Montabella at Carson City-Crystal – – Boys Basketball – – The Bleacher Denizen – – March 3, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

In one of my videos on my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube Channel, I point out that you never know where the Red River Valley will lead.

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

Fortunately, while the Red Red River Valley does not lead to Carson City-Crystal High School, M-57 does. After nearly absent-mindedly missing his exit off US-127, your Bleacher Denizen successfully made the trip from Lansing to Carson City-Crystal with no bad weather, etc.

However, I need to learn how to get official recognition of my trips to schools as an “odyssey!” It just seems that “The Bleacher Denizen” could benefit from the additional gravitas of having his journeys being considered an odyssey. Alas, after extensive internet research, I still have not figured out how to get permission to rename my travels.

However, the boys basketball teams at Carson City-Crystal and Montabella have no time to worry about the Bleacher Denizen’s gravitas or his many sources of angst. They are playing for the championship of the Mid State Activities Conference tonight. The Mustangs from Montabella have already clinched at least a tie for the conference championship as they enter the game with a 14-1 conference record; they are 17-2 overall. The Eagles from Carson City-Crystal (hereafter mostly referred to as CCC to prevent arthritis in your Bleacher Denizen’s aging fingers) are 13-2 in the conference and 16-3 overall.

Thus, if Carson City-Crystal can win tonight, they will tie for the conference championship. If Montabella wins, they will not have to share the league title.

Montabella Coach Jared Simon gave me this information about his Mustang Team. J.T. Smith is a great team leader who is a fine passer, sees the floor well and can score either on slashes to the basket or from the three point line. He is also a strong perimeter defender. Drew Kelsey is a fine scorer in the post who rebounds and defends well near the basket. He can also hit midrange jumpers and three point shots.

Caleb Theisen provides a lot of energy for the Mustang perimeter defense. Dakota Dykhuis is a persistent perimeter defender who really rebounds well for a guard. Rayce Sackett is able to play in the post or on the perimeter. He is very athletic and a good rebounder; he is very good at scoring on the fast break as well. Evan Judge is a fine passer and ball handler who defends well on the perimeter. Austin Foster is a good rebounder who finishes well on the fast break and can hit the three point shot.

CCC Coach Cory Schneider provided me with this information about his Eagle players. Mason Smith is a junior who is in his third year of basketball. He runs the point and provides a lot of leadership to his team. He is a persistent defender who gets a lot of steals. On offense, he sees the floor really well and understands when to push things and when to be patient. He can slash to the basket for layups and also shoots well from the three point line.

Mitchell Wing is able to score in the post or hit three point shots. Jacob Stevens has a nice three point shot. Brayden Clark and Max Heleski are tough rebounders and defenders in the post; each of them scores well inside. Oisin O’Grady is an active perimeter defender.

I was able to see the last half of the JV game. The game was tied 17-17 at halftime. Montabella scored the first seven points of the third quarter and had a 24-20 lead as the fourth quarter started. The fourth quarter was back and fourth; CCC quickly got back in the game and took a 27-26 lead. The teams traded baskets for awhile before Brady Carlson split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 31-31 with a little over a minute to go.

Gavin Reeder hit a layup to give CCC a late two point lead, but Montabella got a layup to tie the game. With about ten seconds to play, Cooper Bolton blocked a CCC shot; after the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 33-33 and there was overtime.

Connor Ball stole the ball for Montabella and hit a fast break layup to give the Mustangs a 35-33 lead. Grayson Ackels hit a three point shot to give CCC a one point lead. Cooper Bolton hit a jump shot from the free throw elbow to retake the lead for Montabella, but that was the last of the Mustang JV scoring. Cole Smith hit a three point shot for CCC to give his team a 39-37 lead.

Grayson Ackels hit two free throws with eleven seconds to ice the lead. CCC won the JV game 41-39.

Cooper Bolton led the Montabella JVs with 12 points. Connor Ball contributed 9 points. Brady Carlson scored 7 points. Jesse Nessen put in 4 points. Gavin Willis added 3 points and Eli Rathka tallied 2 points.

Grayson Ackels led the victorious Eagle JVs with 14 points. Cole Smith joined him in double figures with 11 points. Gavin Reeder chipped in with 7 points. Klouse Andrews added 4 points; Connor McAlvey put in 3 points and Braylon Permenter scored 2 points.

Between the games, the CCC pep band entertained with some fine music, including Louie Louie and several other songs. (As I was a professional musician long before I started writing blogs, I always enjoy saluting a musical job well done by students!)

It was parent’s night, so all the seniors on the Pom team and the boys’ varsity basketball team were honored along with their parents.

