Dr. G's Ranger Round Up: Basketball
Jan 14, Rangers vs. Normandy Invaders
This blustery, snowy night—and the Normandy Invaders—could not stop the raucous Lakewood student section and senior Brayden Volcansek (pictured, # 20), who scored 12 second half points on torrid 3-point shooting. Brayden was the key to breaking open a tight game (36-34 after 3 quarters) as the Rangers dominated the 4th quarter and won 51-36. Stout team defense eventually shut down the Normandy 3-point game, and held the Invaders to a mere two fourth quarter points. As usual, sophomore guard Luke Vannucci led all scorers (15) and played a strong floor game, and junior Drew Jablonowski--the only starter over 6 feet tall--dominated on the boards and scored 12 hard fought points in the paint. While Luke and Drew did their thing, the beauty of this game was the totality of effort by the entire rotation. Junior Jack Gowan and senior Osied Albadarin each chipped 2 points and provided rebounds and defense. Junior Dominic Peck (pictured, #4) didn't score, but played solid defense on the ball for much of the game. Sophomore guard Lucas Seguine scored four and played important minutes down the stretch. Sophomore Peter Checkett made the most of his minutes, scoring 3.
The Rangers have now won four in a row in what is becoming a very satisfying season. Basketball is a fabulous team sport, but the Lakewood Friday Night experience with a large student section, a peppy Pep Band, and an energetic Ranger Cheer squad creates a purple and gold mosaic that is the magic of community based sports. Before the game, assistant Coach Brian Higginbotham ramps up the crowd, doing those extra little things that make the experience so special.
In an increasingly global, and sadly I would say cynical world, our hyper-local games are, to say the least, refreshing. Kudos to Coach Cammock and the entire 44107 crew. The Lakewood Rangers are one team, from one town, that gives it their all. Long Live Lakewood.
January 10, Rangers vs. Buckeyes Tonight, the Lakewood Rangers started strong and ended strong, weathering a mid-game lull to defeat a determined Buckeye team 45-39 in the New East Gym. Sophomore Guard Luke Vannucci again led the team in scoring (17), and used the 3 point shot to push the Rangers to an early lead. Junior Drew Jablonowski fought like a bulldog all night against the taller Bucks, grabbing 13 rebounds and scoring 11. Senior Osied Albararin, per usual, did many "non box score" things, tracking loose balls and playing tough defense, while chipping in 7 points. Senior Braydon Volcansek (3) also played stout defense, as did junior Jack Gowan (7). Sophomore Lucas Seguine scored 3 and handled the ball well against the Buckeye pressure. Junior Dominic Peck did not score but played strong defense and also handled the ball well. Down the stretch, when the Bucks had trimmed a 14 point lead all the way down to 3, Seguine, Jablonowski and Vannucci hit clutch free throws to seal the victory. The Rangers, who have won 3 straight games, had great support from the student section, pep band and the LHS Cheer-Sparkle squad (pictured). Coach Cammock and his staff have our team giving great effort night after night, playing an exciting brand of team basketball. The Lakewood Rangers are one team, from one town, that give it their all.
January 6, Rangers vs. Parma
Microcosm—"a representation of something on a much smaller scale." If you were at tonight's 53-35 win over Parma, you would have seen a microcosm of the season; the hustle and teamwork, as well as the individual strengths/contributions of each player. Sophomore starting point guard Luke Vannucci, carrying a heavier load due to teammate injuries, controlled the tempo, distributed the ball, and hit four 3 pointers, the first two of which jumped stared the Ranger offense. The other starters all contributed on both ends. Junior Dominic Peck (2), and seniors Brayden Volcansek (3) and Drew Jablonowski (3) fought hard for rebounds and loose balls, and established a lead that they team would never relinquish.
Sophomore Peter Checkett came off the bench and led the team in scoring (13), got hustle rebounds, and played with great energy. Speaking of the bench, Lakewood's is getting stronger every game. Junior Jack Gowen and Sophomore Aiden Smith provided points (7 each), rebounds and strong defense. The other starters all continued on both ends. Junior Dominic Peck (2), and seniors Brayden Volcansek (3) and Drew Jablonowski (3) fought hard for rebounds and lose balls, and established a lead that they team would never relinquish. Coach Cammock and his staff have our Lakewood Rangers playing exciting, uptempo team basketball. Based on their body language and relentless team defense, it is clear that the players put team first and are committed to doing their best. (It was also great to see the faithful student section out in Parma tonight) The local high school team is a unique element of the American sports scene. Our Cavs—ever so likable—represent an international all-star team. Our Lakewood Rangers are one team, from one town that gives it their all every time out. Long Live Lakewood.
January 3, Rangers vs. Valley Forge PatriotsShorthanded due to injuries but undeterred, the Lakewood Rangers used the sizzling shooting of sophomore Luke Vannucci (23 points) and a deep bench to defeat Valley Forge 58-49 tonight at the New East Gym. The Rangers pounced on the Patriots early—15-3—on five 3-pointers (four by Vanucci and one by sophomore Peter Checkett—5 points). From then on, Valley Forge chipped away, and eventually took the lead early in the 4th quarter. It was then that the "grinders"—junior Drew Jablonoski (10 points and a key steal), senior Osied Albardaran (7 points) and junior Jack Gowan (4 points) did their thing, fighting hard for rebounds, scoring on put backs, and tightening up on defense. It was a great team effort tonight. Senior Brayden Volcansek chipped in with 2 points, junior Dominic Peck did not score but played solid defense, and sophomore Aiden Smith came off the bench to score 7 points, including a key basket down the stretch. The oldest cliche in the book—"next man up"—was on full display tonight. Kudos to Coach Cammock, his staff and the entire squad…and the fabulous Lakewood Ranger student section…and our terrific cheer squad, and our fired up Pep Band. Everyone pitched in, and everyone had fun. Long Live Lakewood.