Mason at St. Johns – – Girls Basketball – – The Bleacher Denizen – – January 28, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

In one of my recent videos on my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube channel, I point out that you never know where the Red River Valley may lead you. Alas, it does not lead to St. Johns; fortunately, US-127 does lead to St. Johns, so I will be able to see the game where the Redwings host the Bulldogs from Mason in Girls Basketball. St. Johns holds a 2-2 record in the CAAC-Red Conference and is 3-8 overall. Mason is 1-3 in the CAAC-Red and 2-9 overall.

Here is the You Tube video that provided me with the questionable advice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w03AhhNk1M8

Both coaches were generous with their time and helped me with some background about their players. Mason Coach Jake Lator helped me with this information! Nevaeh Branson is an athletic player who provides strong perimeter defense. Reegyn Cady runs the point; she is a solid ball handler and active perimeter defender. Ava Clark is a fine passer who sees the floor well and is a threat from the three point line. Grace O’Berry is a fine athlete who can defend well either on the perimeter or in the post. She is also a fine rebounder and active cutter in the Bulldog offense.

Halley Kruizenga is a ball of energy who provides spark to the Mason perimeter defense. Ashlynn Putman patrols the post for the Bulldogs. She provides strong defense and rebounding; she is a scoring threat inside as well. Jocelyn Shattuck is a fine rebounder. Allison Wheeler is always hustling.

St. Johns Coach Joe Foster had this to say about his Redwing players. Josie Stehlik can the point for the Redwings. She is a fine ball handler who keeps the ball moving and is a solid perimeter defender. Claudia Paksi is a fine defense player in the post who rebounds and runs the pick and roll well. Alexis Maloney runs the point and is the team captain. She is in her third year of varsity basketball. She distributes the basketball well and provides quality defense whether she is asked to do it on the perimeter or in the post.

Isabel Thelen is a strong ball handler who provides great defensive energy for the Redwing press. She accumulates a lot of steals. Jocelyn Kotowicz has an excellent three point shot. She is able to handle the ball well with either hand and has an excellent basketball IQ.

I was here to see almost all the JV game. Mason took a 5-3 lead in the first quarter and held a10-7 lead at halftime. Mason outscored St. Johns 9-2 in the third quarter and 10-8 in the fourth quarter as they went on to a 29-17 win.

Paityn Chant led the St. Johns JVs with 7 points. Karber Addisen and Abigail deRosia each added 3 points. Mariah Poff and Abigail Hendy each had 2 points.

Ava Ruster led the victorious Mason JVs with 11 points. Tori Lator supported her with 7 points. Allison Wheeler put in 5 points. McKenzie Lockwood scored 4 points and Sydney Roche tallied 2 points.

It is now time to look at the events of the varsity game through the occasionally open eyes of an aging Bleacher Denizen who was never able to escape church league when he attempted to hoop in the days of yore. The varsity coach saw the Bleacher Denizen destroy dozens of the peach baskets we used to shoot at with his bricks. Sadly, this ended his varsity career; it also caused a national peach basket shortage – – but I digress.

Mason wins the opening tap. The Bulldogs miss a layup. Alexis Maloney passes to Jocelyn Kotowicz, who hits a sixteen foot shot from the baseline to give the Redwings the first two points of the game. Mason misses an eight footer in the lane. Ashlynn Putman hits a putback for the Bulldogs to tie the game. Josie Stehlik drives and hits a layup for St. Johns. Jocelyn Kotowicz blocks a Mason runner in the lane. Josie Stehlik passes to Claudia Paksi, who is fouled on a layup. She makes one of her two free throws to give the Redwings a 5-2 lead with 6:20 to play in the first quarter.

Josie Stehlik steals the ball for St. Johns. Isabel Thelen scores a layup for the Redwings. Mason misses a layup. Ashlynn Putman hits a putback for Mason and is fouled; she misses her free throw. With 5:27 remaining in the first quarter, St. Johns has a 7-4 lead.

Hailey Kruizenga’s tough defense causes a Redwing traveling violation. Mason misses a reverse layup. Ashlynn Putman steals a St. Johns bounce pass. Reegyn Cady is fouled on a layup and hits one of her two free throws for Mason to trim the Redwing lead to 7-5 with 4:25 to play in the first quarter.

Ashlynn Putman steals another St. Johns bounce pass. Nevaeh Branson passes to Ashlynn Putman, who hits a six foot lean back jumper from the side for Mason to tie the game. Alexis Maloney passes to Isabel Thelen, who hits a three point shot from the wing to retake the lead for St. Johns at 10-7.

Mason misfires on a triple try from the side. Grace O’Berry knocks the ball away from a Redwing dribbler; the ball goes out of bounds and St. Johns gets another possession. Ashlynn Putman knocks the ball away from St. Johns; the Redwings recover. Alexis Maloney is fouled on a driving layup and hits one of her two free throws for St. Johns. Madison Robinson is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws to boost St. Johns to a 13-7 lead with 2:26 to go in the first quarter.

