John Raffel
Sports Scene
Chris Brown has been getting the job done in his first year as Alma varsity basketball coach and 25th overall.
The team record as of mid-February was 13-3 overall in the TVC 8.
“We have had some strong wins against teams like Frankenmuth (11-3), Clare (13-2), Chesaning (13-4), and rival Shepherd (8-7),” Brown said. “The TVC 8 has some traditionally, very strong teams (Freeland, Bridgeport, and Frankenmuth) and some extremely difficult gyms to play in.”
Alma beat Bridgeport 69-53 on Feb. 18, led by Connor Lemerand with 25 points and Cade Sutherland with 22 points.
“Since taking over the program this year our expectations have been to be our very best at the end of the season and to represent our school and community in a positive way,” Brown said. “We continue to work towards those goals everyday with high intensity practices and a group of 12 great guys who push each other in everything we do. Our program’s motto is ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’ and we focus on the fact that no one is self made.
“We need everyone, players and coaches included, to help maximize our teams and individual’s potential. We talk about trying to do things the right way and that the right way isn’t always the easiest way. We strive to do things first class, like dressing up with shirts and ties for every game, writing thank you notes to people who have helped or influenced us, and being involved in our community and youth. Some may consider some of those things a little bit old school during this day and age, but we’re striving to teach our guys as much about life and being great young men, as we do about becoming better basketball players.”
Sam Rosales is a junior point guard averaging 10.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.2 steals per game.
Lemerand is a senior shooting guard averaging 12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.
Michael Howey is a junior power forward averaging 12.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Sam Leppien is a senior center with 10.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game.
“With four athletes averaging double figures we have a well balanced offense that can play quick or slow things down in the half court,” Brown said. “We pride our selves on playing great team defense and much of that comes from our senior captains, Mason Stambaugh, Mike Hunter and Sam Leppien. They do a great job setting the tone for our team with fantastic work ethic and communication every day.
“Sam Rosales and Michael Howey have also been great leaders and could easily be considered captains as well. We want to play as many games as possible, but we continue to approach the next game on our schedule as the most important one.”