Fowler at Portland – – Boys Basketball – – The Bleacher Denizen – – February 14, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

Tonight, the Bleacher Denizen is making his way to Portland, where the Raider Boys will host the Eagles from Fowler. I made my way to Fowler via St. Johns, where I entertained some seniors with a Valentines Day show. I sung through a mask; one of the songs I sang was this one that was recently added to my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0IFWZLHHuc

I then made my way to Portland via Fowler and got a nice trip on some backroads I have never seen before. I have spent roughly ten years blogging CMAC schools as well as Portland High. While I can find all the schools from my house, I still don’t know how to get to one school from another school, for the most part. (I remember being shocked that Fowler High is only about ten minutes from P-W last year.)

The Portland Raiders enter this game with a 4-11 record in the CAAC, the conference where most of the large schools play. The Raiders start two freshmen; another freshman is the first substitute to enter the game. Freshman Dominic Novara has been the leading scorer at both the other Raider boys’ games I have covered this year. He excels at getting open for his shot. He is a big threat in the midrange game and can also hit from the three point line.

Freshman Chris Battley is a tough rebounder and defender in the post. Evan Gross, the sixth man is a fine three point shooter. Trent Meyers is a senior leader who can score from the three point line and defends well on the perimeter. Marc Nobis runs the point for the Raiders; he is a good perimeter defender and also handles the ball well.

Fowler also starts two freshmen. Jacob Halfmann runs the point for the Eagles most of the time. He is a dependable ball handler and defender who has a really good three point shot. Fellow Freshman Alex Halfmann starts in the post and is a solid defender and rebounder. Chase Pung has played on the Eagle Varsity for four years. His biggest basketball attribute is his confidence and poise. He seldom gets rattled and is not afraid to shoot important shots. He is also a good athlete who defends well on the perimeter and can handle the ball.

Treagan O-Rourke can score, especially on drives to the basket, but really excels on the unsung things every good team needs. He moves the ball well, defends aggressively, rebounds well and is really good at drawing fouls. Nick Epkey and Peyton Follick play a lot in the middle. Both are strong rebounders, tough defenders and score well near the basket. Ben Schafer brings defense intensity and good scoring from the Fowler bench. Nolan Stump gives the Eagles another accurate three point shooter.

I was here in time to see the start of the JV game. (I just barely missed the end of the freshman game, which Fowler won.)

In the JV game, Portland and Fowler battled pretty evenly through the first half; I don’t believe either team ever had more than a six point lead. At halftime, the score favored Fowler by three points at 22-19. Portland was able to take a one point lead at 33-32 by the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was a back and forth affair where Fowler took an early four point lead on a three point basket by Asher Koenigsknecht, but Portland tied the game at 37-37 on a steal and a layup by Levi Nobis with about two minutes left. Fowler got a putback to retake the lead shortly after and used three free throws in the last minute from Nathan Spicer and Aaron Simon to ice their 42-39 win.

Danton Marowelli led the Raider JVs with 15 points. A.J. Weber scored 8 points. Barrett Brennan added 5 points. Levi Nobis scored 4 points. Conner Kazamer put in 3 points. Makyah Mora and Eddie Hill each tallied 2 points.

Asher Koenigsknecht led the victorious Eagle JVs with 13 points. Aaron Simon supported his teammate with 9 points. Cam Simmon contributed 6 points. Brady Feldpausch added 5 points. Nathan Hamilton and Tristan Smith each scored 3 points. Ben Kohagen added 2 points and Nathan Spicer hit for 1 point.

It is now time to review the events of the varsity game through the half open eyes of an Aging Bleacher Denizen who personifies the energy crisis of the 1970s and was never able to escape church league when he attempted to hoop in the days of yore. Until it was far too late, I never learned that the 70s term, “matador defense” was not a compliment and that coaches generally frowned on your waving a hand at the ball handler as he burst by you, especially if you did not try to recover and especially, especially, if you yelled “Ole” as you were beaten to the basket.

Fowler wins the opening tap. Marc Nobis steals the ball for the Raiders and passes to Dom Novara, who hits a layup for Portland. He is fouled on the play and makes his free throw to give his Raiders a 3-0 lead a half minute into the game.

