Fowler at Pewamo-Westphalia – – CMAC Girls Basketball Game of the Week – – The Bleacher Denizen – – January 26, 2023 – – by Chuck Krafft
Tonight, your Bleacher Denizen is driving on some snowy roads to Westphalia so he can was the Pewamo-Westphalia Pirate Girls host the Fowler Eagle Girls in a CMAC Basketball game.
To get here from Lansing, I have to take I-96 to Grange Road. Tonight, it got foggy right as I got off the expressway to get onto a mildly icy Grange Road. Of course, Grange Road is the classic road featured in every horror movie. Especially when the weather is not good, it’s a dark, curvy road that even has a cemetery on it to bring out the eerieness. (Oops, spell check says “eerieness” is not a word!! Thus, I will be forced to type that it’s a dark, curvy road that even has a cemetery on it to bring out the “eeriness.”)
I guess even aging Bleacher Denizens can learn new words when forced to. For now, the score is Spell Check 1 – – Bleacher Denizen 0, but the Bleacher Denizen will be looking for opportunities to tie the score!!
Anyway, in the fog, the drive along Grange road was spoo-poo-pooky, but I got here in time to see the second half of the JV game. (Alas, the spell check did not like spoo-poo-pooky either, but I refuse to be bullied! Ignorant, maybe, but bullied, NEVER!! But, OK. Spell Check 2 – – Bleacher Denizen 0)
When I got here for the JV game, Fowler had an 11-6 lead at halftime. Fowler scored 14 points to P-W’s 2 in the third quarter to break the game open and won by a final score of 36-17.
Emerie Smith led the P-W JVs with 5 points. Lilly Anderson scored 3 points. Taylor Nurenberg, Sophie Hengesbach, Ellie Farmer and Maddy Weber each added 2 points and Carlee Fox tallied 1 point.
Elizabeth Hufnagel and Selena Stump each had 7 points to lead the Fowler scoring. Olivia Thelen contributed 5 points. Megan Hufnagel chipped in with 4 points. Kelcie Pung and Paige Thelen each scored 3 points. Neelah O’Rourke, Brooke Weber and Josie Simon each put in 2 points. Saige Miller added 1 point.
While we wait for the varsity game to start, we can listen to this honky tonk Western piano tune from my You Tube Channel. (There are words to the song, but I have never felt I sing it well. Country piano superstar Floyd Cramer came to my rescue by doing a piano only version of the song that this arrangement is based on.) Here is Rose of San Antone!!!
Pewamo-Westphalia’s Pirate girls head into this game with an 8-4 record. The last time I saw the Pirates play, Coach Steve Eklund provided this information about his players.
Sierra Schneider is a tall and intimidating defensive presence in the middle who rebounds well and is a strong inside scorer. Mackenna Weber is an excellent perimeter defender. Brynn Bauer runs the point for the Pirates. She is a good perimeter defender who handles the ball and attacks the basket well. Logan Drake is an excellent defender in the post; she blocks many shots. Elly Bengel is a freshman, but she is already a big threat from the three point line.
Brooke Spitzley brings good energy to the Pirate perimeter defense. Kierstyn Griesmer and Alonna Thelen can hit shots from outside.
Fowler enters the game with an 8-6 record, but this is a little misleading because returning All-State player Emma Riley has missed most of the season with an ankle injury and has only played in a few games.
Emma Riley is about as complete a guard as you will find on the high school level. She is a fine leader and strong in all facets of the game. She is a clever ball-handler, a quick and determined defender and an excellent scorer on drives to the basket, midrange shots and from the three point line. She will probably by playing limited minutes tonight, but will make Fowler a better team just by being on the court.
Avery Koenigsknecht is a returning starter from last year’s state championship team. She has a fine three point shot and excels on defense with incredible drive and energy. Grace Epkey is one of the most versatile defenders in high school basketball. She can blanket just about any opponent either in the lane or on the perimeter. Her toughness contributes to her excellent rebounding. On offense, she is excellent getting to the basket and scoring or hitting putbacks, and she can also shoot from the three point line.
Katie Spicer is a sophomore who got a lot of playing time when Emma Riley was out with her injury. She is a fine ball handler and can be a creative scorer when she drives to the basket. Quinn Watts brings a lot of energy and determination to the Eagle perimeter defense.