Mason is whistled for a traveling violation. Ava Clark knocks the ball away from a Redwing dribbler, but St. Johns is able to recover. St. Johns misses a driving five foot hook shot. Alexis Maloney gets the offensive rebound for the Redwings. St. Johns misses a layup. Alexis Maloney blocks a Mason fast break layup. Mason recovers the loose ball; the Bulldogs miss a sixteen foot shot from the wing. St. Johns fouls on the rebound.

Mason misses a six foot shot from the side. Alexis Maloney is fouled on a driving layup with 3.5 seconds remaining in the quarter. She makes one of her two free throws for the Redwings. Mason turns the ball over. St. Johns misses a jump shot at the buzzer.

St. Johns inbounds the ball to get the second quarter started. The Redwings miss a sixteen foot shot from the baseline. St. Johns fouls on the rebound. Ashlynn Putman passes to Hailey Kruizenga, who hits a layup for the Bulldogs. St. Johns misses an eighteen foot shot from the wing. Mason misses an eight foot shot from the side of the lane; the rebound goes out and St. Johns takes possession. St. Johns misses a layup. Mason fouls on the rebound. St. Johns misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity. With 5:56 remaining in the first half, the Redwing lead remains at 14-9.

Mason is fouled on the rebound, but misses the first shot of a one and one opportunity. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Bulldogs get another possession. St. Johns misses a layup. Lillian Sackrider pulls down the offensive rebound for the Redwings. St. Johns turns the ball over. Jasmine Reemsnyder hits the floor to prevent a Bulldog turnover. Mason misses a three point shot from the side. Reegyn Cady steals the ball for the Bulldogs. Mason misses a threeball from the wing. The rebound is tied up; after reviewing with an international panel, the Possession Arrow decrees that Mason shall have the ball.

Mason travels with the ball. (Basketball cliches can be interesting. I’m not sure if traveling without the ball would be very newsworthy.) St. Johns commits an offensive foul. Mason misses a ten foot shot from the side. Jasmine Reemsnyder gets the offensive rebound for the Bulldogs. Mason misses a layup. Hailey Kruizenga is fouled on a putback and hits one of her two free throws to trim the Redwing lead to 14-10 with 3:46 remaining in the first half.

St. Johns misses a three pointer from the top of the key. The rebound goes out of bounds and Mason gets the ball. Jasmine Reemsnyder passes to Hailey Kruizenga for a Mason layup. St. Johns misses a sixteen foot shot from the side. Hailey Kruizenga is fouled and hits one of her two free throws. With 2:00 to play in the first half, the St. Johns lead is down to one point at 14-13.

Josie Stehlik passes to Jocelyn Kotowicz, who hits a three point shot from the wing for St. Johns. Taylor Cook and Josie Stehlik apply a double team to Mason; the Bulldogs travel. Jocelyn Kotowicz passes to Madison Robinson, who spins and hits an eight foot shot in the lane for the Redwings to push their lead to 19-13.

Grace O’Berry is fouled on a six foot hook/runner and makes two free throws for Mason with 56.7 seconds left in the half. Taylor Cook passes to Grace Dobernick, who hits a layup for St. Johns. Jocelyn Kotowicz steals the ball for St. Johns. The Redwings miss a ten foot shot from the side. Taylor Cook gets the offensive rebound for the Redwings. St. Johns misses a layup as the first half buzzer makes its presence known.

St. Johns holds a 21-15 lead at halftime. If traditional basketball procedures are observed, St. Johns should continue to have a 21-15 lead at the start of the third quarter.

Isabel Thelen and Jocelyn Kotowicz lead the Redwing scoring with 5 points each. Hailey Kruizenga and Ashlynn Putman each have 6 points for Mason.

St. Johns has the ball to open the third quarter. St. Johns misses an eight footer from the side. Jocelyn Kotowicz steals the ball for the Redwings. Ashlynn Putman blocks a St. Johns layup. Grace O’Berry inbounds the ball to Ashlynn Putman, who is fouled on a layup and hits one of her two free throws to trim the Redwing lead to 21-16 with 6:59 to play in the third quarter.

St. Johns misses an eight foot shot from the side. Mason misses a fifteen footer from the side. Reegyn Cady ties up the rebound; the Possession Arrow is impressed with her hustle and after due consideration, awards the ball to the Bulldogs. Mason misses a ten foot runner from the side. Alexis Maloney passes to Jocelyn Kotowicz, who hits a sixteen foot shot from the side to boost the Redwing lead to 23-16.

Isabel Thelen’s tough defense forces a Mason ballhandler to shuffle her feet. St. Johns misses a fifteen foot shot from the side. Mason misses a three point shot from the wing. Reegyn Cady steals the ball for Mason and hits a fast break layup; she is fouled on the play and hits her free throw to trim the Redwing lead to 23-19 with 4:02 to go in the third quarter.