Treagan O’Rourke drives and hits a six foot banked shot from the side for Fowler. Chase Pung steals the ball for the Eagles and hits a three point shot from the wing to give Fowler a two point lead. Treagan O’Rourke steals the ball for the Eagles. Fowler misses a three point shot from the corner. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Raiders take possession. Portland misses a three point shot from the top of the key. Fowler reciprocates and misses a three point shot from the top of the key.

Treagan O’Rourke gets his hand on a Raider pass; the ball goes out of bounds and Portland gets it back. Alex Halfmann steals the ball for the Eagles. Portland steals the ball back. Jacob Halfmann steals the ball for the Eagles. Fowler misses a driving layup. Treagan O’Rourke snares the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Marc Nobis draws a charging foul for the Raiders. Portland misses a three point shot from the side. Chris Battley hits a putback for Portland to tie the game at 5-5.

Dom Novara steals the ball for Portland and passes to Dalton Becker for a layup that gives the Raiders a two point lead. Fowler misses a three point shot from the side. Dom Novara is fouled on a driving shot in the lane. He makes one of his two free throws to give Portland an 8-5 with 4:16 to play in the first quarter.

Chris Battley steals the ball for the Raiders. Dalton Becker drives and hits a layup for Portland. Chris Battley foils a Fowler baseline drive by tying up the ball. The Possession Arrow polls its international consulting staff, which agrees that Mr. Battley’s defense was impressive; they award the ball to the Raiders. Dom Novara tosses a cross court pass to Evan Gross, who slings in a threeball for the Raiders. Chris Battley draws a charging foul from Fowler. Trent Meyers passes to Evan Gross, who hits a three point shot from the wing to boost the Raider lead to 16-5.

Fowler drives the baseline and misses a layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and Portland takes possession. Fowler’s Jacob Halfmann and Chase Pung double team Portland and force the Raiders to throw the ball off the Eagles to avoid turning the ball over. Jacob Halfmann steals the ball for Portland. Nick Epkey hits a putback for the Eagles. Evan Gross drives and hits an eight foot shot off the dribble from the side to give Portland an 18-7 lead.

Fowler misses a three point shot from the corner. Nick Epkey hits a putback for the Eagles. Portland misses a three point shot from the top of the key. The rebound goes out of bounds and Fowler gets another opportunity. The Eagles miss a driving layup. Portland misses an eight foot shot in the lane. Treagan O’Rourke is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws for Fowler with 5.5 seconds to go. Portland misses a driving layup at the buzzer.

After one quarter, Portland holds an 18-11 lead.

Fowler inbounds the ball to open the second quarter. Chris Battley and Trent Meyers play fierce defense to force a Fowler traveling violation. Treagan O’Rourke forces a Portland double dribble violation. Fowler misses a three point shot from the side. Portland misses a sixteen footer from the wing. Fowler misses a three point shot from the side. Portland reciprocates and misses a three point shot from the side. Chris Battley gets the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Ben Schafer steals the ball for the Eagles. Jacob Halfmann hits a three point shot from the wing for Fowler to trim the Raider lead to 18-14.

Treagan O’Rourke knocks the ball away from Portland and Ben Schafer picks it up for Fowler. Peyton Follick whips a cross court pass to Ben Schafer, who throws in a threeball from the side to trim the Raider lead to one point. Portland misses a three point shot from the wing. Portland gets the ball back; Jacob Halfmann forces Portland to lose a pass out of bounds. Treagan O’Rourke slings a cross court pass to Nolan Stump, who hits a three point shot from the side to give Fowler a 20-18 lead.

Portland turns the ball over. Fowler misses a three point shot from the side; Jacob Halfmann is there to scoop in the putback for the Eagles. Portland misses a three point shot from the side. Fowler misses a layup. Nick Epkey gets the offensive rebound and passes to Ben Schafer, who hits a three point shot from the wing to push the Eagle lead to 25-18.

Portland misses a layup. Fowler misses a three point shot from the wing. Mick Epkey draws a charging foul from Portland. Treagan O’Rourke passes to Jacob Halfmann, who hits a three point shot for the Eagles. Dom Novara is fouled and hits both ends of a one and one free throw opportunity for the Raiders. With 3:15 remaining in the first half, Fowler has a 28-20 lead.

