Morrice at Carson City-Crystal – – Girls Basketball – – The Bleacher Denizen – – February 24, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

Tonight, your Bleacher Denizen’s travels take him to Carson City, where the Carson City-Crystal Eagles will host the Morrice Orioles in the final girls basketball game of the regular season for both teams. Your Bleacher Denizen is recovering from having a cavity filled this afternoon, but the Novocain has worn off and he was able to eat dinner at the Middleton Diner. (I love that diner; it’s one of mid-Michigan’s treasures!)

The Morrice Orioles enter the game with a 10-5 record. They had a perfect record in the Genesee Area Conference – Blue Division and won the league championship.

Aubrey Rogers is an athletic player who defends well from anywhere on the court. She is excellent at slashing to the basket to score and she’s also a good ball handler. Abi Beem is an athletic perimeter player who has a nice three point shot, can slash to the basket and is a solid ball handler. Lily Nowak’s hands are quick, quick, quick and ball handlers need to be aware of her at all times. Makenzie Doerner has a fine basketball IQ. She is a hard worker who always knows where to be on offense or defense and moves the ball well.

Kaylee McGowan is a good defender and rebounder in the post. Mallory Munro is a fine perimeter defender who has a dangerous midrange shot.

Carson City-Crystal (hereafter known as CCC most of the time to save wear and tear on your aging Bleacher Denizen’s brittle fingers) comes into the game with a 12-7 record. They finished fourth in the Mid-State Activities Conference with an 11-5 record.

Kennedi Stout runs the point for the Eagles. She is an excellent shooter and ball handler who can score in bunches. This year, she had a 35 point game to set the Eagle Girls Single Game Scoring record. She can hit the three point shot or slash to the basket equally well. Aubrey Hessbrook is a great scorer and shooter who can also score from the three point line or on drives. She is also capable of erupting for 20 or more points in any game.

Paige Ewalt scores well in the paint and is also a threat from the three point line. She defends well in the post. Arija Adkins is a versatile defender who can handle opponents in the post or on the perimeter. Ella Hagerman is a tough defender and rebounder in the post. She is also able to hit the open three point shot. Jenna Brown brings a lot of energy to the Eagles; she is a major pest to opponents on defense and she runs the floor well.

I was able to see the JV game. The Orioles took an 11-1 lead at the end of the first quarter; they led all the way and won the game 37-25.

Addison Bolen led the Eagle JVs with 8 points. Karlee McCracken supported her teammate with 6 points. Elisha Gonzales tossed in 5 points. Jelynn Staff added 4 points and Elise Forist tallied 2 points.

Albri Larner led the victorious Oriole JVs with 21 points. Zora Persichini supported her teammate with 8 points. Kenzie Beem added 6 points and Lexi Rose put in 2 points.

Your Bleacher Denizen had an interesting senior moment when he discovered that he had not brought his note pad into the gym; he dashed out to his car and was able to get back; he only missed about four minutes of the JV game.

For the first time, I heard the Carson City-Crystal pep band play. They are excellent! The did a fine job with Louie Louie and several other songs.

It was Senior Night at CCC; all the seniors were introduced along with their parents (or another chaperone for exchange student Irene Luengo.) It’s always fun to see the pride on the faces of the students and parents on Senior Night.

It is now time to review the events of this game through the senior eyes of an aging Bleacher Denizen who was never able to escape church league when he attempted to play basketball in the days of yore. Coaches soured on him as a player when he could never learn to pass the ball only to people who were wearing uniforms of the same color he was wearing.

Morrice wins the opening tap. Arija Adkins knocks the ball away from the Orioles and Kennedi Stout picks the ball up for the Eagles. CCC misses a three point shot from the wing. The rebound goes out of bounds and Morrice takes possession. Morrice misses a fifteen foot shot from the side. CCC misses a layup. Paige Ewalt hits a putback to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

Morrice misses a layup. CCC misses a three point shot from the side. CCC misses a three pointer from the side and two putbacks. Morrice steals the ball so slickly and swiftly that your Bleacher Denizen is not able to identify the perpetrator. Jenna Brown steals the ball for CCC. Lily Nowak steals the ball for Morrice. CCC steals the ball so cleverly that your Bleacher Denizen misses that.

