Polish National Contributes to NCAA Win
by Raymond Rolak
YPSILANTI– Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan University always have intense games. Every sport and every game is magnified. Not only is it an NCAA special rival game but each contest is for in-state bragging rights.
Kamil Janton, the junior, 6’10” center for Eastern Michigan and hailing from Tarnow, Poland only had two points, but they were huge points. More importantly and even with only seven minutes of hard work relief time, he got high praise from his coach.
Janton, who went to high school in Chicago, was also featured on the EMU game day program titled, ‘United We Hoop’. “Kamil’s playing time really gave us some center relief help,” said Eastern Michigan University Head Coach Charles Ramsey. “He allowed some rest time for our guys underneath the basket and those two points were important.”
The Mid-American Conference game wasn’t pretty for either squad. The Eagles came out on top, 41-38. It was a hard defensive match-up but both teams shot cold on a very-very cold and chilly Michigan afternoon. CMU was only 14 of 60 from the field for 23%. EMU was slightly better at 14 of 42 for 33%. Ramsey gave some deserved credit to his swarming defense which helped contribute to the ‘Chips’ poor showing from the field. High heralded CMU freshman, Trey Zeigler was held to only 13 points.
Eastern’s big gun, Brandon Bowdry was pressured hard from Central and held to six points but he did have eight boards. Derek Thompson picked up 11 much needed points and Darrell Lampley also added 11 for EMU. While Bowdry was often swarmed he was able to dish off and create opportunities for other Eagles.
The Chippewa’s made the last two minutes tension filled as they cut the lead to three points twice. It was excitement to the max, and they made their free throws to tighten the pressure. Zeigler hit the second of two free throws for CMU. That cut the lead to four, 39-35, with 29.4 left on the clock.
The Eagles had trouble in-bounding the ball, and Central’s Finis Craddock picked up the errant pass and bombed in a long sky three from the top of the circle. That cut it to one, 39-38, with 24.9 left.
Central was then forced into a fouling situation and Lampley would connect on both free throws to put Eastern up by three, 41-38, with 22.3 left. That sealed the victory for Eastern Michigan.
EMU Coach Ramsey was optimistic about finding things to highlight about his team’s performance. “We did just enough to win and hold on,” he said. He did smile when pressed more about Janton and the irony of being the ‘Cover Boy’ on the game day printed program. “He has earned playing time, and everyone contributed today.” added Ramsey.
The 38 points scored by CMU was an EMU Convocation Center low for a visiting team while EMU’s 41 points was also a team low for the season. “Defense by both teams contributed to the low score of the game, and Central did a good job of concentrating on shutting Bowdry down. Everyone else stepped up.” continued Ramsey. CMU Coach Ernie Zeigler did not attend post-game.
EMU sophomore, Jamell Harris has recorded 47 blocked shots this season. He had five in this game.