Portland St. Patrick at Lansing Christian – – Boys Basketball – – The Bleacher Denizen – – February 25, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

Today was an interesting day for your Bleacher Denizen. I was going to do a game at Pewamo-Westphalia tonight, but with the snow, and especially after some real problems driving in snow last weekend, I chickened out about making the snowy drive at night on Grange Road. Lansing Christian is the closest high school to my house; they were playing Portland St. Patrick, so it was an obvious decision to come to this game tonight.

This afternoon, as I left the house to do an errand, my glasses, which had been slowly starting to fall apart, decided to cry for help. A mini-glasses screw fell out of the frame and cleverly hid itself in my carpet, so I added an errand of getting the glasses fixed. Meijer does not do glasses any more, but Walmart of all places fixed them for free. I guess this afternoon’s score was Bleacher Denizen 1 Glasses 0. (Even though I have worn glasses since I was nine, I still don’t really like wearing them.)

After doing a couple other semi-emergency errands, your Bleacher Denizen was able to finally get home and make the one mile trip to Lansing Christian. I’m proud to report that although the weather was quite cold, there were no driving mishaps. (Perhaps, they should name my route to Lansing Christian as “the miracle mile.”)

The Pilgrims from Lansing Christian enter this game with a 4-13 record. Before you make any assumptions, I will tell you that Lansing Christian is the only Division 4 team in a league with three teams (out of seven) in Division 2 and three teams in Division 3. To put it mildly, Lansing Christian plays a very challenging schedule.

Elijah Ellis runs the point for the Pilgrims. He is a fine ball handler who distributes the ball well and is a tough perimeter defender. Caden Kinnas and Benjamin Sullivan excel shooting the three point shot. Timothy Sullivan is a great rebounder who can slash to the basket. He is a good defender in the post or on the perimeter; he has a knack for drawing charging fouls. (I think I may have just gotten a bruise just thinking about the charging fouls. YEOWWW!)

Baylor Brogan defends and rebounds well in the post. He is excellent at running the floor on the fast break as well. Judah Schafer slashes to the basket effectively. Samuel Israel plays tough defense in the post. Noah Link helps out at the point guard position; he is generally able to keep things running when Elijah Ellis is not in the game. Dylan Kinnas is athletic and can hit the three point shot. August Granger is a tall guy who plays solid defense in the post and scores a lot of layups (and some dunks.)

The Shamrocks from Portland St. Patrick have a 2-14 record coming into the game. Again, I’ll point out that their record is misleading as well. They play almost all of their games in the rugged CMAC which has six really good Division 3 teams as well as Division 4 powers Fulton and Fowler.

Cole Kinsman runs the point for the Shamrocks. He is a good ball handler; on defense, he is really active and gets a lot of deflections; he also forces a lot of turnovers. Derec Fedewa is athletic and can score either with an accurate jump shot or on slashes to the basket. Shane Cook has a lot of varsity experience. He is a fine athlete who can handle the ball, score from the outside, slash to the basket and defend ferociously on the perimeter.

Alex Fedewa is a good defender and rebounder in the post. He is also a threat to slash to the basket or snipe away from the three point line. Braxton Teachworth is an athlete. In fact, he is probably the most athletic player on the floor in a lot of the Shamrock games. He is a quick jumper who can soar; he is a threat to block any shot. He also scores a lot on putbacks.

Payton Russman is a fine perimeter defender who can hit the three point shot; he also attacks the basket with no fear. Brayden Simon is a freshman who was already a varsity athlete as an eighth grader; he started on St. Patrick’s district-winning baseball team last year. He slashes to the basket well and can hit the three point shot. Landon Simpson is a good ball handler who is an energetic perimeter defender.

It is now time to report on the events of this game through the bleary, but frequently open eyes of an aging Bleacher Denizen who was never able to escape church league when he attempted to play basketball in the medieval days when many considered him to be “young.” Your Bleacher Denizen never developed the strength to accurately shoot the cannon balls that served as basketballs back in the day.

St. Patrick wins the opening tap. The Shamrocks miss a three pointer from the wing. The rebound goes out of bounds and Christian takes possession. Braxton Teachworth blocks a Pilgrim layup. August Granger knocks the ball out of bounds; St. Patrick gets the ball back. The Shamrocks miss an eight foot shot from the side of the lane. Braxton Teachworth soars and forces Christian to travel on a layup. Tim Sullivan steals the ball for the Pilgrims.