It is now time to look through the events of this game through the occasionally observant 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. He was confused because he was complemented for laying bricks in his construction job, but apparently coaches frown upon throwing bricks during basketball games. The mind boggles – – –

CCC gets the opening tap. J.T. Smith knocks the ball away from CCC; the Eagles recover. The Eagles miss a six foot hook shot; Mitchell Wing hits a putback to give the Eagles the first two points of the game. J.T. Smith responds by hitting a fifteen foot shot from the side for Montabella to tie the game. Caleb Theisen steals the ball for the Mustangs. J.T. Smith spins and hits a six foot hook shot for Montabella. Mason Smith inbounds the ball to Brayden Clark, who hits a layup for CCC to tie the game at 4-4.

Montabella misses a three point shot from the wing. CCC misses a layup. J.T. Smith reacts quickly to throw the ball off a CCC player and out of bounds to avoid a Montabella turnover. Rayce Sackett passes to Drew Kelsey for a layup that gives the Mustangs a 6-4 lead.

Drew Kelsey knocks the ball away from a CCC dribbler and the Eagles lose the ball out of bounds. The Mustangs misfires on a threeball from the wing. Drew Kelsey gets the offensive rebound for the Mustangs. Drew Kelsey passes to J.T. Smith, who throws in a threeball from the side to give Montabella a 9-4 lead.

Rayce Sackett knocks the ball away from CCC; the Eagles recover. Mason Smith hits a layup for CCC. Montabella misses a three pointer from the wing. Mason Smith passes to Mitchell Wing, who hits a three point shot from the wing to tie the game at 9-9.

Montabella misses a three point shot from the wing. Mason Smith passes to Brayden Clark, who hits a layup to give CCC the lead. He is fouled on the play, but misses his free throw. With 1:02 to play in the first quarter, CCC has an 11-9 lead.

Mason Clark knocks a Mustang pass out of bounds; Montabella gets the ball back. Montabella misses a three pointer from the wing. Dakota Dykhuis knocks the ball away from CCC and J.T. Smith grabs it for Montabella. The Mustangs miss a three point shot from the wing at the buzzer.

Carson City-Crystal holds an 11-9 lead after one quarter of play.

Montabella inbounds the ball to start the second quarter. The Mustangs miss a three point shot from the wing and foul on the rebound. Mason Smith passes to Brayden Clark, who is fouled on a layup and hits one of hits two free throws for CCC. J.T. Smith passes to Drew Kelsey, who hits a six footer in the lane for the Mustangs. Mason Smith passes to Brayden Clark, who hits a layup for CCC. J.T. Smith passes to Dakota Dykhuis, who hits a layup for Montabella to trim the CCC lead to 14-13.

CCC misfires on a threeball from the wing. Montabella reciprocates and misfires on a threeball from the wing. Dakota Dykhuis gets the offensive rebound for the Mustangs. Montabella quickly misses two layups and gets two more offensive rebounds. Montabella misses one last putback and the ball goes out of bounds; Montabella gets another opportunity.

Oisin O’Grady knocks the ball away from the Mustangs and Brayden Clark picks it up for the Eagles. Mason Smith passes to Brayden Clark, who is cutting to the basket and hits a layup for the Eagles. Montabella misses a three point shot from the wing. Jacob Stevens passes to Mitchell Wing, who hits a three point shot near the top of the key to give CCC a 19-13 lead.

Montabella misfires on a threeball from the wing. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Mustangs get the ball back. J.T. Smith passes to Drew Kelsey, who takes a hard dribble and hits a layup for Montabella. CCC misses a short hook shot in the lane. Montabella misses a layup. Mitchell Wing hits a six foot hook shot in the lane to give the Eagles a 21-15 lead.

Montabella is whistled for a traveling violation. Drew Kelsey forces CCC to mishandle the ball and J.T. Smith steals it for Montabella. Montabella throws an outlet pass too long and out of bounds. Drew Kelsey blocks a CCC layup; the ball goes out of bounds and CCC gets another opportunity. The Eagles miss a three point shot from the wing. Montabella has no time to shoot before the halftime buzzer sounds.

Carson City-Crystal has a 21-15 halftime lead.

J.T. Smith has 7 points at halftime for Montabella and Drew Kelsey has 6 points.

Mitchell Wing has 10 points for CCC and Brayden Clark has 9 points.

At halftime, the Carson City-Crystal Pom Team performs and does a really nice well-choreographed and well-executed routine. The pep band plays a couple more songs before the third quarter starts.

