Janke reaches 1,000 points, named homecoming king in win over LL-H

Dollar Bay’s Jaden Janke defends a shot by Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Ben Wilson Friday in Dollar Bay. Janke eclipsed the 1,000 point scoring mark for his career and was named homecoming king. (Eden Laase/Daily Mining Gazette)

DOLLAR BAY — Jaden Janke and Drake Schmitz locked eyes, and Janke pointed up. Without words, he told Schmitz exactly where he wanted the ball, and Schmitz delivered.

With 3:40 left in the second quarter, he looped the ball over the Lake Linden-Hubbell defense, Janke caught it, and without landing bounced the orange sphere off the backboard for his sixth and seventh points of the game.

“I looked at him and I gave him the two fingers up, and he knew,” Janke said. “He threw it and it was awesome.”

Seven points is nothing for Janke, who had 37 against Hancock on Wednesday, but the crowd erupted for a different reason. With that basket, Janke recorded 1,000 points as a Blue Bolt.

Dollar Bay defeated LL-H 71-42 in a Copper Mountain Conference matchup to improve to 9-0 on the season, Janke was named homecoming king, and he reached the thousand point club. For a high school senior, it doesn’t get much better than that, but Janke can take or leave the second two. He only cares about the nine wins.

“This is a good achievement for me, but I’m just happy to see where we go as a team,” he said.

After all, Janke, who led all scorers with 22 points, has waited a long time to be a part of this team.

When he was little, Janke and teammate Devin Schmitz served as team managers, sitting on the end of the bench every time Dollar Bay played. They imagined the day they would take the court, and talked about which players they wanted to be like. For Janke that player was Tim Dunstan, because “he never missed.”

Now Janke makes his fair share of shots, and so does Schmitz, who reached 1,000 points last season.

“I don’t know of any other team that has had two kids do that,” Dollar Bay coach Jesse Kentala said. “It is a kind of a rare thing, because you have to play for a long time, score a lot of points and you have to stay healthy. So we are blessed to have two of these kids now on the same team.”

On Friday it took a little while for Janke and the Blue Bolts to warm up. Janke missed his first two 3-point attempts and only had two points in the first quarter as Dollar Bay led LL-H by a slim margin, 14-10. But from there is was all Dollar Bay. The Blue Bolts outscored the Lakes 22-4 in the second quarter for a 36-14 halftime lead.

“It was an uptempo game at the start, and I thought for the most part we hung with Dollar Bay probably as long as we could,” LL-H coach Jack Kumpula said.

Despite all the excitement surrounding Janke, Kentala was less than thrilled with his team’s effort. Dollar Bay missed cutters as they sprinted for the basket and the team wasn’t active on help-side defense.

“Credit Lake Linden, they were very scrappy and they gave us a tough time on both ends of the floor, but our heads were not in the game,” Kentala said. “We did not play like No. 1 team in the U.P. tonight, I will just say that flat out.”

But Dollar Bay is No. 1 for a reason, and after the game the Blue Bolts reminded Kentala of that.

“When we were in the locker room, they all said it before I did,” he said. “They said ‘coach, we will be better.’ “

Kentala said he plans on having the Blue Bolts watch the game film this weekend, so they can see the mistakes themselves. But that is a task for tomorrow. For now, the Blue Bolts have some celebrating to do. As a coach, Kentala knows you have to take the good with the bad. Bad is an ugly game, but the good is watching someone like Janke achieve a goal he’s had since childhood.

“He is a wonderful kid,” Kentala said. “Good student, good athlete, good person. I have a 10-year-old boy who just adores and looks up to him. You can’t ask for a better kid for your program and a better ambassador for the area.”

In addition to Janke’s 22 points, Jacob Iacnono had 17 and Devin Schmitz added 13. For LL-H Ben Wilson scored 15 points and Carter Crouch added 14.

Next up, Dollar Bay (9-0) hosts Bessemer on Monday at 7:20 p.m., and LL-H (3-8) heads to Bessemer on Friday at 7:20 p.m.

– – –

LL-H 10 4 13 10 — 42

Dollar Bay 14 22 25 10 — 71

LL-H — Crouch 14, Hainault 1, Caleb Gregoire 6, Cole Gregoire 2, Wilson 15. F: 8. Fouled out: 1-6. Free throws: None. 3-point field goals: Crouch 2, Wilson.

Dollar Bay — LeClaire 6, Ashton Janke 5, Thompson 8, Devin Schmitz 13, Jaden Janke 22, Iacono 17. F: 11. Free throws: 6-7. 3-point field goals: Ashton Janke, Thompson, Devin Schmitz, Jaden Janke 3.