Posted tagged ‘high school basketball’

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #27 – Battle of Rockets and Wolverines

July 12, 2013
Justin Marietti |Daily Press

Justin Marietti |Daily Press

High School Basketball in the UP can be described in one word, “Heart.” The passion the kids display on the court every time they play, the mom’s and dad’s in the bleachers cheering on and watching their child play for their hometown, and the fact these athletes represent the city name on the jersey rather than just a mascot or a school name.

So on a cold night in Perkins on December 28, 2012 I witnessed a few things I had not seen before in my entire life. (Watch highlights below)

I got to the game at half time after covering the first few minutes of the Superior Central at Gwinn. The scoreboard read Rapid River Rockets 25 Mid Peninsula Wolverines 15.  I thought to myself, “What? That is not the score. Rapid River has not won a game all year!”

Then I saw Daily Press reporter Justin Marietti and he told me as time expired in the first half, Rapid River’s Robert Metter made a three at the buzzer and Rapid River fans in attendance went crazy. I was in for a tremendous second half. It was so good, it created a lasting memory in my mind.

The Wolverines kept chipping at the lead in the third quarter with points in the paint and the Rockets went into the fourth quarter clinging to a 37-34 lead. While they may have had the lead, the momentum clearly changed in the third quarter.

That’s when the monster himself came to life, Double B aka Brett Branstrom. He grabbed big rebounds, went coast to coast with speed and athleticism to finish at the rim, and not to mention showing that shooting touch by knocking down a big three with hands in his face. He finished with 27 points and 18 rebounds to go with six blocks. I had not seen a player all season up to that point put a team on his back. He became a star in my eyes right after seeing that performance. It truly was an incredible display of perseverance by the senior.

But here was the key play! The game was tied at 45, Brett Branstrom block a shot on defense that turned into an outlet pass to Chad Branstrom, who was fouled at the basket. Two free throw shots were in order until a Rapid River fan went ballistic in the stands about the previous call by the referees and started to yell and point at the two gentlemen working the game.

So the zebras stopped the game and threw the fan yelling at the refs out of the gym which resulted in a technical foul on Rapid River Coach Craig Carter. Now those two free shots turned into four in just a matter of minutes. Mr. Chad Branstrom proceeded to hit all four free throws to secure the 54-49 win that night.

I had never seen anything like that before in my life. The game was basically decided on a technical foul. The lead went from a tied game to a Wolverine four point advantage with under 2 minutes remaining. The Rockets fan base were so upset with the referees calls in the second half, every play resulted in screaming and yelling. The gym got loud and changed from excitement to anger in just a matter of 12 minutes. Crazy!

The lesson I learned from that game was let the kids play and allow the kids to make the difference in the game, not the parents. It’s something that is ongoing in youth sports in this day and age and it showed in this high school basketball game just days before the New Year. I think a lot of fans made a few New Year’s resolutions after driving home from that contest.

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Top 31 Moments in the UP! #30 – Two Dunks for the Price of One

July 3, 2013
Photo by Grandpa Camo

Photo by Grandpa Camo

Hey sports fans, I hope you enjoyed #31 on my countdown and want more exciting moments from the Upper Peninsula through the past year. For #30 I am going to jump to higher moments in High School Basketball.

The date was December 10, 2012. It was a cold and snowy night in the Upper Peninsula and I was trying to find out what game I should shoot for the 11 o’clock news. I thought, let’s get some Republic Hawks highlights because the station didn’t really cover a lot of Republic games. So I thought that night was perfect to showcase some different talent.

When I got to the gym in downtown Republic,  the Hawks were trailing North Central and the rising Jets 33-15 at the half. At that point I thought to myself, this is going to be a rough game to shoot for highlights. But I was completely WRONG!

Because the half started out with some nice defense from the Jets as Josh Granquist came up with the steal and the nice lay in at the other end. And then, the wings started to spread for both teams. Off a North Central miss, Jonathan Lygdman would get the ball up court and slam the orange in the basket for the two handed flush. Through the camera lens I was like, “WOAH!! DID THAT JUST HAPPEN????” I was very impressed by the big fella. It was a great play!

But the Jets wanted to lift off on the road and seal the deal as they started a break of their own a few minutes later and Tyler Polfus passed the ball to a wide open Caleb Martin who then flushed it down with two hands!!! The North Central bench on their feet going crazy and I thought to myself, “Did I just see two dunks in a game?” And the answer was, “Yes, yes I did see two dunks in a game in the Upper Peninsula.”

That was one of the most memorable and impressive displays of athleticism I have seen in my time in the Upper Peninsula. It was rare to see a kid dunk it here in the UP, but to see two guys sky to the rim and finish was remarkable. I don’t think I have even seen a high school game that entertaining and full of excitement.

I will post the video below of my highlights from that night. Let’s just say, I got very excited for a moment that might not happen again for a very long time…

 

Villanova Guard Corey Fisher drops 105 in a summer game

August 10, 2010

Via Zagsblog:

According to reports, Fisher made 23 of 28 3-pointers — missing only five — and scored 72 points in the second half of the 40-minute game in the Watson Classic in the Bronx.

Some cat named Jose Calderon from Spanish Harlem — not the NBA — was primarily guarding him, but Fisher reportedly faced multiple double and triple-teams.

…This is flat-out Ridiculous! I have never seen anything like this since the time when the girls high school team Dallas Academy shut out Covenant 100-0 and when a high school girl scored 113 points in a game. To score this in a summer league game in Men’s college basketball is just unheard of. Going to Marquette in the Big East and watching Villanova all the time, I always thought Fisher was a good player and a future second team all Big East player but not a player who would score 105 pts in a game. I hope this is just a highlight of his career because if he plays like that for Villanova this year, they would win the national championship…