Fulton at Saranac – – CMAC Boys Co-Game of the Week – – The Bleacher Denizen – – February 21, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

Tonight, the Bleacher Denizen’s journey will take him to Saranac, where the Redskins will host the Pirates from Fulton. Fulton has a 5-7 record in the CMAC and is 6-10 overall. Saranac is 2-9 in the league and 4-11 overall.

I guess this is the Co-Game of the week because I will also be covering Potterville at Pewamo-Westphalia Friday night. As always, when there are two games, your dithering Bleacher Denizen has a difficult time deciding which one should be “Game of the Week”, so I go with the Co-Game idea. I hope I’m not upsetting some game-naming powers that be in the internet blog universe!

Joe Iung is an excellent, versatile player for Fulton. He is a fine shooter with range out past the three point line. His great ball handling allows him to be really creative in freeing himself for shots as he frequently is able to try shots (and make shots) others should not consider. Bruce Thelen is a fine point guard who defends well, handles the ball well, passes well and can either slash to the basket or shoot from the three point line.

Walker Eyer is a tough defensive player who seems to draw at least two charging fouls from the opposition in every game I see. Xander Ramsey and Jadon Podolak defend well from the perimeter and are threats from the three point line. Renn Spaulding is a good defender and rebounder in the post. Zach Saller is a tall, versatile defender who can cover people in the post or on the perimeter. He also brings an accurate three point shot to the Pirates. Thanks to Fulton Coach Todd Walden for his help with this information.

Saranac Coach Dean Gage has a deep roster this year. Kai Beard brings size to defend and rebound inside to Saranac. He is capable of getting red hot from the three point line as well. Sophomore Sam Sterzick handles the point for the Redskins. He is a solid passer and defender who can score either on drives to the basket or from the three point line. Isaiah Morgan and Blake Stanton are good at slashing to the basket.

Parker Edwards, Levi Spiece and Jadeyn Trahan rebound and defend well in the post. Adrian Simms and Evan Johnson are strong perimeter defenders. Skylar Thompson defends well either in the post or on the perimeter. Cam Cook has an accurate three point shot.

I was able to see the JV game. Saranac got out to a 21-4 lead after one quarter; they kept that lead the whole game and won 52-34.

Ian Lamkin and Tanner Villalobos led the Fulton scoring with 8 points each. Brennan Hyde added 5 points. Peyton Reynolds and Brayden Marvyn each scored 4 points. Thomas Thelen and Parker Duflo each had 2 points. Chandler Toth tallied 1 point.

Sam Sterzick led the victorious Saranac JVs with 26 points. Cody Whipple supported his teammate with 7 points and Jordan Dodge chipped in with 6 points. Max Olsen put in 4 points. Hunter Helminski added 3 points. Brayden Griffin, Elijah Lauer and Lucas Hetherington each tallied 2 points.

It is now time to look at the events of tonight’s varsity game from the occasionally open eyes of an aging Bleacher Denizen, who was never able to escape church league when he attempted to play basketball in the days before cell phones and Twitter. His basketball career was severely curtailed when he learned that it was frowned upon to use a moped to try to keep up with fast breaks.

Saranac has a fantastic pep band led by Matt Stauffer. They do an excellent job playing the National Anthem to start the game.

Saranac wins the opening tap. The Redskins misfire on a threeball from the wing. Fulton misses a six foot shot from the side of the lane. Bruce Thelen pulls down the offensive rebound for the Pirates. Fulton misses a three pointer from the wing. Skylar Thompson passes to Parker Edwards, who hits a layup to give Saranac the first two points of the game. Joe Iung hits a layup for Fulton to tie the game. Kai Beard passes to Blake Stanton, who hits a layup to give Saranac a 4-2 lead.

Fulton misses a three point shot from the side. Saranac misses a ten footer from the side. Bruce Thelen passes to Joe Iung, who hits a three point shot from the top of the key for Fulton. Kai Beard hits a layup for Saranac to give the Redskins a 6-5 lead.

