Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bluestars beat Memphis 42-36

Earlier in the season, Port Hope lost 50-47 to Memphis.
Following the loss, coach Don Pitts challenged his team to pick up their game and to play with the heart and passion he felt they were capable of.
The pep talked worked as the team has rattled off 10 straight wins including their six point win over Memphis tonight.
Allyson Koglin led PH with 12, who had four players with at least 7 points. Overall, a really well rounded effort from the Bluestars.
In other games, Sandusky won by two points over Brown City 51-49.
Reese 72, USA 33
Ubly 41, BAd Axe 35
Vassar 68, Cass City 22
Peck 54, Akron-Fairgrove 53

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday Night Highlights: Sandusky beats Reese; BC remains undefeated

Girls Basketball
Sandusky 73, Reese 57
In this highly anticipated matchup of two of the top 10 teams in the Class C state rankings, Marissa DeMott scores a game high 24 points to lead the Redskins to the 16 point win, while Lauren Krause added 20 (she hit five three-pointers). Overall, Sandusky put four players in double figures.
For Reese, Jade Ackerman led the team with 17.
In other girls action…
Brown City 58, Marlette 45
Kristen Greene continued her fantastic season with 23 points, while Marlette was led by a 19 point effort from Amara Wilson. Both these girls are having great seasons and could find their way on the first team of this year’s All-Thumb Team.
EPBP 51, Cass City 22
The Lakers were led by 13 points from Kacy Shetler. I believe this is five wins in a row for EPBP, who in typical fashion have started off slow but are coming on strong when the games count the most.
Harbor Beach 47, Deckerville 27
For everyone who thinks the GTE is a two team race think again…Harbor Beach continues to prove they are for real. You read this here first, this team is going to have a say in who this year’s champions are.
If they could get a win over BC or Sandusky, I think it would prove to everyone just how good this team is.
Hannah Wilson scored 11 for HB, while Tori Kraft added 10.
Mayville 69, Ubly 33
Ubly’s Nicole Franzel scored a season-high 22 points in her team’s 36 point loss.
USA 47, BCAS 39
Jenny Williamson scored 17 for the Patriots.
Vassar 48, Bad Axe 24
The Hatchets were led by six from Taylor Braun.

In boys action…
Kingston 64, Port Hope 41
It was one of Port Hope’s best offense efforts of the season, but still came up short in this one.
Travis Phillips scored a team high 11 points for the Bluestars.
North Huron 68, CPS 65
The Warriors remained perfect on the season, winning their 30th straight (I believe) regular season game, just getting by CPS.
Sean Clancy led the team with 22, while Eric Dhyse, Kevin Rice and Mike Bucholtz also scored in double figures.
A close call for North Huron, who has had a couple of closer games lately, going back to the Owen-Gage game….however I think in the end the team will be better for it.
We also have to keep in perspective that is the result of that HUGE target on this team’s back; everyone wants to be the one to end the win streak and hand them their first loss of the season.
Peck 58, Caseville 25
Sharpe scored eight points for Caseville.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ubly outlasts Sandusky

Ubly beat Sandusky yesterday 57-53 in OT in their GTE opener. The Bearcats, who were 15-of-18 from the line through the final moments of the extra session, missed their final four from the charity stripe to let Sandusky get back into it.
The Redskins really impressed me with their defense in this one. Weber and TK combined for 16 points in the first, but they were held to just five points total over the next 28 minutes.
For Ubly, Justin Cleary sparked the team with outside shooting, while Marshall Leipprandt made a statement, scoring six of his team's first seven points in the fourth to help Ubly tie the game.
It's early in the season, so this doesn't necessarily mean much in the leaue title race, but good to open the league games with a fun, competitive game.
Here are some other scores from the night:
BCAS 57, Cass City 46
Brown City 49, Mayville 36
Dryden 27, Kingston 24
Harbor Beach 64, EPBP 47
Marlette 53, Deckerville 41
Memphis 54, Peck 43
North Huron 75, Caseville 62
Owen-Gage 66, Port Hope 38
Reese 57, Bad Axe 50
Vassar 46, USA 35

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Warriors tested by Owen-Gage

I'm not sure if anyone was expecting much of a ball game when an undefeated North Huron team traveled to Owen-Gage against a one win Bulldog squad tonight. But that was exactly what they got as O-G laid it all the on the line despite losing 62-50.
The Bulldogs led 18-12 after the first and stretched the lead to 14 (26-12) with 5:57 to go in second. However, North Huron ended the quarter on a 18-7 run to cut the Bulldog's advantage to three (33-30).
The Warriors took over in the third as they opened on a 14-0 run and outscored O-G 23-4 in the critical third. Sean Clancy scored 13 of his 28 points in the third.
In the fourth, North Huron led by as many as 16 early (55-39), but the Bulldogs tried to make a game of it as they cut it to eight with 1:51 to go.
For North Huron, coach Paul Empkie felt the slow start was attributied to coming out flat and to this being the games first game of the new year. But he was impressed with how his team responded and how several players stepped up in the locker room at the half to say their piece and set the team straight.
For Owen-Gage, coach Derek Howard explained they already are looking ahead to districts and preparing for them with the remaining 15 or 16 games. He thinks that sticking with the no. 8 rated team in the state has to be a huge confidence boost for his team, but as he explained, he's not keen on moral victories and would like to see the team around .500 by the time the playoffs come around in March.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

North Huron stuns Ubly

Sean Clancy, Tyler Kubacki
Adam Glaza, Eric Dhyse, Steven Weber
Weber, John Schramski
Weber, Dhyse, Glaza, and Eric Booms