Fowler misses a ten foot shot from the side of the lane. Portland misses a driving layup. Fowler misses a three point shot from the wing. Portland misses a ten footer off the dribble in the lane. Ben Schafer tosses in a threeball from the side for the Eagles. Portland misses a twelve foot shot in the lane. Fowler misses a layup. Nolan Stump snags the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Trent Meyers blocks a Fowler layup. On the other end, Trent Meyers hits a three point shot from the wing to trim the Fowler lead to 31-23.

Jacob Halfmann passes to Nolan Stump, who sinks a three pointer from the side for Fowler. Portland misses a three point shot from the wing. Fowler misses a driving layup. Portland misses a forty foot shot as the halftime buzzer makes its presence known.

At halftime, Fowler has a 34-23 lead.

Evan Gross leads the Portland scoring with 8 points at halftime. Fellow Freshman Dom Novara has 6 points.

Ben Schafer leads the Eagle scoring at halftime with 9 points. Jacob Halfmann has 8 points and Nolan Stump has 6 points.

Portland inbounds the ball to get the second half underway. The Raiders misfire on a triple try from the corner. Fowler misses a threeball from the top of the key. Treagan O’Rourke keeps the ball alive and the Eagles eventually secure the rebound. Jacob Halfmann hits a three point shot from the top of the key for the Eagles. Trent Meyers hits a layup for Portland to trim the Eagles lead to 37-25.

Dom Novara ties up the ball; the Possession Arrow and its rule enforcers spend too much time debating the world economy and miss the play; the ball is awarded to Fowler. The Eagles commit an offensive foul. Portland loses a pass into the lane out of bounds. Jacob Halfmann inbounds to a teammate, who is fouled on a layup, but misses both his free throws. With 5:54 to play in the third quarter, Fowler’s lead remains at 37-25.

Evan Gross rests his hot shooting hand for a minute and passes to Dom Novara, who hits a three point shot from the corner for the Raiders. Fowler travels on a drive in the lane. Portland misses a jumper off the dribble from the free throw line. Jacob Halfmann passes to Treagan O’Rourke, who hits a two point eighteen foot jumper from the side for Fowler. Portland misses a three point shot from the side. Treagan O’Rourke takes the ball coast to coast for a Fowler layup. Trent Meyers drives and dishes the ball to Marc Nobis, who hits a three point shot from the wing to shave the Fowler lead to 41-31.

Fowler misses a driving layup. Nick Epkey is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws for Fowler. Chase Pung kicks the ball; Portland gets the ball back and has to restart their offense. Portland loses a cross court pass out of bounds. Treagan O’Rourke passes to Peyton Follick, who hits a layup for Fowler. Chase Pung steals the ball for Fowler and passes to Jacob Halfmann, who hits a twelve foot shot from the baseline to boost Fowler to a 47-31 lead.

Peyton Follick blocks a Raider shot. Portland recovers the ball, but misses a layup. Peyton Follick drive and hits a layup for Fowler. Com Novara throws in a threeball from the wing for Portland. Fowler beats the Raider press. Nolan Stump is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws to push Fowler to a 51-34 lead with 1:49 to play in the third quarter.

Trent Meyers drives and hits a layup for Portland. Fowler loses a pass out of bounds. Portland misses a driving layup. Chris Battley gets the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Portland misses a layup. Fowler misses a six foot hook shot. Evan Gross hits a three point shot from the wing for Portland to cut the Fowler lead to 51-39.

Fowler misses a three point shot from the wing. Jacob Halfmann gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Jacob Halfmann inbounds the ball to Treagan O’Rourke and hits one of his two free throws to give Fowler a 52-39 lead with 24.3 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Portland misses a driving layup. Chris Battley gets the offensive rebound and passes to Dom Novara, who hits a three point shot from the wing for Portland. Fowler misses a long heave at the buzzer.

After three quarters, Fowler has a 52-42 lead.

Portland has the ball to commence the fourth quarter. (In my hopeful effort to be viewed as literate, I like to throw in a high-falutin’ word like “commence” every so often. I don’t know how effective this actually is; after all, I’ve never even been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.)