Fulton misses a jumper from the free throw elbow. Saranac misses a jumper from the free throw line. Fulton misfires on a triple try from the wing. Saranac misses a three pointer from the top of the key. Fulton reciprocates and misses a three pointer from the top of the key. Saranac misses a jump shot from the free throw elbow. Fulton misses a three pointer from the wing. Saranac misses a three pointer from the top of the key. Fulton reciprocates and misses a three pointer from the top of the key. The Bleacher Denizen misses seeing the ball go into the basket.

Xander Ramsey ignores the Bleacher Denizen’s nostalgic desires and grabs the offensive rebound for the Pirates. Fulton misses a driving layup. Saranac commits a charging foul. (The Bleacher Denizen was not quick enough to note which Pirate sacrificed his body to take the charge; my apologies.) Fulton misfires on a threeball from the wing. Zach Saller hits a putback to give Fulton a 7-6 lead.

Joe Iung steals the ball and hits a fast break layup for Fulton. Jadon Podolak dives and ties up the ball for Fulton. The Possession Arrow consults its research team and decides to award the ball to Fulton. The Pirates miss a three point shot from the top of the key. Zach Saller hits a putback for Fulton. Kai Beard throws in a threeball from the wing to trim the Fulton lead to 11-9.

Blake Stanton knocks the ball out of bounds; Fulton retains possession. Fulton misses a six foot hook shot in the lane and fouls on the rebound. Saranac misses a three pointer from the wing. Jadeyn Trahan hits a putback for Saranac to tie the game. Bruce Thelen drives and dishes the ball to Dezmond Blair, who hits a layup to give Fulton a 13-11 lead.

Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Adrian Simms steals the ball for the Redskins. Saranac misses a fast break layup. Blake Stanton dives and knocks the ball out of bounds; the Pirates retain possession. Fulton misses a three point shot from the wing. Saranac misses a twelve foot shot from the side. Jadeyn Trahan gets the offensive rebound for Saranac. Adrian Simms reacts quickly to prevent a Saranac bad pass from becoming a turnover. Adrian Simms passes to Blake Stanton, who hits a three point shot from the side to give Saranac a 14-13 lead.

A foul is called on Fulton while Blake Stanton’s shot is in the air and Saranac gets another possession with .3 of a second to play in the first quarter. Saranac misses a three pointer at the buzzer.

Saranac has a 14-13 lead going into the second quarter.

Saranac inbounds the ball to start the second quarter. Isaiah Morgan drives and dishes the ball to Blake Stanton, who hits a three point shot from the side for Saranac. Fulton loses the ball out of bounds. Skylar Thomspon passes to Isaiah Morgan, who hits a three point shot near the top of the key to boost Saranac to a 20-13 lead.

Fulton misses a three point shot from the top of the key. Saranac misses a jumper off the dribble from the three point line. Parker Edwards pulls down the offensive rebound for the Redskins. Parker Edwards passes to Skylar Thompson, who is cutting to the basket; Skylar Thompson hits a layup to boost the Saranac lead to 22-13.

Renn Spalding passes to Bruce Thelen, who hits a three point shot from the side for the Pirates. Evan Johnson passes to Skylar Thompson, who hits a twelve foot shot from the side of the lane for Saranac. Renn Spalding passes to Xander Ramsey, who hits a three point shot from the wing for Fulton. Kai Beard hits a jumper off the dribble from the free throw line to give Saranac a 26-19 lead.

Fulton misses a fifteen foot shot from the side. Bruce Thelen draws a charging foul from Saranac. Adrian Simms knocks a Fulton pass into the lane out of bounds to prevent a Pirate layup. Bruce Thelen inbounds the ball to Joe Iung, who catches the ball and deposits it into the basket before he lands. Joe Iung steals the ball and passes to Xander Ramsey, who hits a layup to trim the Saranac lead to 26-23.

Kai Beard hits a three point shot off the dribble from the wing for Saranac. Joe Iung is fouled and hits two free throws in a one and one opportunity to cut the Saranac lead to 29-25 with 3:06 to play in the first half.

Jadon Podolak steals the ball for the Pirates. Fulton is fouled and misses the first shot in a one and one free throw opportunity. Joe Iung pulls down the offensive rebound for the Pirates. Saranac misses a layup. Fulton loses the ball and Levi Spiece picks up the loose ball for Saranac. Renn Spalding steals the ball for the Pirates.

