from the wing. Sophie Klinger gets her hand on the ball, but the Raiders retain possession. Portland misfires on a triple try from the wing. East Lansing misses a jumper from the free throw line; the rebound goes out of bounds and Portland takes possession. Ella Miller gets her hand on the ball and causes a Raider traveling violation.

East Lansing misses a three point shot from the side and fouls on the rebound. Soraya Timms knocks a Raider pass out of bounds; Portland gets the ball back. Soraya Timms and Hannah Wakulsky form a fierce double team that forces Portland to call time out to avoid turning the ball over. Alexa Weber passes to Ashley Bower, who is fouled on a layup and sinks two free throws to give Portland a 12-11 lead with 3:52 to play in the first half.

East Lansing misses a twelve foot shot from the side. Hannah Wakulsky gets the offensive rebound for the Trojans. East Lansing misfires on a threeball from the side. Corinne Jones is fouled on the rebound. She makes both ends of a one and one free throw opportunity to retake the lead for East Lansing. Ava Guilford is fouled and hits both ends of a one and one to give Portland a 14-13 lead with 2:36 remaining on the first half clock.

Ashley Bower dives to knock the ball away from East Lansing, but the Trojans recover. Breckyn Werner steals a Trojan pass. Portland misses a three point shot from the corner. Breckyn Werner knocks the ball away from East Lansing and Alivia Densmore picks it up for Portland. Alivia Densmore passes to Ashley Bower, who is fouled as she shoots a layup. Ashley Bower hits one of her two free throws to give her Raiders a 15-13 lead with 1:39 to left in the half.

Shalyn Dziewiatkowski does one of her patented kicks to knock the ball away from East Lansing. The Trojans inbound the ball. Ashley Bower steals the ball for the Raiders. Ashley Bower passes to Ava Guilford, who connects on a three point shot from the corner to give Portland an 18-13 lead.

Ava Guilford forces East Lansing into a double dribble violation. Portland misses a three point shot from near the top of the key. Ava Guilford pulls down the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Sophie Klinger draws a charging foul from Portland. (This is Ashley Bower’s third foul. We’ll see if this affects Portland in the second half.) East Lansing misses a three point shot from the wing. Portland does not have time to shoot before the first half buzzer makes its presence known.

Portland takes an 18-13 lead into the locker room at halftime. If basketball traditions are upheld, they will continue to have that lead at the start of the third quarter.

Corinne Jones leads East Lansing at halftime with 6 points. One factor that could complicate things for the Trojans in the second half is that two of the top players on this fine team, Soraya Timms and Corinne Jones each have three fouls.

Ashley Bower and Ava Guilford each had 5 points to lead the Portland scoring. Ashley Bower also has three fouls; we’ll see if this affects the play in the second half!!

Portland inbounds the ball to get the third quarter underway. Breckyn Werner hits a putback for the Raiders. Ashley Bower steals the ball for Portland. Ashley Bower is fouled on a threeball from the wing. She hits two of her three free throws to push Portland to a 22-13 lead with 7:05 to play in the second half.

East Lansing misses a layup. Corinne Jones snares the offensive rebound for the Trojans. Alivia Densmore steals the ball for Portland. Portland misses a three point shot from the side. Breckyn Werner steals the ball for Portland and passes to Ashley Bower, who hits a fast break layup for the Raiders. Alivia Densmore steals a Trojan pass. Portland misses a three pointer near the top of the key. East Lansing throws the ball through the lane and out of bounds. Breckyn Werner bounces a pass to Ashley Bower, who hits a layup to give Portland a 28-13 lead.

East Lansing misfires on a threeball from the side. Portland misses a driving layup. Soraya Timms passes to Corinne Jones, who hits a three point shot from the wing for East Lansing. Ava Guilford passes to Ashley Bower, who responds by throwing in a threeball from the wing for Portland. Shalyn Dziewiatkowski kicks the ball away from the Trojans; East Lansing retains possession, but has to restart their offense. East Lansing misses a layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and Portland gets the ball. Ashley Bower is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws to boost her Raiders to a 33-16 lead with 2:58 to play in the third quarter.