Christian misses a three point shot from the corner. Tim Sullivan draws a charging foul from St. Patrick. (OK, technically, it was one of the Shamrock players, not the saint, himself.) Christian misses a driving eight foot banked shot from the side. Elijah Ellis gets his hand on the ball and knocks it out of bounds; St. Patrick retains possession. The Shamrocks miss a layup. Caden Kinnas hits a fast break layup to give Christian the first two points of the game.

Ben Sullivan knocks the ball away from the Shamrocks and Caden Kinnas picks it up for the Pilgrims. Christian bounces a pass into the lane and out of bounds. Braxton Teachworth passes to Brayden Simon, who hits a layup for the Shamrocks. Braxton Teachworth knocks the ball away from the Pilgrims and Shane Cook picks it up for the Shamrocks. St. Patrick misses a fast break layup. Ben Sullivan goes coast to coast to hit a fast break layup that gives Christian the lead. Derec Fedewa is fouled on a driving layup and hits one of his two free throws. With 3:32 to play in the first quarter, Christian has a 4-3 lead.

Cole Kinsman steals a Pilgrim pass. Alex Fedewa spins into the lane and banks in a five foot shot to give his Pilgrims a one point lead. Christian misses a shot. St. Patrick is fouled on a shot, but misses two free throws. The Sullivan Connections comes through for Christian as Tim Sullivan passes to Ben Sullivan, who hits a three point shot from the wing to give the Pilgrims a 7-5 lead.

St. Patrick misses a shot. Christian misses a fast break layup. Cole Kinsman passes to Brayden Simon, who throws in a threeball from the corner to give St. Patrick a one point lead. Elijah Ellis passes to Ben Sullivan, who hits a three point shot from the wing to give Christian a 10-8 lead.

St. Patrick misses an eight foot shot from the baseline. Alex Fedewa knocks the ball out of bounds; St. Patrick takes possession. Alex Fedewa passes to Brayden Simon, who hits a ten foot shot off the dribble from the side to tie the game for St. Patrick. Christian misses a layup. Tim Sullivan blocks a Shamrock fast break layup. Christian misses an eight foot banked shot from the side. Shane Cook hits a jump shot for St. Patrick at the buzzer. At first, it was two points on the scoreboard, but the time the second quarter started, an extra point was put up for the Shamrocks.

After one quarter, while the Bleacher Denizen showed the Shamrocks with a two point lead, officially, St. Patrick led 13-10.

Christian inbounds the ball to start out the second quarter. Shane Cook steals the ball for the Shamrocks. St. Patrick misses a fast break layup. Braxton Teachworth steals the ball for the Shamrocks. Shane Cook is fouled on a fast break layup and hits one of his two free throws for St. Patrick. Shane Cook steals a Pilgrim pass. August Granger blocks a Shamrock fast break layup.

Baylor Brogan and August Granger team up to block a Shamrock layup; the ball goes out of bounds and St. Patrick gets another opportunity. St. Patrick misses a jumper from the free throw line. August Granger passes the ball to Caden Kinnas, who hits a ten foot shot from the baseline for Christian. Patrick Russman passes to Shane Cook, who is fouled on a six foot driving banked shot. Shane Cook hits two free throws to give St. Patrick a 16-12 lead with 6:36 remaining in the first half.

Christian misses a threeball from the top of the key. St. Patrick misses a threeball from the wing. Christian loses a fast break pass out of bounds. St. Patrick misfires on a triple try from the side. Brayden Simon grabs the offensive rebound for the Shamrocks. Alex Fedewa drives and is fouled on an eight footer from the baseline. Alex Fedewa hits one of his two free throws to give St. Patrick a 17-12 lead with 5:19 left on the first half clock.

Samuel Israel passes to Caden Kinnas, who throws in a threeball from the corner for Christian. St. Patrick drives the baseline, but misses a layup. Tim Sullivan passes to Caden Kinnas, who hits a three point shot from the wing to give Christian an 18-17 lead.

St. Patrick misses a layup. Braxton Teachworth gets the offensive rebound for the Shamrocks. St. Patrick is fouled on a layup, but misses two free throws. Shane Cook pulls down the offensive rebound and passes to Braxton Teachworth, who hits a layup to give St. Patrick a 19-18 lead.

Brayden Simon gets his hand on the ball; Christian loses it out of bounds. Samuel Israel soars through the air to knock a St. Patrick outlet pass out of bounds; the Shamrocks retain possession. Baylor Brogan steals the ball for Christian. Christian misses a fast break layup; Tim Sullivan is fouled on a putback. He hits one of his two free throws to tie the game at 19-19 with 2:52 to play in the half.

