Bath at Saranac – – CMAC Boys Game of the Week – – The Bleacher Denizen – – January 26, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

Tonight, the Bleacher Denizen is making the long trip to Saranac from Lansing. Of course, he tried to soak up Good Vibrations along the way. Here is a piano version of that song from my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube channel!

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

The Saranac Redskins will be hosting the Fighting Bees from Bath in the CMAC Boys Game of the Week! Bath has a 3-2 record in the CMAC and is 4-3 overall. Saranac is 1-5 in the CMAC and 3-6 overall. Saranac Coach Dean Gage has a deep team and plays everyone on the roster. Kai Beard, a guy who provides size and three point shooting, is not able to play tonight. Sam Sterzick runs the point. He is a sophomore who is solid on offense and defense. He runs the offense well and can score either from the three point line or by slashing to the basket. Isaiah Morgan slashes to the basket well. Parker Edwards provides strong rebounding in the post. Blake Stanton slashes to the basket well.

Adrian Simms is a quick perimeter defender. Evan Johnson is also a dependable perimeter defender. Logan Richey is a fine scorer who is tall and slashes to the basket; he also can hit shots from three point range. Levi Spiece and Jadeyn Trahan defend well in the post. Cam Cook is a good three point shooter. Skylar Thompson defends well in the post or on the perimeter.

Bath Coach Gabe Sowa provided me with this information about his Fighting Bee team. Ethan Swenson is one of the best players in the CMAC. He is tall, handles the ball well and is nearly unstoppable when he gets on a roll going to the basket. He is also a fine rebounder who can shoot the three point shot as well. Ryan Knitter is a good ball handler and shooter. Unfortunately, point guard DeVondre Chandler will miss tonight’s game. Josh Kares is a good three point shooter and consistent scorer.

Luca Mohr provides strong perimeter defense for the Bees. Colin Kuhn and Jake McAlpine defend well and rebound well in the post. Jake McAlpine scores well near the basket as well.

I was there in time to see the JV game. Saranac got off to a three point first quarter lead and stretched the lead to 27-17 at halftime. Saranac pushed its lead to 34-22 before Bath quickly tightened the game with a nine point run that included a couple three point baskets. The third quarter ended with Saranac holding a 34-31 lead.

The fourth quarter was a back and forth affair for the first six minutes. With about six minutes to play, Sam Wonch hit a three point basket to finally overtake Saranac and give Bath a one point lead. About four minutes later, Elijah Lauer hit a three point basket to give Saranac a 43-42 lead.

Bath’s Jacob Kuhn hit a free throw to tie the game at 43-43. About a minute later, Bath hit a ten foot shot from the baseline to take the lead. Saranac and Bath traded baskets until Sam Wonch stole the ball and hit a layup to give the Bees a 49-45 lead. Saranac was able to make a layup to come within two points and had a chance to win at the end of the game, but they missed a three point shot at the buzzer. Bath won the JV game 49-47.

Cody Whipple led the Saranac JVs with 20 points. Hunter Helminski supported him with 6 points. Max Olsen, Sam Sterzick and Elijah Lauer each tossed in 5 points. Braycen Griffin, Dylan Bollone and Jordan Dodge each tallied 2 points.

Sam Wonch led the victorious Bee JV with 11 points. Remington McCrimmon, Jacob Kuhn and Ethan Wicks each chipped in with 7 points. Brayden Bennett added 6 points. Jay Kreisler had 4 points. Cole Chamberlain and Anthony Wasson each scored 3 points.

It is now time to look at the varsity game through the murky lenses of an Aging Bleacher Denizen who was never able to escape church league when he attempted to hoop in medieval times. He tried to have the rules amended so he could use a catapult to get his three pointers to the basket. Alas, his career was ruined when the medieval basketball powers that be declined to make the rule change. (I could have been a star – – – -)

Matt Stauffer led the Saranac Pep Band through a fine rendition of the National Anthem to open the game.

Bath wins the opening tap. Ethan Swenson spins into the lane and is fouled on a five foot shot. He hits his two free throws to give the Bees the first two points of the game. Sam Sterzick passes to Skylar Thompson, who hits a layup for Saranac to tie the game. Ryan Knitter passes to Josh Karnes, who throws in a threeball from the corner to give Bath a 5-2 lead.

Levi Spiece hits a putback for Saranac. Bath misses a jump shot from the free throw line. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Bees get another opportunity. Ethan Swenson drives and hits a five foot banked shot from the side for Bath. Saranac misses a threeball from the wing. Bath reciprocates and misses a threeball from the wing. The rebound goes out of bounds and Saranac takes possession.

Saranac misses a three pointer from the top of the key. Bath misses a fast break layup. Logan Richey passes to Blake Stanton, who hits a layup for Saranac. He is fouled on the play and makes his free throw to tie the game at 7-7 with 4:36 remaining in the first quarter.

Ryan Knitter passes to Ethan Swenson, who hits a layup to retake the lead for Bath. Saranac misses a three point shot from the corner. Ethan Swenson is fouled on a fast break layup and hits two free throws to give the Bees an 11-7 lead with 4:01 to play in the quarter.

