Dollar Bay’s Schmitz scores 43, reaches 1,000-point milestone in win over Hancock
DOLLAR BAY — The Dollar Bay faithful showed up Tuesday to celebrate Devin Schmitz’s 1,000th point, and they left having witnessed one of the finest high school offensive performances they will ever see.
Schmitz needed just four points to reach the 1,000-point plateau and he got that and much more. The junior guard scored a career-high 43 points on 14 of 23 shooting (7 of 12 from 3) to lead the Dollar Bay Blue Bolts to a 66-57 nonconference win over the Hancock Bulldogs in Dollar Bay on a night he won’t soon forget. Achieving the career milestone of 1,000 points is memorable enough, but he managed to do it in a game when he looked downright unstoppable at times.
“That was one of the best offensive performances I’ve seen,” Dollar Bay head coach Jesse Kentala said.
Catch-and-shoot 3s? Yup.
Threes off the dribble with a hand in his face? Swish.
Getting to the basket? Tuesday he made a case for the best handle in the area.
“I had no idea I was scoring that many,” Schmitz said. “At the end of the game, I thought I had 20-something.”
By halftime, Schmitz had 18, and then he really went off. In the third quarter, he scored all 16 of Dollar Bay’s points while making four 3s. Schmitz was the only Blue Bolt to score in the second half until junior Jacob Iacono converted two free throws with 4 minutes, 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Up until that point, Schmitz scored his team’s first 24 points in the second half.
“He just has a knack for scoring the ball,” Kentala said. “He has really put us on his back two games in a row in times when we really needed it.”
Schmitz’s 43-point performance follows his 39-point outing in Friday’s 71-66 loss to the Bessemer Speedboys. In his last four games, Schmitz is averaging 33.8 points per game. It was a 26-point performance in an 84-31 win over the Baraga Vikings on Feb. 14 when he began to get in a rhythm.
“My shooting has been on since the Baraga game,” Schmitz said. “Everyone has been telling me to keep shooting, so I might as well.”
Following the 16-point third quarter, Kentala reiterated to his team that Schmitz had the “hot hand” and to feed him. His final field goal on the night came on a driving layup as he was fouled. He would make the free throw to cap a fourth quarter that started with him scoring a fast-break layup and a 3 from the corner. After the 3-point play, Dollar Bay (13-4) led 55-47 with 6:30 remaining in the fourth.
Despite all the scoring, Schmitz’s flashiest play came on a fast break where he delivered a behind-the-back bounce pass to Iacono, who finished the layup to give the Blue Bolts a comfortable 61-51 lead with 3:56 left in the game.
Iacono finished with 17 points and eight rebounds; he was the only other Blue Bolt besides Schmitz to score in the second half.
All Hancock (9-8) head coach Matt Strong could do was just shake his head after watching Schmitz explode.
“We needed to show off the screens he was coming off of and giving better gap help,” Strong said of defending Schmitz. “We needed to be in the help instead of going to the help, because by the time we got there, they were kicking it or it was too late to get there. Just needed to get there earlier.
“I didn’t know he was going to have that many points. Even if we held him to 10 less, we win. He’s really good, but I know we can do better defensively.”
Despite Schmitz’s fireworks show, Hancock still was in position to win the game. Things went dire for Dollar Bay when senior Lance Kangas fouled out with 3:30 left in the fourth, hindering Dollar Bay’s ability to guard Hancock’s post players like seniors Mike McParlan and Reece Anderson. With Hancock trailing 61-51, this was their time to close the gap. But it never came to fruition.
While typically high-scoring Dollar Bay junior Jaden Janke was held to four points, he made his biggest contributions on the defensive end, limiting Hancock’s ability to overwhelm the Blue Bolts with the Bulldogs’ size and strength advantage.
“For as much as I’ve been harping on Jaden Janke defensively the last three or four games in film sessions, I thought he did an excellent job on McParlan,” Kentala said. “(McParlan) still got his looks, but I thought he flustered them enough and frustrated them enough. I thought that was Jaden and Lance both, whether it was on the ball or on help-side.”
McParlan finished with 14 points.
Dollar Bay shot 21 of 50 for the night (42 percent) and had just eight turnovers. The Bulldogs were 22 of 53 from the field (41 percent) and held a 35-28 rebounding advantage. Hancock also finished with 17 turnovers.
Senior Chad Raasio led the Bulldogs with 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
“I think we got to take care of the ball way, way better,” Strong said. “We were just forcing it in too much. We also have to do a better job of exploiting mismatches and getting the ball where it needs to go.”
Next, Dollar Bay goes to Chassell on Friday. Hancock hosts West Iron County on Friday.
SCHMITZ HITS 1,000
With 4:34 remaining in the first quarter, Schmitz finished a right-handed driving layup as he was fouled to reach 1,000-career points. The game was halted for a brief moment as he was presented the game ball at center court while his achievement was announced to the crowd.
For Schmitz, the 1,000-point goal entered his mind as a freshman after watching Dollar Bay grad Tim Dunstan finishes his career in 2011 with 1,176 points.
“Dollar Bay has a long, good history of good basketball players. I’m just proud to be a part of that,” Schmitz said. “I just wanted to follow in Tim’s footsteps my whole career.”
Now, Schmitz’s name will soon join Dunstan’s on Dollar Bay’s 1,000-point banner — the same banner he drew inspiration from during his numerous hours in the gym. Whether it was Dollar Bay’s gym, the Michigan Tech SDC or his own driveway, Schmitz estimates he spent two to three hours a day in the offseason playing basketball.
“People in the offseason always asked me if I was going to get (1,000 points),” Schmitz said. “I was just like, ‘It’s possible.'”
After Tuesday, locals might just ask as much about the number 43 as they did 1,000.
Hancock 18 10 15 14 — 57
Dollar Bay 16 14 16 18 — 66
Hancock — Stimac 9, Devin Raasio 6, Chad Raasio 16, Blau 6, Anderson 6, McParlan 14. F: 22; Fouled out: Chad Raasio; Free throws: 8-11; 3-point field goals: Stimac 3, Blau 2.
Dollar Bay — Iacono 17, Schmitz 43, Janke 4, Kangas 2. F: 16; Fouled out: Kangas; Free throws: 17-22; 3-point field goals: Schmitz 7.