Marshall Leipprandt
Weber, Dhyse
Weber & Dhyse again
Booms blocks Dhyse
Dhyse drives past Glaza

It was clear from the opening moments of North Huron's 49-47 win over Ubly last night that the Warriors wanted this one bad.
And why shouldn't they have? Despite being arguably the best team in the NCTL this season (personally I don't see one that is better) and the reigning All-Thumb Team of the Year, not too many people out of the Kinde area gave the Warriors much of a chance of keeping the game close, let alone winning it.
But North Huron's players weren't affected by any of that hype and showed a lot of heart, energy and focus early as they erased an early 7-4 deficit with a 10-0 run, which included eight points from Sean Clancy (17 in the first half, 21 for the game). After a late run by Ubly, North Huron clung to a 14-11 after the first.
The Bearcats pulled within one (16-15) midway through the second following a Tyler Kubacki score (he led his team with 12 points), but over the final four minutes the Warriors went on a 17-6 tear to take a 12 point lead (33-21) into the half. North Huron's Eric Dhyse had eight of his 14 points in that critical second quarter.

To put it simply, North Huron dictated the pace of the first half. They pushed the ball when they had the opportunity, they pressured Ubly defensively and for the most part shut down the Bearcat's post presence. How did they do it? They took a page out of the book of Lakers, who had the most sucess against Ubly's low-post threat out of the Bearcat's first three opponents.

Here is a breakdown of what Steven Weber and Tyler Kubacki, who were held to a combined 20 points against North Huron (TK 12, Weber 8), have done so far this season:
In a five point win over Reese, they combined for 34 points (20 Weber, 14 TK);
In a three point win over Lakers, they combined for 27 (16 TK, 11 Weber);
In a 73-60 win over USA, they combined for 39 points (22 Weber, 17 TK).

Coach Empkie, who scouted Ubly during the Laker game, noted the success EPBP had using a 2-3 zone against the Bearcats. Despite not knowing much about that defense, he read up on it and implemented it for yesterday's game and it was quite successful.
As for the early first half defecit, coach Joel Leipprandt credited North Huron's play and added that mentally his team did not come to play in the first half.

In the third quarter, Ubly picked up the pace on defense as they held North Huron to four points, but the offense continued to struggle and only mustered nine points, cutting the Warriors lead to 37-30 heading into the fourth.

Things got fast and furious in the final eight minutes with Ubly regaining the lead for the first time since the first quarter 38-37 on a Weber score with 4:29 to go in the game.

However, North Huron responded with six straight points to take a 43-38 lead with 1:18 to go. That stretched included the only two points of the game from the Warrior's John Schramski.

Five seconds later, Justin Cleary (9 points) drilled a triple to cut it to a 43-41, but a Sean Clancy dunk with 44 seconds to go, increased North Huron's advantage to 45-41.

Ubly responded with another three from Cleary to pull within one (45-44), but Clancy smoothly hit a pair of free throws to give his team a 47-44 lead with 24 seconds to play.
Adam Glaza (11 points) hit a three with 16 seconds to go, which tied the game, but they got caught napping as North Huron quickly pushed the ball up the court from Dhyse to Kevin Rice for the game-winning lay-up with nine seconds to go, Rice's only points of the game.

Leipprandt explained his team had been in such a fouling mode at that point, they had one foul compared to six for North Huron late in the quarter and been making up for lost time (putting themselves in position to send North Huron to the line if necessary), and for a second or two hesistated, not knowing whether to foul or just play defense. That hesitation cost them.

As for North Huron, the game-winning play nearly didn't happen, as Empkie considered calling a time out and setting up a final play, but saw what was developing and let it go. It obviously proved to be the right decision.
This was truly a signature win for the Warriors, who have won 26 straight regular season games at this point (2 to end 2007-2008, 20 in 2008-2009), 4 to start 2009-2010), and could conceivably be at 42 by the end of this season.

I thought their biggest obstacle to a second straight undefeated season would be this game and with this victory and having been tested at this level, as long as these players don't let this win go to their heads or there aren't any significant injuries, I can't see this team losing too many if any regular season games this year.

Let me say it right now, I think they're going 20-0 and if that happens, that nice TSA Team of the Year trophy could be staying in the North Huron trophy case for another year.

But this is all conjecture at this point, because while on paper it would appear the path to a perfect season has been cleared, the games still have to be played.
If games were only played on paper, Ubly would be the undefeated team right now and North Huron's regular season win streak would have ended at 25.

As for Ubly's future this season, this game doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things as it is a non-league game. Leipprandt said the loss could turn out to be a good thing in the long run, as it might show this team they need to continue to work hard to be successful and bring them down to Earth in terms of how good they are.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Port Hope 39, Ubly 34

The Bluestars were looking for a challenge, a tough game that would be a battle to the end to tough them up and that is exactly what they got against Ubly.
Port Hope led 12-10 after the first and rallied to tie the game at 20-20 at halftime. The Bluestars broke things open in the third, as they outscored the Bearcats 12-2 to take a 10 point lead into the final quarter.
From there, things got a little dicey as Ubly pulled within six, 37-31, but perhaps didn't take advantage of the moment as they opted to play defense and try to force a turnover, rather than fouling.
Allyson Koglin led Port Hope with 16, while Kayla Gust added 14. Nicole Franzel led Ubly with 14.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bluestars and Bearcats pick up big wins...

Trying to keep the eyes open here following several long days of getting the paper out early this week. Here are some photos from both yesterday's 46-33 win for Port Hope over North Huron and Ubly's 75-60 win over USA tonight. Allyson Koglin led Port Hope with 27 points yesterday, while Steven Weber led all scorers with 22 tonight.