While the Bleacher Denizen is worrying about informing the authorities of this on-court crime wave, Arija Adkins passes to Aubrey Hessbrook, who banks in a six foot shot from the side of the lane for CCC. She is fouled on the play and hits her free throw to give CCC a 5-0 lead with 4:55 remaining in the first quarter.

Morrice misses a three point shot from the wing. Mallory Munro pulls down the offensive rebound for the Orioles. Morrice commits a double dribble violation. CCC misses a threeball from the corner. Morrice misses a fast break layup. CCC misses a threeball from the corner. Paige Ewalt grabs the offensive rebound for the Eagles. CCC misses a layup. Makenzie Doerner hits a layup for Morrice to trim the Eagle lead to 5-2.

CCC misses a three point shot from the corner. Ella Hagerman gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. CCC misses a three point shot from the corner. Makenzie Doerner passes to Mallory Munro, who hits a layup for Morrice. Arija Adkins passes to Paige Ewalt, who banks in a jumper from the free throw line to give CCC a 7-4 lead.

Morrice misses an eighteen foot shot from the wing. Aubrey Hessbrook passes to Paige Ewalt, who is fouled on a layup and hits two free throws to give her Eagles a 9-4 lead with 1:19 to play in the first quarter.

Morrice travels with the ball. CCC misses a three point shot from the wing. Makenzie Doerner passes to Aubrey Rogers, who takes a hard dribble and makes a fifteen foot shot from the side for the Orioles. CCC misses a three point shot from the wing. Morrice misses a forty foot fling at the buzzer. (OK, the fling was technically tossed at the basket, not the buzzer, but I hope you get the idea.)

After one quarter, CCC holds a 9-6 lead.

CCC inbounds the ball to start the second quarter. Paige Ewalt passes to Arija Adkins, who launches and hits a three point shot from the corner for the Eagles. Morrice misfires on a triple try from the wing. LIly Nowak knocks a CCC pass out of bounds; the Eagles retain possession. The Eagles miss a layup. Kennedi Stout knocks a pass out of bounds; the Orioles get the ball back. Lily Nowak catches an inbound pass and hits a layup to trim the Eagle lead to 12-8.

Lily Nowak steals the ball for Morrice. Morrice loses the ball out of bounds on the fast break. CCC misses a threeball from the wing. Ella Hagerman gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. CCC misses a three point attempt from the side. Morrice throws a pass out of bounds. Aubrey Hessbrook passes to Kennedi Stout, who is fouled on a layup. Kennedi Stout hits one of her two free throws to boost CCC to a 13-8 lead with 4:17 to play in the first half.

Kennedi Stout steals a Morrice pass into the lane. CCC misses a layup. Morrice misses a three point shot from the wing. Kaylee McGowan gets the offensive rebound for the Orioles. Morrice is fouled on a layup, but misses two free throws. CCC misfires on a threeball from the side. Mallory Munro passes to Aubrey Rogers, who makes a short drive and hits a twelve foot shot from the side to trim the CCC lead to 13-10.

CCC misses a three point shot from the corner. Aubrey Hessbrook knocks a Morrice pass out of bounds; the Orioles retain possession. Morrice misses a layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Orioles get another opportunity. CCC blocks a Morrice shot. Savannah Miles picks up the loose ball and hits a layup for Morrice to cut the CCC lead to 13-12.

Savannah Miles steals the ball for the Orioles. Morrice throws a pass out of bounds. Aubrey Rogers steals the ball for the Orioles and hits a fast break layup to give Morrice a one point lead. Aubrey Rogers steals the ball for Morrice. The Orioles miss a fast break layup. Makenzie Doerner hits a putback for Morrice. CCC has no time to shoot before the halftime buzzer makes its presence known.

Morrice has a 16-13 halftime lead.

Paige Ewalt leads the Eagle scoring with 6 points at halftime.

Aubrey Rogers leads Morrice with 6 points.