Shalyn Dziewiatkowski steals the ball for Portland; the Raiders miss a fast break layup. Shalyn Dziewiatkowski knocks the ball away from the Trojans and Ashley Bower grabs it for the Raiders. Ashley Bower passes to Alivia Densmore, who hits a layup for Portland. East Lansing misses a jump shot from the free throw line. Anika Mullins is fouled on a putback and hits one of her two free throws to trim the Raider lead to 35-17 with 1:46 remaining in the third quarter.

Corrine Jones rebounds the missed free throw for the Trojans. East Lansing misses a jump shot from the free throw line. The rebound goes out of bounds and East Lansing gets the ball back. East Lansing misses a ten footer off the dribble from the side of the lane. Portland misses a three point shot from the wing. East Lansing misses a three point shot from the side. Hannah Wakulsky pulls down the offensive rebound for the Trojans.

East Lansing misses a threeball from the wing; Portland fouls on the rebound. East Lansing misses a six foot shot from the side. Portland throws a cross court pass out of bounds. Soraya Timms passes to Carmel Eiland, who hits a layup for the Trojans. Portland misses a three pointer from the side at the buzzer.

After three quarters, Portland has a 35-19 lead.

Portland has the ball to open the fourth quarter. Ashley Bower passes to Alivia Densmore, who hits a layup for the Raiders. East Lansing misses a twelve foot shot from the side. Ella Miller pulls down the offensive rebound for the Trojans. East Lansing misses a layup. Aaliyah Morehouse steals the ball for East Lansing. Ashley Bower blocks a Trojan fast break layup; the loose ball goes out and East Lansing gets another opportunity. East Lansing misses a driving layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and Portland gets the ball.

Portland misses a three point shot from the wing; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Trojans take possession. Shalyn Dziewiatkowski knocks the ball away from East Lansing and Breckyn Werner grabs it for Portland. Ava Guilford drives the baseline and hits a layup for Portland to boost the Raider lead to 39-19.

Shalyn Dziewiatkowski kicks the ball away from East Lansing; the Trojans retain possession. Ava Guilford steals the ball for the Raiders. Portland misses a fast break layup. Ava Guilford steals a Trojan player’s dribble. Portland misses a three point shot from the side. Breckyn Werner knocks the offensive rebound to Alivia Densmore. Aaliyah Morehouse blocks a Portland layup; the ball goes out of bounds and Portland gets it back. Ashley Bower inbounds the ball to Alivia Densmore, who hits a layup to give Portland a 41-19 lead.

East Lansing misses a jumper from the free throw elbow. Portland throws a pass out of bounds. Hannah Wakulsky passes to Carmel Eiland, who hits a layup for East Lansing. Ava Guilford passes to Ashley Bower, who hits a layup for Portland. Ava Guilford steals the ball for Portland. Doltza Oiartzabal passes to Paris Rhodes, who hits a layup for Portland to boost the Raider lead to 45-21.

Malia Thelen knocks the ball away from the Trojans and causes a tieup. The Possession Arrow ignores Malia Thelen’s fine play and awards the ball to East Lansing. Malia Thelen steals the Trojan inbound pass. Portland is assessed with a double dribble violation. Malia Thelen knocks the ball away from East Lansing and out of bounds. Portland takes possession and dribbles out the clock.

Portland wins this matchup of Lansing Area powers by the score of 45-21.

Corinne Jones led the East Lansing scoring with 9 points. Carmel Eiland added 4 points. Ella Miller had 3 points. Soraya Timms and Hannah Wakulsky each scored 2 points. Anika Mullins tallied 1 point.

Ashley Bower led the victorious Raiders with 20 points. Alivia Densmore joined her teammate in double figures with 10 points. Ava Guilford contributed 7 points. Breckyn Werner chipped in with 4 points. Shalyn Dziewiatkowski and Paris Rhodes each scored 2 points.

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