Samuel Israel’s tough defense forces a Shamrock dribbler to travel with the ball. (Basketball cliches can be odd sometimes; I don’t think that traveling without the ball is terribly noteworthy.) Cole Kinsman knocks the ball away from Christian and Shane Cook picks it up for St. Patrick. Baylor Brogan knocks the ball away from St. Patrick and Elijah Ellis picks it up for Christian. Elijah Ellis takes the ball in for a fast break layup to give the Pilgrims a 21-19 lead.

St. Patrick misfires on a threeball from the corner. Elijah Ellis passes to Tim Sullivan, who hits a layup for Christian and is fouled. His made free throw gives Christian a 24-19 lead with 1:06 remaining in the first half.

St. Patrick is fouled, but misses the first shot in a one and one free throw opportunity. Shane Cook steals the ball for the Shamrocks. Caden Kinnas steals the ball for the Pilgrims. Christian juggles a pass on the fast break and is whistled for a traveling violation. Tim Sullivan draws a charging foul from the Shamrocks. Tim Sullivan is fouled and makes both ends of a one and one free throw opportunity with 8.4 seconds left in the half. St. Patrick misses a three point shot from the side as the halftime buzzer makes its presence known.

At halftime, Lansing Christian holds a 26-19 lead.

Brayden Simon has 7 points and Shane Cook has 6 points to lead the St. Patrick scoring at halftime.

Caden Kinnas had 10 points, Ben Sullivan has 8 points and Tim Sullivan has 6 points for Lansing Christian.

As there is no halftime entertainment, I hope to provide some here with videos from my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube Channel. As both schools are Christian schools, I will take the liberty of providing three You Tube videos of songs from my religious CD! Two of them show only pictures, as I had not started doing videos of me singing and playing the songs yet.

Here’s an original song called “John 3:16”. This one is special to me because my father who has gone off to heaven helped write over half the lyrics to this song.

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

This one, “Christ’s Army” sounds like a Beach Boys or Jan and Dean song, but the words and music are original. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN0-4a2TpaI

Here’s an old classic where you can actually see me singing and playing the piano. “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” has been one of my live performance favorites for years!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0IFWZLHHuc

(For anyone who are interested, there are two other original religious songs on my channel.)

OK. Usually I try to keep the focus on the players. It’s time to get away from my cry for attention and get back to watching the players play the second half of this competitive game!!

St. Patrick inbounds the ball to get the third quarter underway. Tim Sullivan draws another charging foul from the Shamrocks. (The Bleacher Denizen’s bones develop a sympathy bruise.) Caden Kinnas hits a sixteen foot shot from the baseline for the Pilgrims. August Granger blocks a Shamrock layup; the ball goes out of bounds and St. Patrick gets another opportunity. Shane Cook inbounds the ball to Braxton Teachworth, who is fouled on a layup. Braxton Teachworth hits one of his two free throws. With 7:07 to go in the third quarter, Christian has a 28-20 lead.

Braxton Teachworth draws a charging foul to negate a Christian layup. Caden Kinnas knocks the ball away from St. Patrick and Elijah Ellis picks it up for Christian. Tim Sullivan is fouled on a fast break layup and hits one of his two free throws for the Pilgrims. Baylor Brogan knocks the ball away from St. Patrick; Elijah Ellis picks it up for Christian and breaks away for a fast break layup to boost the Pilgrim lead to 31-20.

August Granger blocks a St. Patrick layup; the rebound goes out of bounds and the Shamrocks get another opportunity. Tim Sullivan steals the ball for the Pilgrims. Christian misses a three point shot from the wing. Shane Cook hits a ten foot banked shot off the dribble from the side for St. Patrick. Braxton Teachworth gets his hand on the ball; it goes out of bounds and St. Patrick gets the ball. The Shamrocks miss a layup. Landon Simpson gets the offensive rebound for the Shamrocks. Alex Fedewa throws in a threeball from the side to trim the Pilgrim lead to 31-25.

Shane Cook blocks a Pilgrim triple try from the side. Caden Kinnas recovers the ball and is fouled on a layup. He makes two free throws to give Christian a 33-25 lead with 4:25 to go in the third quarter.