At time, the CCC Pom Pom Squad performed a nice, well-choreographed and well-executed routine. There was then a fund raising contest where donors each launched a paper airplane hoping to be closest to the eye of the Eagle on the CCC Mid-Court. After that, the band took over and played Louie Louie and Sweet Caroline. I was really impressed. I’m also a professional musician and love to salute music that is performed well by students.

For those of you who may be curious, here is a video from my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube Channel. It’s an oldie, but a goody that contains a lot of the silly, corny humor I use when I entertain seniors.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUieaBvS38w

Morrice inbounds the ball to get the third quarter underway. Makenzie Doerner passes to Aubrey Rogers, who throws in a threeball from the wing to boost Morrice to a six point lead. CCC dribbles into the lane and loses the ball out of bounds. Morrice throws a pass out of bounds. Kennedi Stout drives and is fouled on a six foot shot from the baseline. She hits one of her two free throws to trim the Morrice lead to 19-14 with 6:54 to play in the third quarter.

Paige Ewalt puts back the missed free throw to earn two more points for the Eagles. Morrice throws a pass out of bounds. CCC misses a three point shot from the wing. Morrice misses an eighteen footer from the wing. Kaylee McGowan snags the offensive rebound for the Orioles. Kennedi Stout steals the ball for the Eagles. CCC misses a threeball from the wing. Jenna Brown knocks the ball away from Morrice and Arija Adkins picks it up for CCC. The Eagles miss a three point shot from the side. Paige Ewalt is fouled on a putback and hits one of two free throws to trim the Oriole lead to 19-17 with 5:15 left in the third quarter.

Kennedi Stout knocks the ball away from Morrice and it is tied up. The Possession Arrow consults its international committee; they agree that Ms. Stout’s aggression was impressive and award the ball to CCC. CCC misses an eight foot shot from the side. Paige Ewalt tips a pass out of bounds; Morrice retains possession. Morrice misses a three pointer from the wing; Aubrey Rogers grabs the offensive rebound for the Orioles. Arija Adkins knocks the ball away from Morrice and Paige Ewalt picks it up for CCC.

The Eagles miss a fast break layup. In a deja vu moment, Arija Adkins knocks the ball away from Morrice and Paige Ewalt picks it up for CCC. CCC misses a three point shot from the side. The rebound is tied up. The Possession Arrow rules on its own and decrees that the ball shall go to CCC. Kennedi Stout drives the baseline and is fouled on a layup. She hits one of her two free throws to shave the Morrice lead to 19-18 with 3:12 to remaining in the quarter.

Morrice misses a three point shot from the wing. Aubrey Rogers is fouled on a putback and hits one of her two free throws to push Morrice to a two point lead. Paige Ewalt passes to Jenna Brown, who hits a layup for the Eagles to tie the game at 20-20.

Paige Ewalt knocks a Morrice pass out of bounds; the Orioles retain possession. Paige Ewalt knocks another pass out of bounds and Morrice retains possession again. Morrice misses a driving layup. Abi Beem hits a putback to give Morrice a two point lead. Arija Adkins passes to Paige Ewalt, who is fouled on a jumper from the free throw line. Paige Ewalt hits one of her two free throws to cut the Morrice lead to 22-21 with 1:42 to play in the third quarter.

Aubrey Rogers drives and dishes the ball to Savannah Miles, who hits a layup for Morrice. CCC misses a three point shot from the side. The rebound goes out of bounds and CCC gets the ball back. Aubrey Hessbrook is fouled on a layup and hits two free throws to shave the Oriole lead to 24-23 with 1:06 to play in the third quarter.

Morrice misses a jump shot from the free throw elbow. CCC misses a layup. Morrice misses a three point shot from the side. CCC misses a twelve foot shot from the side at the buzzer.

After three quarters, Morrice has a 24-23 lead.

Morrice inbounds the ball to start the fourth quarter. Aubrey Hessbrook knocks an Oriole pass out of bounds; Morrice gets the ball back. Morrice misses an eight foot shot in the lane. CCC throws a pass out of bounds. Aubrey Hessbrook steals the ball and hits a fast break layup to give CCC a 25-24 lead.