Fulton misses a fast break layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and Saranac takes the ball. Zach Saller steals the ball for Fulton. The Pirates miss a layup. Jadeyn Trahan is fouled and hits both free throws in a one and one opportunity to push the Saranac lead to 31-25 with 1:29 to play in the first half.

Joe Iung drives down the middle of the lane and hits a layup for Fulton. Saranac misses a three point shot from the side. Joe Iung hits a three point shot from the wing to trim the Saranac lead to one point. Skylar Thompson is fouled on an eight footer off the dribble in the lane; he hits one of his two free throws to give Saranac a 32-30 lead with 30 seconds to go in the half.

Joe Iung passes to Xander Ramsey, who hits a three point shot from the corner for Fulton. Skylar Thompson hits a long three pointer from the wing for Saranac at the buzzer.

Saranac has a 35-33 lead going into the locker room at halftime. If basketball conventions work as normal, Saranac will continue to have a 35-33 lead with the third quarter starts.

Joe Iung leads the Fulton scoring with 14 points at halftime. Xander Ramsey has 8 points for the Pirates.

Kai Beard has 10 points to lead Saranac at halftime. Blake Stanton and Skylar Thompson each have 8 points.

Saranac’s pep band is great and it’s always fun when they play at the game. The did an excellent job at halftime. The played several songs including La Vida Loca and the Land of a Thousand Dances. Everything they did sounded wonderful. I have done a blog of one of the Saranac Band’s shows before and will try to get to their spring concert this year as well.

However, I will try to compete (and may very well lose) with this song from my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube Channel. You just never know where the Red River Valley might lead you. Fortunately, I was able to find Saranac tonight despite veering off from the Red River Valley by a few thousand miles. Anyway, here’s the song!

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

Fulton inbounds the ball to get the third quarter underway. Fulton misses a three point shot from the wing. Renn Spalding pulls down the offensive rebound for the Pirates. Walker Eyer grabs the offensive rebound for Fulton. Skylar Thompson knocks the ball away from Fulton and Blake Stanton grabs it for Saranac. Walker Eyer steals the ball for the Pirates. Fulton misses a fast break layup. Isaiah Morgan spins and hits a fast break layup to give Saranac a 37-33 lead.

Kai Beard blocks a Fulton shot. Blake Stanton picks up the loose ball for Saranac. Saranac misses a threeball from the wing. Joe Iung passes to Bruce Thelen, who hits a three point shot from the corner to cut the Saranac lead to one point. Saranac misses a driving layup. Parker Edwards gets the offensive rebound for the Redskins. Saranac misses a threeball from the corner. Joe Iung is fouled on a layup and hits one of his two free throws to tie the game for Fulton at 37-37 with 5:48 to play in the third quarter.

Walker Eyer draws a charging foul from Saranac. Fulton is fouled on a driving banked shot, but misses two free throws. Joe Iung knocks the ball away from Saranac and Bruce Thelen picks it up for Fulton. Bruce Thelen takes the ball coast to coast for a layup that gives the Pirates a 39-37 lead.

Saranac misses a three point shot from the side. Fulton misses a three point shot from the wing. Joe Iung draws a charging foul from Saranac. Joe Iung drives and hits a layup for Fulton. He is fouled on the play and makes his free throw to give Fulton a 42-37 lead with 4:23 to play in the third quarter.

Saranac misses a three point shot from the side. Xander Ramsey passes to Bruce Thelen, who hits a three point shot from the wing for Fulton. Bruce Thelen steals a Saranac pass. Fulton goes into the lane and misses a runner. Dezmond Blair gets the offensive rebound for Fulton. Fulton misses a jump shot from the wing. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Pirates retain possession.

Fulton misses a driving layup. Walker Eyer gets the offensive rebound for the Pirates. Fulton misses a layup. Saranac misses a layup. Skylar Thompson grabs the offensive rebound for the Redskins. Saranac misses a layup. Fulton misses a layup. Joe Iung gets the offensive rebound for the Pirates. Joe Iung hits a three point shot from the top of the key to give Fulton a 48-37 lead.