St. Patrick loses the ball out of bounds against the Christian press. Dylan Kinnas hits a three point shot from the side for the Pilgrims. Alex Fedewa throws in another threeball, this time from the corner, for St. Patrick. Brayden Simon steals the ball for the Shamrocks. St. Patrick misses a fast break layup. Brayden Simon knocks the ball out of bounds; Christian retains possession. Samuel Israel passes the ball to Judah Schafer, who hits a twelve foot shot in the lane for Christian. St. Patrick is fouled on a driving layup, but misses two free throws. With 3:07 remaining in the third quarter, the Christian lead is at 38-28.

Judah Schafer drives and hits a layup for Christian. St. Patrick misses a three point shot from the wing. Patrick Russman gets the offensive rebound for the Shamrocks. St. Patrick is fouled on a layup, but misses two free throws. Payton Russman gets the offensive rebound for St. Patrick. Shane Cook passes to Payton Russman, who quickly relays the ball to Braxton Teachworth, who is fouled as he shoots a layup. Braxton Teachworth hits one of his two free throws. With 2:25 to go in the third quarter, the Christian lead is at 40-29.

Shane Cook grabs the offensive rebound from the missed free throw. The Shamrocks lose a pass out of bounds. Derec Fedewa gets his hand on a Pilgrim pass; the ball goes out of bounds and Christian retains possession. Christian misses a driving layup. Derec Fedewa drives and hits a layup in traffic for the Shamrocks. August Granger hits a layup to give the Pilgrims a 42-31 lead.

St. Patrick misses a layup. Dylan Kinnas blocks a Shamrock putback. Shane Cook knocks the ball away from the Pilgrims, but Christian is able to recover. Christian misses a layup. Baylor Brogan gets the offensive rebound for the Pilgrims. Braxton Teachworth blocks a Christian layup. Derec Fedewa is fouled on a jump shot from the free throw line and hits two free throws for St. Patrick to trim the Christian lead to 42-33 with 54 seconds to go in the quarter.

Cole Kinsman ties up the ball for St. Patrick. After consulting a panel of washing machine repairmen, the Bleacher Denizen decrees that Christian shall have the ball. Shane Cook blocks a Pilgrim shot. The Shamrocks foul trying to retrieve the loose ball. Christian misses a driving five foot banked shot. Tim Sullivan is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws to boost Christian to a 44-33 lead with 30.1 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Elijah Ellis steals the ball for Christian. Elijah Ellis scores two points when his layup is goaltended. (Wow. Your Bleacher Denizen’s church league coach never, ever had to worry about the Bleacher Denizen breaking the rules and committing a goaltending violation! He had way too much respect for the game to even think of doing such a thing!!! Those of you who point out that the Bleacher Denizen’s jumping ability in his youth was comparable to a hippopotamus with a sprained ankle are just being cynical!!)

August Granger blocks a Shamrock shot; the loose ball goes out of bounds and St. Patrick gets another opportunity. St. Patrick misfires on a triple try from the corner at the buzzer.

With three quarters in the books, Christian is holding a 46-33 lead.

St. Patrick inbounds the ball to commence the fourth quarter. (Once in awhile, in an attempt to appear to be literate, your Bleacher Denizen likes to throw in high falutin’ words like “commence.” However, I don’t know if it will ever be enough to get a Pulitzer Prize.) Tim Sullivan ignores the Bleacher Denizen’s literary pretensions and gets his hands on a Shamrock pass. St. Patrick recovers the ball and is fouled. The Shamrocks miss the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity.

Christian misses a driving layup. St. Patrick misses a ten foot shot in the lane. Brayden Simon knocks the offensive rebound to Cole Kinsman, who secures it for the Shamrocks. St. Patrick misses a six foot banked shot. Christian turns the ball over. Elijah Ellis steals the ball and hits a fast break layup for Christian. St. Patrick misses a threeball from the wing. Brayden Simon hits a putback for the Shamrocks and is fouled, but misses his free throw. With 6:49 remaining in the contest, Christian has a 48-35 lead.

Shane Cook gets the offensive rebound for the Shamrocks. St. Patrick misses a jumper off the dribble from the free throw line. Ben Sullivan drives the baseline and hits a layup for Christian. St. Patrick misses a threeball from the wing; Brayden Simon snares the offensive rebound for the Shamrocks. Payton Russman passes to Braxton Teachworth, who hits a three point shot from the top of the key to trim the Pilgrim lead to 50-38.

Braxton Teachworth steals the ball for the Shamrocks. St. Patrick misses a threeball from the corner. Braxton Teachworth blocks a Pilgrim fast break layup. Brayden Simon is fouled and hits two free throws for St. Patrick to close the Pilgrim lead to 50-40 with 5:06 left on the clock.