Montabella inbounds the ball to open the third quarter. J.T. Smith throws in a threeball from the wing for the Mustangs. Rayce Sackett nearly steals the ball for Montabella, but it goes out of bounds and CCC gets it back. Caleb Theisen steals the ball for the Mustangs. Montabella misses a triple try from the corner. The rebound goes out of bounds and CCC gets the ball. A CCC pass into the lane goes out of bounds. A Montabella pass into the lane goes out of bounds. CCC misses a layup. J.T. Smith passes to Rayce Sackett, who hits a three point shot from the corner for Montabella to tie the game at 21-21.

Mason Smith passes to Mitchell Wing, who dribbles and hits a six foot hook shot in the lane for CCC to give the Eagles a two point lead. Montabella misses a three pointer from the top of the key. Caleb Theisen steals the ball for the Mustangs. Montabella misfires on a triple try from the corner.

CCC misses a layup. Jacob Stevens gets the offensive rebound for CCC. The Eagles miss a three point shot from the side. The rebound goes out of bounds and Montabella gets the ball. Montabella misses a threeball from the wing. CCC reciprocates and misses a threeball from the wing. Max Heleski gets the offensive rebound for CCC. The Eagles commit an offensive foul. Montabella misses a shot; Drew Kelsey soars and hits a putback for Montabella to tie the game at 23-23.

A traveling violation negates a CCC layup. Montabella misses a three point shot at the wing.

This battle for the league championship enters the fourth quarter tied at 23-23.

Montabella has the ball to open the fourth quarter. J.T. Smith passes to Drew Kelsey, who is fouled as he launches a three point shot. Drew Kelsey hits one, two, three free throws to give Montabella a 26-23 lead with 7:44 remaining in the game.

CCC misses a reverse layup. Max Heleski blocks a Montabella layup; the ball goes out of bounds and the Mustangs get another opportunity. Montabella misses a three point launch from the corner. CCC misses a driving layup. Montabella bounces a pass out of bounds. CCC misses a layup. Brayden Clark hits a putback to shave the Montabella lead to 26-25.

Montabella misses a three point shot from the wing. CCC misses a three pointer from the corner. Oisin O’Grady ties up the rebound. The Possession Arrow is quite impressed with Mr. O’Grady’s hustle and awards the ball to the Eagles. CCC misses a layup. Max Heleski gets the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Mason Smith drives and hits a layup to give CCC a 27-26 lead.

J.T. Smith drives the baseline and hits a reverse layup in traffic to give Montabella a one point lead. CCC misses a three point shot from the wing. Max Heleski hits a putback for the Eagles and CCC has a 29-28 lead.

Montabella misses a ten foot shot from the side of the lane. The rebound goes out of bounds and Montabella gets the ball back. Max Heleski steals the ball for the Eagles. Rayce Sackett steals the ball for Montabella. Mason Smith steals the ball for CCC and draws a foul. Dakota Dykhuis steals the Eagle inbound pass. (Your Bleacher Denizen worries about this athletic on court crime wave and feels his back pocket for his wallet.)

Montabella misses a three point shot from the wing. J.T. Smith gets the offensive rebound for the Mustangs. He passes to Drew Kelsey, who is fouled on a layup with 4.2 seconds left. He makes one of his two free throws to tie the game at 29-29.

Carson City-Crystal misses a long heave at the buzzer. The game is tied at 29-29 after four quarters and we have OVERTIME to determine the conference championship!

CCC wins the opening tap. The Eagles miss a threeball from the wing. Mason Smith pulls down the offensive rebound for the Eagles. CCC misses a threeball from the side. The rebound goes out of bounds and Montabella takes possession. Montabella misses a sixteen foot shot from the wing. Oisin O’Grady drives and scoops in a six foot shot in the lane to give CCC a 31-29 lead.

Montabella misses an eight foot runner from the side and fouls on the rebound. Montabella plays tough defense and CCC calls timeout to avoid turning the ball over for not crossing the midcourt line in ten seconds. Mason Smith is fouled and hits one of his two free throws to give the Eagles a 32-29 lead with 29.1 seconds left.

Montabella misses a three point shot from the corner. CCC rebounds the ball and holds it the last second or two before the final buzzer sounds.

Carson City-Crystal wins 32-29 to move into a tie with Montabella for the league championship.

J.T. Smith and Drew Kelsey each had 12 points to lead the Montabella scoring. Rayce Sackett scored 3 points and Dakota Dykhuis added 2 points.

Mitchell Wing led the Carson City-Crystal scoring with 12 points. Brayden Clark pitched in with 11 points. Mason Smith scored 5 points. Oisin O’Grady and Max Heleski each had 2 points.

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