Kennedi Stout nearly steals the ball for CCC, but mer momentum makes her travel. A Morrice pass receiver catches the ball with a foot out of bounds. Paige Ewalt hits a jump shot from the free throw line for the Eagles. Morrice misses a three point shot near the top of the key. Paige Ewalt passes to Kennedi Stout, who hits a three point shot from the top of the key to boost the CCC lead to 30-24.

Morrice is whistled for a double dribble violation. CCC misses a layup. Arija Adkins gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Aubrey Rogers knocks the ball away from CCC, but the Eagles are able to recover. CCC misses an eight foot shot from the side of the lane. Morrice misses a jump shot. Makenzie Doerner runs down the long offensive rebound for the Orioles. Morrice misses a fifteen foot shot from the side. Mallory Munro is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws to whittle the CCC lead down to 30-26 with 4:57 remaining in the game.

CCC is whistled for a traveling violation. Aubrey Hessbrook gets her hand on the ball, but Morrice avoids a turnover. Morrice misses a three point shot from the side. Aubrey Rogers gets the offensive rebound for the Orioles. Morrice misses a three point shot from the side. Kaylee McGowan gets the offensive rebound for Morrice. Morrice misses a layup. The rebound is tied up. After consulting a panel of referees, the ball is awarded to CCC. The Eagles miss a three point shot from the side. Abi Beem passes to Mallory Munro, who hits an up and under layup to cut the CCC lead to 30-28.

CCC misses a driving banked hook and fouls Aubrey Rogers on the rebound. Aubrey Rogers makes both free throws in a one and one opportunity to tie the game at 30-30 with 3:01 remaining in the game.

CCC misses a three point shot from the side. Jenna Brown knocks the ball away from the Orioles and Aubrey Hessbrook picks it up for the Eagles. Aubrey Hessbrook goes coast to coast and hits a layup for the Eagles to give them a two point lead. Abi Beem hits a fifteen foot jumper from the side for Morrice to tie the game at 32-32.

Makenzie Doerner’s defense causes a CCC dribbler to lose the ball out of bounds. Kennedi Stout steals a Morrice pass. CCC is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity. The game remains tied at 32-32 with 1:23 left on the clock.

Morrice misses a jump shot; the rebound goes out of bounds and CCC gets the ball. Kaylee McGowan knocks the ball away from CCC and Aubrey Rogers picks it up for Morrice. Aubrey Rogers is fouled on a fast break layup and hits one of her two free throws. With 40.3 seconds to play, Morrice has a 33-32 lead.

CCC is fouled and misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity with 19.4 seconds left. Aubrey Rogers is fouled and hits both ends of a one and one opportunity with 17.4 seconds to go to give the Orioles a 35-32 lead.

Kennedi Stout drives and hits a layup to cut the Morrice lead to one point with 8.1 seconds to play. Morrice is fouled with 5.5 seconds left, but misses two free throws. Aubrey Rogers storms into the lane, grabs the rebound for Morrice and dribbles, first to the sideline and then makes an arc to the middle of the midcourt line as CCC players chase her and try to foul her. She is finally fouled with 1.6 seconds left. (In other words, she got the rebound and dribbled nearly 4 very important seconds off the clock.)

Aubrey Rogers hits two free throws with 1.6 seconds to go to boost Morrice to a 37-34 lead. Morrice misses a half court heave at the buzzer.

Morrice wins this exciting game by a 37-34 score.

Paige Ewalt led the Carson City-Crystal scoring with 12 points. Aubrey Hessbrook supported her with 9 points and Kennedi Stout added 8 points. Arija Adkins put in 3 points and Jenna Brown tallied 2 points.

Aubrey Rogers had 17 points to go with her extremely impressive play in the final part of the game. Mallory Munro chipped in with 6 points. Makenzie Doerner, Savannah Miles and Abi Beem each added 4 points. Lily Nowak scored 2 points.

Best of luck as these two teams play their districts next week. Morrice will play in the Division 4 District at Lansing Christian while Carson City-Crystal hosts a Division 3 District.

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