Saranac misses a layup. Bath misses a driving layup. Saranac misses a three pointer from the wing. Saranac briefly gets the offensive rebound, but Ryan Knitter knocks the ball away from the Redskins and Josh Kares picks it up for the Bees. Blake Stanton knocks the ball away from Bath, but the Bees recover. Bath commits an offensive foul. Saranac loses a pass out of bounds. Bath misses a three point shot from the corner. Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Josh Kares hits a fifteen footer off the dribble from the side to push the Bath lead to 13-7.

Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Jadeyn Trahan gets the offensive rebound for the Redskins. Sam Sterzick passes to Logan Richey, who hits a threeball from the wing for Saranac. Ethan Swenson drives, soars and dunks the ball for Bath. Sam Sterzick hits a twelve foot shot from the side of the lane to trim the Bath lead to 15-12.

Jake McAlpine drives and hits a layup for Bath. Saranac misfires on a triple try from the wing. Bath turns the ball over. Saranac travels with the ball. (Basketball cliches can be interesting. I’m not sure that traveling without the ball would be worth noting in the blog.) Ethan Swenson storms into the lane and is fouled on an eight foot shot. He makes one of his two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to push Bath’s lead to 18-12.

Saranac’s desperation shot hits the ceiling as the quarter ends.

After one quarter, Bath has an 18-12 lead.

Saranac inbounds the ball to start out the second quarter. Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Bath misses a ten foot shot off the dribble from the side. Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Levi Spiece knocks the ball away from Bath, but the Bees are able to recover. Ryan Knitter is fouled and hits both free throws in a one and one opportunity to give Bath a 20-12 lead with 6:58 remaining in the first half.

Saranac misses a three point shot from the corner. Logan Richey gets the offensive rebound for the Redskins. Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Bath reciprocates and misses a three point shot from the wing; the Bees follow up by fouling on the rebound. Blake Stanton passes to Adrian Simms, who hits a three point shot from the wing to trim the Bath lead to 20-15.

Bath misses a three point shot from the side. Saranac is fouled on the rebound, but misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity. Bath misses a driving layup. Bath is fouled on the rebound, but misses the first shot of a one and one opportunity. Ethan Swenson pulls down the offensive rebound for the Bees. Bath misses a three point shot from the wing. Blake Stanton passes to Skylar Thompson, who is fouled on a layup. Skylar Thompson hits one of his two free throws to shave the Bath lead to 20-16 with 5:01 to play in the first half.

Ethan Swenson passes to Ryan Knitter, who hits a three point shot from the side for Bath. Ryan Knitter steals the ball for Bath. Luca Mohr is fouled bringing the ball up and hits one of two free throws for Bath. Sam Sterzick is fouled on a driving ten foot shot from the side and hits one of his two free throws for Saranac. With 3:46 remaining in the half, Bath holds a 24-17 lead.

Bath misses a driving layup. Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Bath throws a pass out of bounds. Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Sam Sterzick knocks the ball away from Bath, but the Bees hang onto the ball. Ethan Swenson drives and hits a layup for Bath. Parker Edwards passes to Sam Sterzick, who hits a three point shot from the side to cut the Bath lead to 26-20.

Parker Edwards blocks a Bath shot. Bath misses a three point shot from the wing. Chase Van Ess hits a fifteen foot shot from the side for Bath. Saranac is fouled, but misses two free throws. The rebound goes out of bounds and Saranac gets the ball. Saranac misses a three point shot from the side. Ethan Swenson drives in for a successful acrobatic reverse layup and is fouled. He hits his free throw to boost Bath to a 31-20 lead with 36.2 seconds to go in the first half.

Grant Dunckel knocks the ball away from Saranac and Ethan Swenson picks it up for Bath. Ethan Swenson hits a fast break layup, is fouled and makes his free throw. Saranac misses a ten foot shot from the side. Bath misses a threeball from the wing at the buzzer.

Bath has a 34-20 halftime lead. They will probably continue to lead by fourteen points at the start of the third quarter.

Sam Sterzick leads the Saranac scoring at halftime with 6 points.

Ethan Swenson has dominated the first half for Bath and leads all scorers at halftime with 19 points. Ryan Knitter and Josh Kares each have 5 points.

During halftime, the pep band played some fine music. It included some music from Rickey Martin, Michael Jackson and others. I really enjoy Saranac’s pep band and their bands in general. I actually came to the spring concert a couple years ago!

https://lansingcivicevents.blogspot.com/2018/05/saranac-high-school-concert-band-spring.html

I always enjoy saluting good high school musicians as I have a lot of experience on stage myself. And if you’ll indulge me, here is another one from my You Tube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUieaBvS38w

After the musical interlude, it was time to start the game back up!

Saranac inbounds the ball and the third quarter is underway. Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Blake Stanton blocks a Bath layup. Bath recovers the ball; Blake Stanton blocks another layup. Saranac misses an eight foot shot off the dribble from the side of the lane. Isaiah Morgan blocks a Bath shot; the Bees recover the loose ball. Ethan Swenson hits a putback for Bath and is fouled. He makes his free throw to extend the Bath lead to 37-20 with 6:40 to play in the third quarter.