The Pirate Pep band entertained before the game with a lot of fine songs including “Louie Louie” (which I do sing) and the Pirate Fight Song!
It is now time to look through the events of this game through the aging, cracking lenses of an aging, cracking Bleacher Denizen who was never able to escape church league when he attempted to play basketball in the olden days. It took him too long to learn that while his supervisor at the brick factory wanted him to make lots of bricks, his basketball coach was not nearly as enthusiastic about them. Some of us learn faster than others, I guess!
P-W wins the opening tap. Katie Spicer’s fierce defense causes the Pirates to step on the baseline. Avery Koenigsknecht hits a sixteen foot shot off the dribble from the wing to give Fowler the first two points of the game. Katie Spicer keeps up her intensity and ties up the ball in the lane. The Possession Arrow is eating its lunch, looks up from its sandwich and awards the ball to Fowler. Avery Koenigsknecht whips a cross court pass to Taylor Weber, who hits a three point shot from the side to give Fowler a 5-0 lead.
P-W throws a pass out of bounds. Fowler misses a threeball from the side. Quinn Watts pulls down the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Fowler misses a layup and the rebound is tied up. The Possession Arrow takes a moment out from wiping its face and gives the ball to P-W. Grace Epkey ties up the ball. The Possession Arrow is irritated at having its lunch interrupted for the third time and threatens to quit if it is bothered again before it finishes eating. It grudgingly awards the ball to Fowler.
Makenna Weber knocks the ball away from Fowler and Sierra Schneider picks it up for P-W. Brynn Bauer passes to Sierra Schneider, who hits a layup for the first two Pirate points. She is fouled on the play and sinks her free throw. With 4:49 to play in the first quarter, Fowler’s lead is at 5-3.
Fowler misses a hook shot in the lane. Grace Epkey hits a putback for the Eagles. Avery Koenigsknecht steals the ball for the Eagles. Brynn Bauer steals the ball for the Pirates. Sierra Schneider ends this on-court crime wave when she is fouled on a six foot shot in the lane and hits two free throws to cut the Fowler lead to 7-5 with 3:27 left in the quarter.
Grace Epkey drives and hits a layup for Fowler. P-W throws the ball out of bounds. Brooke Spitzley gets her hand on the ball and Logan Drake picks it up for P-W. Brynn Bauer drives from the side and hits a layup for P-W. Emma Riley is now in the game and passes to Grace Epkey, who hits a layup to give the Eagles an 11-7 lead.
P-W misses a layup and fouls on the rebound. Brynn Bauer steals the ball for the Pirates. (I had never thought about that phrase before, but somehow, a Pirate making a steal seems so appropriate!) Avery Koenigsknecht shows that Eagles can steal too, when she purloins a Pirate pass in the lane. Fowler throws a pass out of bounds. P-W misses a threeball from the wing. Brynn Bauer hits the floor to steal the ball for the Pirates. P-W commits an offensive foul. Fowler does not have time to shoot before the first quarter buzzer makes its presence known.
After one quarter, Fowler has an 11-7 lead.
The band plays a great version of “Happy Together” by the Turtles, which was a huge hit in the truly ancient times when the Bleacher Denizen was in elementary school. (1965, I believe.) I have always loved that song although I have never performed it in any situation.
P-W inbounds the ball to begin the second quarter. Brynn Bauer passes to Elly Bengel, who hits a three point shot from the wing to chop the Eagle lead down to one point. Grace O’Hare passes to Taylor Weber, who responds by hitting a three point shot from the wing to restore the Fowler lead to four points at 14-10.
P-W misses a layup. Sierra Schneider pulls down the offensive rebound for the Pirates. P-W misses a layup and gets another offensive rebound. (Your Bleacher Denizen was not quick enough with his note taking and apologizes to the Pirate who made the fine play that he missed.) P-W misses a twelve foot shot from the wing. Taylor Weber passes to Grace O’Hare, who makes a three point shot from the wing for Fowler. Brynn Bauer hits a three point shot from the corner for P-W to cut the Fowler lead to 16-13.
