Dr. G's Ranger Round Up: Basketball
February 8, 2023 Rangers vs Bay Rockets
Using only 6 players due to a spate of injuries, the Lakewood Rangers dug deep tonight and pulled out a thrilling 41-40 win over the Bay Rockets in the opening round of the GLC Tournament. With the Rangers up just 2 points with 5 seconds left in the 4th quarter, junior Jack Gowan (8 points), the only bench player used tonight, cooly sank two free throws (in a one and one situation) to seal the victory (Bay hit an inconsequential 3-pointer at the buzzer). Junior Luke Vannucci scored 11 points, but to even greater effect, never left the floor and had very few turnovers playing point guard. Junior post Drew Jablonowki (8 points) also never left the floor, and fought hard for rebounds (11) against a much bigger Bay squad. Senior Brayden Volcansek never left the floor (see the pattern?), scored 14 points to lead Lakewood, and played a solid all around game. Once again, junior Dominic Peck played strong on the ball defense and was instrumental in the win, even though he didn't score. Osied Albadarin also didn't score, but played strong defense as well.
The Lakewood student section was out in force as usual, and the large, loud and proud cheer squad did their thing. This was a home game, but we have had more students in attendance for both Boys and Girls games this year even when we were the road team. We had fewer available players, but beat a bigger Bay team that had won 6 in a row.
Assistant coach Higgenbotham stirred the student section to a fever pitch, and Head Coach Cammock had his squad—as usual—playing a relentless, selfless style of basketball.
It's great to be a Lakewood Rangers Basketball fan, watching the 44107 boys and girls teams play with heart and focus. The Lakewood Rangers are one team, from one town, that never gives up. Long Live Lakewood.
February 4, 2023 Rangers vs. Bay Rockets
Trailing 14-8 late in the 1st quarter, the Lakewood Rangers faced a pumped up senior night crowd and a determined Medina Buckeye squad. It looked like one of those nights that would end with a strong effort, a close loss, and a long bus trip home. But then sophomore guard Luke Vannucci (27 points) buried a spate of 3's, each one deflating the Bucks crowd a bit more, until finally the Rangers built an insurmountable lead on their way to a 55-43 win. Luke dropped the hammer, but as usual Lakewood put forth a great team effort. Junior Drew Jablonowski, the only Ranger over 6 feet tall, battled taller players all night, gathering 12 rebounds, scoring 9, and displaying toughness throughout. Senior Brayden Volcansek scored 11, mostly in the second half when Luke cooled off a bit, while fellow starter Dominic Peck played his usual sold floor game and scored 2 (Dominic is an excellent defender, something difficult to put a number on). Senior Osied Albadarin did not score, but that didn't prevent him from proving defense and rebounds. The Lakewood bench was strong once again, Jack Gowan scored 4 and played strong defense, and Peter Checkout provided solid ball handling. Perhaps the most compelling story tonight, aside from the dominant play of Luke Vannucci on both ends, was the play of Chancellor Moses. Chancellor has played limited minutes this year, with the deep Ranger bench. But with mounting injuries, his number was called tonight—and he was ready--scoring on a driving layup to thwart a Buckeye late rally and playing stout defense. Lakewood is now 8-2 in the GLC East (8-9 overall) heading into the conference tournament. I have seen more Lakewood Ranger Basketball games than any living person, and I would be hard pressed to find a team that has maximized their opportunities to a greater extent then has this squad. Most of their losses have been close, and their non-conference schedule was very difficult. I admire they way they have bounced back after tough losses—such as 2 OT setbacks to Holy Name—and just go after it the next time out. These guys from 44107 represent our school well. Kudos to Coach Cammock and his staff for building a solid community team. Long Live Lakewood.
February 1, 2023 Rangers vs. Normandy
Tonight, playing with poise and energy, the Lakewood Girls rocketed their way to a huge lead and, despite a so so 4th quarter, decisively defeated Normandy 60-42 to earn a spot in the GLC Championship game Saturday at Elyria Catholic. This road victory was extra sweet for the Rangers (15-6) who fell to Normandy early this season for their only GLC-East setback and had eked out a three point win in this gym just last week. With a large student section (we traveled well) and a spate of staff members on hand, the Rangers took command early, largely on tenacious team defense and the inspired play of junior Delaney Garcia who led all scorers with 15 points and was dominant on the glass. Senior guards Sydney Hampton (9) and Sam Hudak (8 points) handled the pressuring Invader defense well and set up Delaney and others. Senior Ava Carroll was also strong on the glass and chipped in two, while senior Nettie Doran scored 3 and played her usual smothering defense.
The bench was strong again, led by seniors Jacquie Hudak (7 points) Aya McAuliffe (6 points) and juniors Sophia Zarbo (4 points) and Ally Bookman (5 points). Sophia also held up well handling the ball vs the Normandy pressure. The squad from 44107 was all business tonight, and took apart a strong Normandy team with maximum effort and intense focus. Congratulations to Coach Work, her staff, and the entire team. Long Live Lakewood