St. Johns is fouled on a driving layup, but misses two free throws. Madison Robinson gets the offensive rebound for the Redwings. Mason steals the ball. Reegyn Cady hits a fast break layup to chop the Redwing lead to two points. St. Johns misses a threeball from the side. Taylor Cook gets the offensive rebound for St. Johns. Mason ties up the ball; the Possession Arrow consults its panel and awards the ball to St. Johns. St. Johns misfires on a triple try from the side. Taylor Cook hustles back on defends and steals the ball for St. Johns. Alexis Maloney drives and hits a layup to give St. Johns a 25-21 lead.

Mason misses a fifteen foot jumper from the side. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Bulldogs get another opportunity. Madison Robinson gets her hand on a pass in the lane and Mason loses the ball out of bounds. Ashlynn Putman knocks the ball out of bounds; the Redwings retain possession. Alexis Maloney passes to Isabel Thelen, who hits a layup for the Redwings. She is fouled on the play and hits her free throw to give St. Johns a 28-21 lead with 1:15 remaining in the third quarter.

Madison Robinson ties up the ball for St. Johns. The Possession Arrow goes rogue, openly scorns her hustle and awards the ball to Mason. Nevaeh Branson passes to Ashlynn Putman, who hits a layup for Mason. Nevaeh Branson knocks the ball away from St. Johns and Hailey Kruizenga picks it up for Mason. Taylor Cook knocks the ball out of bounds; Mason retains possession. Mason misses a threeball from the top of the key at the buzzer.

After three quarters, Mason has a 28-23 lead.

St. Johns inbounds the ball to get the fourth quarter underway. Ashlynn Putman steals a Redwing bounce pass. Mason misses a three point shot from the side. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Bulldogs get the ball back. Nevaeh Branson is fouled on a driving layup and hits one of her two free throws for Mason. Ashlynn Putman rebounds the missed free throw and is fouled on a putback. She sinks two free throws to chop the Redwing lead to 28-26 with 7:02 to play in the game.

Josie Stehlik gets into the lane and hits a ten foot shot for St. Johns. Mason misfires on a triple launch from the top of the key. Ashlynn Putman blocks a Redwing eight foot shot in the lane. Mason misses a three point shot from the wing. Hailey Kruizenga snags the offensive rebound for the Bulldogs. Mason misses a three pointer from the wing. St. Johns throws a pass through the lane and out of bounds.

Lillian Sackrider knocks the ball off Mason and out of bounds; St. Johns gets the ball. St. Johns misses a three point shot near the top of the key. Mason misses a fast break layup. St. Johns misses a three pointer from the side and a couple putbacks before Taylor Cook finally hits a putback to give her Redwings a 32-26 lead.

Grace O’Berry responds by driving and hitting a layup for Mason. St. Johns misses a layup; Lillian Sackrider hits a putback for the Redwings. Mason misses a driving layup. Ashlynn Putman hits a putback, is fouled and hits her free throw to trim the Redwing lead to 34-31 with 2:20 left on the clock.

Alexis Maloney passes to Jocelyn Kotowicz, who hits a three point shot from the side for the Redwings. Jocelyn Kotowicz gets her hand on the ball and causes a Mason traveling violation. Grace O’Berry knocks the ball away from St. Johns, but the Redwings are able to recover. Alexis Maloney is fouled on an eight foot shot in the lane and hits two free throws for St. Johns. Grace O’Berry passes to Ashlynn Putman, who is fouled on a six foot shot in the lane and hits two free throws for Mason. With 1:06 to play, St. Johns has a 39-33 lead.

Grace O’Berry’s tight defense causes St. Johns to commit an over and back violation. Nevaeh Branson passes to Ashlynn Putman, who hits one of her two free throws to trim the Redwing lead to 39-34 with 49.3 seconds to play.

Jocelyn Shattuck gets the offensive rebound for the Bulldogs. Mason misses a ten foot shot from the side. The rebound goes out of bounds and Mason gets another opportunity. Mason misses a three point shot from the side. Alexis Maloney is fouled and hits one of two free throws in a one and one opportunity for St. Johns. Claudia Paksi steals the ball for St. Johns. Ashlynn Putman blocks a St. Johns shot. Mason misses a three point shot from the wing. Nevaeh Branson gets the offensive rebound for the Bulldogs. Hailey Kruizenga is fouled and hits one of her two free throws to shave the St. Johns lead to 40-35 with 13.8 seconds left.

The rebound goes out of bounds and St. Johns takes possession. Jocelyn Kotowicz is fouled and hits one of two free throws for St. Johns. Mason misses a layup. St. Johns travels with the rebound. Mason misses a ten foot shot from the side at the buzzer.

St. Johns wins this game by the score of 41-35.

Mason’s Ashlynn Putman led all scorers with 17 points. Hailey Kruizenga supported her teammate with 7 points. Reegyn Cady added 6 points. Grace O’Berry put in 4 points and Nevaeh Branson tallied 1 point.

Jocelyn Kotowicz led St. Johns with 11 points. Isabel Thelen chipped in with 8 points. Alexis Maloney added 7 points. Madison Robinson and Josie Stehlik each added 4 points. Grace Dobernick, Lillian Sackrider and Taylor Cook each scored 2 points. Claudia Paksi tallied 1 point.

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