Elly Bengel steals the ball for P-W. P-W is fouled on a fast break layup, but misses two free throws. Elly Bengel knocks a Fowler pass out of bounds; the Eagles retain possession. Sierra Schneider knocks the ball away from Fowler, but the Eagles recover. Kelcie Pung throws in a threeball to give Fowler a 19-13 lead.
Kelcie Pung taps the ball and a Pirate dribbler loses it out of bounds. Fowler misses a three point shot from the wing. P-W misses a ten footer off the dribble from the baseline. Fowler misses a jump shot from the free throw elbow. The rebound is tied up. The Possession Arrow has finished its lunch, but is awakened from its nap to make a decision. It groggily awards the ball to Fowler. The Eagles turn the ball over. Logan Drake is fouled and sinks both ends of a one and one free throw opportunity to trim the Eagle lead to 19-16 with 3:00 left on the first half clock.
Emma Riley bursts into the lane and banks in a ten foot shot for the Eagles. Quinn Watts knocks the ball out of bounds, but P-W retains possession. P-W misses a threeball from the side. Fowler misses an eight foot banked shot from the side. Kelcie Pung steals the ball for Fowler. Fowler misses a driving layup. Quinn Watts grabs the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Fowler misses a seventeen foot shot from the wing.
P-W misses an eight footer from the side. Brooke Spitzley steals the ball for the Pirates. P-W misses a fast break layup. A Fowler dribbler loses the ball out with just 3.1 seconds remaining in the half. P-W misses a long heave at the buzzer.
Fowler has a 21-16 halftime lead.
Elly Bengel leads the P-W scoring at halftime with 6 points and Sierra Schneider has 5 points.
Taylor Weber and Grace Epkey each have 6 points for Fowler.
The Pirate pep band entertains some more at halftime. They did a nice job and I particularly enjoyed “Zoot Suit Riot!”
For those of you who can’t hear the band, maybe you can enjoy this Boogie Woogie instrumental from my You Tube Channel!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1MxOus8t44
P-W inbounds the ball to open quarter number three. Makenna Weber passes to Sierra Schneider, who makes a short drive and hits a layup for the Pirates. Fowler misses a ten foot shot off the dribble from the side of the lane. Brynn Bauer passes to Elly Bengel, who hits a three point shot from the side for P-W to tie the game at 21-21.
Fowler misfires on a triple try from the side. Taylor Weber ties up the ball. The Possession Arrow, which has woken from its nap, sticks its head out of the running shower and awards the ball to Fowler. Brynn Bauer knocks the ball away from Fowler and Makenna Weber grabs it for P-W. P-W is fouled on an eight footer from the side of the lane, but misses both free throws. With 5:54 to play in the third quarter, the game is tied at 21-21.
Sierra Schneider pulls down the offensive rebound for the Pirates. P-W misses a driving layup. Fowler misses a threeball from the side. The rebound goes out of bounds and the Eagles get another opportunity. Makenna Weber steals the ball for the Pirates. P-W misses an eight footer from the baseline. Taylor Weber passes to Grace O’Hare, who drops a threeball through the hoop to give Fowler a 24-21 lead.
P-W misses a layup and fouls on the rebound. Emma Riley makes a great move to open a lane and bursts to the basket for a Fowler layup. Emma Riley steals the ball for the Eagles. Fowler fumbles a pass out of bounds. Brooke Spitzley drives from the wing and hits a layup to trim the Fowler lead to 26-23.
Fowler misses a reverse hook/layup. Emma Riley hits the floor to steal the ball for Fowler. Elly Bengel steals the ball for P-W. (The Bleacher Denizen pats his wallet to make sure that he is not a victim of this on-court crime spree!) P-W ignores the Bleacher Denizen’s angst, but misses a driving layup anyway. Fowler drives and misses a layup. The rebound goes out of bounds and Fowler gets the ball back. Fowler drives and misses another layup.
P-W misses a three point attempt from the side. Brynn Bauer gets the offensive rebound for the Pirates. P-W misses a layup. Fowler misses a jumper from the free throw line. Avery Koenigsknecht is fouled on a putback and hits two free throws for Fowler to extend the lead to 28-23 with 1:35 remaining in the third quarter.