Noah Link passes to August Granger, who throws down a dunk for Christian. Baylor Brogan blocks a Shamrock jumper from the free throw line. (For someone who has not scored in the game, I sure seem to be typing Mr. Brogan’s name a lot. It just goes to show that there are so many ways you can help your team, even if you are not scoring!) Shane Cook is fouled on a ten foot shot in the lane. He hits one of his two free throws to trim the Christian lead to 52-41 with 4:51 left in the game.

Landon Simpson knocks the ball out of bounds; Christian retains possession. Payton Russman and Landon Simpson clamp down on Christian with a ferocious double team that forces Christian to call time out to avoid a turnover. When play resumes, Noah Link passes to Ben Sullivan, who hits a three point shot from the wing for Christian. Baylor Brogan blocks a Shamrock jumper from the free throw line. Christian misses a shot. Judah Schafer gets the offensive rebound for the Pilgrims. Christian is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one free throw opportunity. With 3:57 to go, the Pilgrim lead is at 55-41.

Samuel Israel blocks a Shamrock ten foot shot in the lane and ties up the ball. The Possession Arrow’s panel of dishwashing liquid researchers decides to reward Mr. Israel’s hustle and grants the ball to Christian. Judah Schafer is fouled on a layup and hits two free throws for Christian. St. Patrick is whistled for a traveling violation. Christian misses a threeball from the wing. Ben Sullivan is fouled on the rebound and makes both ends of a one and one opportunity to give Christian a 59-41 lead with 3:04 remaining in the game.

St. Patrick misses a driving layup. Braxton Teachworth hits a putback for the Shamrocks. He is fouled on the play, but misses his free throw. Christian loses the ball out of bounds. St. Patrick misses a layup. Alex Fedewa hits a putback for the Shamrocks. Shane Cook gets his hand on the ball; it goes out of bounds and St. Patrick gets the ball. Cole Kinsman passes the ball to Shane Cook, who hits a three point shot from the side to cut the Christian lead to 59-48.

Cole Kinsman steals the ball and is fouled on a fast break layup. He hits two free throws to pull St. Patrick to within nine points at 59-40 with 1:40 left in the game.

The game is interrupted so that the announcer can let the Christian fans know that Mia Judd scored her 1000th point for the Pilgrims in tonight’s girls game at Maple Valley. Congratulations to Mia Judd on a fine Pilgrim career!!

Christian misses a fast break layup. August Granger knocks the ball out of bounds to prevent a Shamrock layup. The ball goes out of bounds and St. Patrick gets the ball back. Cole Kinsman inbounds the ball to Shane Cook, who hits a three point shot from the side to chop the Pilgrim lead to six points. Elijah Ellis is fouled and hits two free throws for the Pilgrims to extend their lead to 61-53 with 1:18 to go.

St. Patrick misses a layup. Braxton Teachworth is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws for St. Patrick to pull the Shamrocks to within six points. Braxton Teachworth knocks the ball out of bounds; Christian retains possession. Christian misses a twelve foot shot from the side. St. Patrick misses a ten foot banked shot from the side. Christian is fouled, but misses two free throws. With 33 seconds to play in the game, Christian’s lead is at 61-55.

Shane Cook bursts into the lane and hits an eight foot shot to bring his Shamrocks to within four points. Ben Schafer is fouled and hits two free throws to give Christian a 63-57 lead with 11.8 seconds to play.

St. Patrick throws a pass out of bounds. Caden Kinnas is fouled with 5.7 seconds to go and hits one of his two free throws. St. Patrick misses a three point shot from the wing at the buzzer.

Lansing Christian wins this game by a 64-57 score.

Shane Cook had 15 points to lead the St. Patrick scoring. Braxton Teachworth supported his teammate with 13 points. Alex Fedewa and Brayden Simon each had 11 points. Derec Fedewa scored 5 points and Cole Kinsman tallied 2 points.

Ben Sullivan led Lansing Christian with 17 points. Caden Kinnas chipped in with 15 points. Elijah Ellis joined his teammates in double figures with 10 points. Tim Sullivan scored 9 points. Judah Schafer added 6 points. August Granger put in 4 points and Dylan Kinnas had 3 points.

The Bleacher Denizen looks forward to seeing both girls’ teams in next week’s District at Lansing Christian. Both the boys teams will play in the Fowler District the week after; the Bleacher Denizen will also write up the games in that district.


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