Cranbrook pushes past Notre Dame Prep 71-63, ends season with signature victory.

Written by
George Davis
Photo Credit
Eric Hobson

The Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Cranes defeated the Pontiac Notre Dame Fighting Irish 71- 63 in the MHSAA state playoffs on Wednesday. The Cranes end their season 15-5 overall, while the Fighting Irish finished 5-16 for the year.

Cranbrook senior forward Jordan Roebuck led the Cranes scoring with 18 points. Junior guard Cam Garner added 15 points in the win.

Notre Dame junior forward Ethan Johnson led all scorers with 21 points.

The Fighting Irish established the early lead in the first quarter; with Johnson finding his shot early.

Even with senior forward Jordan Roebuck hitting a big 3-point shot early, the Cranes fell behind quickly.

Notre Dame led 19-10 at the end of the first quarter.

The Irish kept their momentum going with a pair of field goals from junior forward Jacob Bendtsen, while Johnson found the 3 point range.

But Roebuck jump-started the Cranes comeback with solid free throw shooting and low post play. A big 3 point shot by senior forward Sam Hauxwell cut the Irish lead down to two points with 1:07 left to play in the second quarter.

The game stood at 36-32 in favor of the Irish at the half.

Senior forward Jack Fairman and junior center Bryce Hall rallied Cranbrook in the third quarter, dominating the paint and getting rebounds. Freshman forward John Kersh completed the front court dominance with a pair of field goals.

But Notre Dame junior guard Jacob Anderson kept the lead going with several field goals, while Johnson and Bendtsen continued to make their presence known.

Cranbrook trailed Notre Dame 48-47 at the end of the third quarter.

Garner took control in the final minutes, making several lay ups and getting key defensive stops for Cranbrook. Fairman tied the game 52-52 with a key field goal, while senior guard Ethan Purther established the Cranbrook lead with 3-point shot at 4:15.

The Cranes would never fall behind again. The scoreboard showed 71-63 Cranbrook at the final buzzer.

“The team didn’t quit”, said Cranes Head Coach Shane Finney. “They kept fighting back the entire game. I’m proud of their team effort to stay with each other to get this victory.”

Notre Dame Prep has eliminated Cranbrook in MHSAA district competition several times in the last 10 years. This win signifies the continued rise of the Cranbrook Basketball program.

The commitment of Sam Hauxwell to play college basketball at Northwood University further underscores the rising potential of the Cranes.

Cranbrook’s playoff run ended with cancellation of the state playoffs due to national public health concerns, but with a good crop of juniors and underclassmen returning, the future looks bright for the Cranes.

“We have a solid program. We can see good things coming down the road for Cranbrook Basketball”, said Finney.