Portland misses a ten foot shot in the lane. Dom Novara ignores the Bleacher Denizen’s angst about his literary reputation and snags the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Portland misses a shot. Dom Novara gets the offensive rebound and passes to Chris Battley, who is fouled on a layup and sinks two free throws to chop the Fowler lead to 52-44 with 7:46 to go.

Fowler misses a three point shot from the side. Portland misses a three point shot from the wing. Fowler misses a three point shot from the side. Marc Nobis makes a great fake, waves the ball in the air to foot the shot blockers and hits a layup for Portland. Trent Meyers steals the ball for the Raiders. Dom Novara hits a fast break layup to slash the Fowler lead to 52-48.

Fowler drives the baseline, but misses a layup. Treagan O’Rourke hits a putback for the Eagles. Dom Novara is fouled on a driving layup and hits two free throws to cut the Fowler lead to 54-50 with 5:32 left on the clock.

Dom Novara steals the ball for the Raiders. He passes to Trent Meyers, who hits a threeball from the side to cut the Fowler lead to one point at 54-53.

Chris Battley blocks a Fowler layup; the Eagles corral the loose ball. Treagan O’Rourke drives and hits a big layup for Fowler to extend their lead to three points. Jacob Halfmann steals the ball and is fouled on a driving layup. He hits one of his two free throws to give Fowler a 57-53 lead with 4:50 remaining in the contest.

Chase Pung steals a Raider pass. Fowler misses a driving layup. Portland misses a three point shot from the wing. Fowler misses a fast break layup. Treagan O’Rourke is fouled on a putback and hits one of his two free throws. With 4:08 to play, Fowler has a 58-53 lead.

Portland misses a layup. Chase Pung passes to Peyton Follick, who hits a layup for Fowler. Portland misses a layup. Dom Novara knocks the ball out of bounds; Fowler retains possession. Chase Pung drives to the basket, puts a lot of spin on the ball and scoops in a reverse layup for the Eagles. Portland misses a twelve foot shot from the side. Trent Meyers forces an Eagle turnover. Portland misses a layup. Marc Nobis is fouled getting the rebound and hits two free throws for the Raiders. With 2:18 left in the game, Fowler’s lead is at 62-55.

Fowler is fouled, but misses the first shot in a one and one free throw opportunity. Treagan O’Rourke gets his hand on the rebound; Portland loses the ball out of bounds. Fowler commits an offensive foul and one of its starters fouls out. Portland misses a driving runner. Chris Battley is fouled on the rebound and hits both free throws in a one and one to pull Portland to a five point deficit at 62-57 with 1:52 to play.

Ben Schafer is fouled and hits one of his two free throws for Fowler. Portland loses the ball out of bounds. Jacob Halfmann is fouled and hits two free throws for Fowler. Evan Gross hits an eight foot shot off the dribble from the side for Portland. Ben Schafer is fouled and hits one of his two free throws for Fowler. With 1:31 remaining, Fowler’s lead is at 66-59.

Treagan O’Rourke gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Jacob Halfmann is fouled and hits one of his two free throws for Fowler. Marc Nobis passes to Dom Novara, who is fouled on a three point shot from the top of the key and hits two of his three free throws for Portland. Chase Pung is fouled and hits two free throws for Fowler to boost the Eagle lead to 69-61 with 1:09 to go.

Portland misses a six foot shot from the baseline. Fowler is fouled on the rebound, but misses two free throws. Portland misses a three point shot from the wing. Chris Battley gets the offensive rebound for the Raiders. Portland misses a layup. Jacob Halfmann is fouled and hits two free throws for Fowler. Jacob Halfmann steals the ball for the Eagles and is fouled. He makes one of his two free throws; with 30,8 seconds left in the game, Fowler has a 72-61 lead.

Portland misses a three point shot from the side. Fowler runs out the clock.

Fowler wins by the score of 72-61.

Portland’s Dom Novara led all scorers with 21 points. Evan Gross contributed 13 points and Trent Meyers chipped in with 10 points. Marc Nobis added 7 points. Chris Battley scored 6 points and Dalton Becker put in 4 points.

Jacob Halfmann led the Fowler scoring with 20 points. Treagan O’Rourke supported his teammate with 14 points. Ben Schafer joined his teammates in double figures with 11 points. Nolan Stump scored 8 points. Chase Pung added 7 points. Peyton Follick and Nick Epkey tossed in 6 points each.

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