P-W misses a driving layup. Grace Epkey passes to Taylor Weber, who hits a three point shot from the corner for Fowler to boost the Eagle lead to eight points. Alonna Thelen passes to Sierra Schneider, who hits a layup for the Pirates. Fowler is fouled on a driving layup, but misses two free throws. Brynn Bauer drives and hits a layup for P-W. Fowler misses a three point try from the top of the key. P-W misses a three quarter court heave at the buzzer.
After three quarters, Fowler has a 31-27 lead.
P-W inbounds the ball to open the fourth quarter. Bryn Bauer is fouled on a ten foot hook shot from the side of the lane thirty seconds into the quarter and hits two free throws for the Pirates. Fowler misses a threeball from the side. P-W misses a six foot banked shot from the side. Kelcie Pung passes to Grace O’Hare, who throws in a threeball from the wing to boost the Fowler lead to 34-29.
P-W misses a ten footer in the lane. Elly Bengel snags the offensive rebound for the Pirates. P-W misses a layup. Fowler misses a driving layup. Taylor Weber pulls down the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Fowler is fouled on a layup, but misses two free throws. Makenna Weber passes the ball to a Pirate teammate who is fouled on a layup, but misses two free throws. With 5:44 left in the game, the Fowler lead remains at 34-29.
Brynn Bauer grabs the offensive rebound for P-W. Avery Koenigsknecht steals the ball for Fowler and passes to Grace O’Hare, who hits a fast break three point shot from the wing for Fowler to give the Eagles an eight point lead at 37-29.
Logan Drake passes to Sierra Schneider, who hits a layup, is fouled and makes her free throw for P-W. Grace Epkey is fouled on a driving layup and hits one of her two free throws for the Eagles. Elly Bengel drives from the wing and hits a layup for P-W. She is fouled on the play and hits her free throw to trim the Fowler lead to 38-35 with 3:29 left on the clock.
Sierra Schneider quickly seems to appear from nowhere and blocks a Fowler layup; the loose ball goes out of bounds and Fowler gets it back. Emma Riley is fouled and hits two free throws to extend the Fowler lead to 40-35 with 3:11 remaining.
P-W misses a three point shot from the side. Fowler misses a driving scooping layup. P-W misses a driving layup. Emma Riley makes a clever dribble move and scoots in for an Eagle layup to extend the Fowler lead to seven points. Brooke Spitzley drives and scoops in a layup for P-W. Emma Riley drives and hits a reverse layup to give Fowler a 44-37 lead.
Elizabeth Hufnagel, who also played in the JV game, is in this game at a critical time late in the fourth quarter. She proves she belongs by knocking the ball away from P-W and causing a scrum that ends when Fowler is whistled for traveling. (This did allow some extra time to run off the clock.) P-W misses a layup, but Sierra Schneider hits a putback for the Pirates. Fowler is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one opportunity. With 51.4 seconds remaining in the game, Fowler’s lead is at 44-39.
Brooke Spitzley passes to Makenna Weber, who hits a three point shot from the side to slash the Fowler lead down to two points. Fowler is fouled, but misses the first shot of a one and one opportunity. Elizabeth Hufnagel makes another big play as she pulls down the offensive rebound for the Eagles. Fowler is fouled, but misses two free throws. With 16.1 seconds to go, Fowler’s lead remains at 44-42.
Grace Epkey knocks the rebound away from P-W and Avery Koenigsknecht grabs the ball for Fowler. Avery Koenigsknecht is fouled with 13.3 seconds to play and hits two free throws to give the Eagles a four point lead. Elizabeth Hufnagel completes a trifecta of big late game fourth quarter plays as she steals the ball and waits for the final buzzer to sound.
Fowler wins this CMAC Girls Game of the week by a 46-42 score.
Sierra Schneider scored 14 points to lead Pewamo-Westphalia’s scoring. Elly Bengel joined her teammate in double figures with 12 points. Brynn Bauer contributed 7 points. Brooke Spitzley added 4 points. Makenna Weber had 3 points and Logan Drake tallied 2 points.
Grace O’Hare scored 11 points off the bench to lead the Fowler scoring. Emma Riley, who technically also came off the bench and played a bit more than half the game, scored 10 points. Taylor Weber, who did not come off the bench, scored 9 points. Grace Epkey totaled 7 points. Avery Koenigsknecht added 6 points and Kelcie Pung scored 3 points.