Saranac misses a three pointer from the wing. Parker Edwards gets the offensive rebound for the Redskins. Sam Sterzick passes to Parker Edwards, who hits a three point shot from the side for Saranac. Bath misses a layup. Skylar Thompson goes coast to coast for a Saranac layup; he is fouled on the play and makes his free throw to trim the Bath lead to 37-26 with 5:57 to go in the quarter.

Luca Mohr drives and hits a layup for Bath. Blake Stanton drives and hits a layup for Saranac. Sam Sterzick steals the ball for the Redskins. Ethan Swenson emphatically blocks a Saranac fast break layup. Josh Kares passes to Ryan Knitter, who hits a three point shot from the side for Bath. Saranac misses a fifteen foot shot from the side. Bath misses a ten foot runner. Blake Stanton goes coast to coast for a Saranac layup that trims the Bath lead to 42-30.

Bath misses a threeball from the side. Saranac reciprocates and misses a threeball from the side. Parker Edwards pulls down the offensive rebound and passes to Sam Sterzick, who hits a three point shot near the top of the key for Saranac. Bath misses a jumper from the free throw elbow. Skylar Thompson passes to Blake Stanton, who hits a three point shot from the wing to chop the Bath lead to 42-36.

Parker Edwards steals the ball for Saranac. Josh Kares steals the ball for Bath. Luca Mohr drives and hits a layup for Bath. Sam Sterzick drives and hits a layup for Saranac. Ethan Swenson is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws to give Bath a 46-38 lead with 2:20 to left on the third quarter clock.

Saranac misses a three point shot from the corner. Adrian Simms makes a fantastic hustle play to try to keep the rebound in bounds; Bath ends up with the rebound. Bath misses a threeball from the side. Saranac misses a three pointer from the wing. Adrian Simms draws a charging foul from the Bees.

Saranac is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one opportunity. Bath misses a three point shot near the top of the key. The rebound goes out of bounds and Bath gets another opportunity. Chase Van Ess passes to Ethan Swenson, who banks in an eight footer in the lane; he is fouled on the play and his successful free throw gives Bath a 49-38 lead with 26.6 seconds left in the quarter.

Parker Edwards passes to Levi Spiece, who hits a three point shot from the quarter as the third quarter buzzer makes its presence known.

After three quarters, Bath has a 49-41 lead.

Bath inbounds the ball to start the fourth quarter. Parker Edwards gets his hand on the ball and Bath loses it out of bounds. Saranac misses a three pointer near the top of the key; the rebound goes out of bounds and Bath gets the ball. Bath misses a three pointer from the side. Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Luca Mohr passes to Josh Kares, who hits a three point shot from the top of the key to give his Bees a 52-41 lead.

Luca Mohr knocks the ball away from Saranac and Chase Van Ess picks it up for Bath. Bath is fouled on a fast break layup, but misses both free throws. Colin Kuhn hits a putback for Bath. Sam Sterzick passes to Cam Cook, who throws in a threeball from the wing to trim the Bath lead to 54-44.

Bath misses a layup. Colin Kuhn knocks the ball away from Saranac and Josh Kares picks it up for Bath. Bath commits an offensive foul. Saranac misses a three pointer from the wing. Ethan Swenson goes coast to coast and zigzags to the hoop for a Bath layup. Saranac is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one opportunity. With 4:08 remaining in the game, Bath has a 56-44 lead.

Sam Sterzick gets the offensive rebound for Saranac. Saranac misses a three point shot from the side. Sam Sterzick hustles and knocks the rebound off a Bath player and out of bounds; Saranac gets another possession. Josh Kares taps the ball away from Saranac and Luca Mohr picks it up for Bath. Logan Richey blocks a Bee shot; Bath recovers the ball. Ethan Swenson hits a three point shot off the dribble from the wing to boost the Bees to a 59-44 lead.

Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Ethan Swenson drives and hits a layup for Bath. Chase Van Ess knocks the ball out of bounds; Saranac retains possession. Josh Kares knocks the Saranac inbound pass out of bounds; the Redskins get the ball back. Saranac misses a three point shot from the top of the key. Ethan Swenson passes to Josh Kares, who hits a three point shot from the side to give Bath a 64-44 lead.

Saranac misses a three pointer from the wing. Bath misses a six foot shot from the baseline. Ethan Swenson knocks the ball away from Saranac, but Adrian Simms recovers the ball for the Redskins. Saranac misses a three point shot from the side. Bath dribbles out the clock.

Bath wins this CMAC matchup by a 64-44 score.

Sam Sterzick led the Saranac scoring with 11 points. Blake Stanton joined his teammate in double figures with 10 points. Skylar Thompson put in 6 points. Levi Spiece added 5 points. Adrian Simms, Parker Edwards, Logan Richey and Cam Cook each had 3 points.

Ethan Swenson had a monster game with 34 points for Bath. His grace and the way he could not be stopped on the way to the basket makes this even more impressive. Josh Kares chipped in with 11 points. Ryan Knitter added 8 points. Luca Mohr scored 5 points. Colin Kuhn, Chase Van Ess and Jake McAlpine all had 2 points.

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