Saranac misses a three point shot from the top of the key. Skylar Thompson hits a putback for Saranac. Joe Iung hits a reverse layup for Fulton. Jadeyn Trahan passes to Skylar Thompson, who hits a three point shot from the wing to trim the Fulton lead to 50-42.

Fulton misses a threeball from the side. Saranac misses a driving layup. Evan Johnson cleverly takes a great position and forces Fulton to watch a ball roll out of bounds; Saranac gets the ball. Joe Iung’s tough defense forces a Saranac traveling violation. Fulton is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity. The Pirates foul on the rebound. Zach Saller knocks a Saranac pass into the lane to break up a probable layup at the buzzer.

After three quarters, Fulton has a 50-42 lead.

Saranac has the ball to begin the fourth quarter. Parker Edwards passes to Kai Beard, who hits a layup for the Redskins. Joe Iung drives and hits a layup for Fulton. Bruce Thelen knocks the ball out of bounds; Saranac retains possession. Saranac misses an eight foot shot from the baseline. Fulton misses a three pointer from the side. Renn Spalding gets the offensive rebound for the Pirates. Parker Edwards steals the ball for Saranac. Joe Iung steals the ball and hits a fast break layup for Fulton. Bruce Thelen steals the ball for the Pirates. After Fulton misses a fast break layup, Zach Saller hits a putback to give Fulton a 56-44 lead.

Parker Edwards hits a two point jump shot for Saranac. Joe Iung hits a three point shot near the top of the key for Fulton. Kai Beard is fouled on a driving shot. He hits two free throws to shave the Fulton lead to 59-48 with 5:49 left on the clock.

Parker Edwards steals the ball for Saranac. Fulton misses a driving layup. Joe Iung is fouled on the rebound and makes both free throws in a one and one opportunity for Fulton. Blake Stanton passes to Parker Edwards, who is fouled on a layup and hits two free throws to trim the Fulton lead to 61-50 with 4:55 remaining in the contest.

Blake Stanton dives and nearly steals the ball for the Redskins; the Pirates recover. Fulton runs the clock for about a minute. Bruce Thelen is fouled and hits two free throws to give Fulton a 63-50 lead with 3:12 to go.

Saranac misses a three point shot from the wing. Sam Sterzick gets the offensive rebound for Saranac. Joe Iung steals the ball for Fulton. Fulton turns the ball over. Saranac misses a layup. Isaiah Morgan hits a putback for Saranac. Joe Iung drives and hits a reverse layup to boost the Fulton lead to 65-52.

Saranac misses a three point shot near the top of the key. Isaiah Morgan blocks a Fulton layup. Joe Iung knocks the ball away from Saranac and Bruce Thelen picks the ball up for Fulton. Joe Iung is fouled and hits one of his two free throws for Fulton. With 1:42 to play in the game, Fulton has a 66-52 lead.

Zach Saller pulls down the offensive rebound for Fulton. The Pirates miss a layup. Saranac is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one opportunity. Blake Stanton gets the offensive rebound for Saranac. The Redskins miss a layup. Joe Iung is fouled and sinks two free throws to give Fulton a 68-52 lead with 1:17 to play.

Blake Stanton hits a layup for Saranac. Zach Saller is fouled and hits one of his two free throws for Fulton. Zach Saller steals the ball for the Pirates. Fulton misses a fast break layup. Zach Saller gets the offensive rebound for the Pirates. Fulton is fouled, but misses two free throws. Skylar Thompson passes to Parker Edwards, who hits a layup for Saranac. Fulton is fouled, but misses two free throws. Dezmond Blair gets the offensive rebound for the Pirates. The final buzzer makes its presence known to end the game.

Fulton wins 69-56.

Kai Beard led the Saranac scoring with 14 points. Skylar Thompson chipped in with 11 points. Blake Stanton joined his teammates in double figures with 10 points. Parker Edwards added 8 points. Isaiah Morgan scored 7 points. Jadeyn Thompson contributed 6 points.

Joe Iung had an excellent game; he led Fulton with 37 points. Bruce Thelen supported his teammate with 15 points. Xander Ramsey had 8 points – – all in the first half – – to help Fulton keep the game close. Zach Saller scored 7 points. Dezmond Blair added 2 points.

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