Schumacher didn’t play for years, but grew into role as senior
With 1:10 left to play in their final home game as Big Horn basketball players, Jackson Wade, Ethan Schumacher and Liam Germain watched as Head Coach Austin Barth called time out and sent in the underclassmen. The crowd roared and the underclassmen charged ahead, with freshman Nick Brester swatting away a Sheridan shot in the lane.
That territory down low is where Schumacher found a home this year, returning to basketball after not playing his freshman, sophomore and junior years.
During that time, Schumacher continued to grow and now stands at 6’6”.
“I wasn’t much of a basketball player, but it’s my senior year, so I might as well go for it,” reflected Schumacher. “Didn’t really hit my growth spurt until my junior year, and the coaches thought, we need this kid.”
“The first game I was kind of nervous going in just because I hadn’t played in so long,” said Schumacher. “And working through all the practices and by tonight I felt pretty good and confident in my play.”
And in Sheridan, Schumacher and the rest of the Big Horn team encountered an equally confident squad, despite getting blown out by LPHS in their last meeting.
Leading the charge for the Panthers was senior Zane Bowey, who at the start of the game found two easy buckets by out-positioning the Big Horns and hitting open shots, including one over the much taller Schumacher.
The first period ended with a not so lofty score of 13-12, and the Big Horns holding on to a slim lead. But then the LPHS scorers started to step up. Cole March went on a tear, lighting up a school record six three pointers.
Schumacher notched a monster block and the Big Horns kept up the defensive pressure with help from senior Liam Germain and junior Kolya Bough.
Wade came on strong in the third period, banging down low and getting feeds for points from Bough. Through it all, Sheridan’s Bowey never slowed down. He drove coast to coast for a layup and remained relentless on the boards, while Lone Peak pulled away for a 74-52 win.
After the game, Bowey talked about what it’s like to play with a prosthesis standing in for the missing part of his lower left leg. Bowey was born with Streeter dysplasia, which caused his left leg to stunt. He’s been playing hoops since middle school.
“So I’m used to it,” Bowey said, saying he loves the game because it’s all about “having fun and being a leader on my team.”
Bowey leaned over and touched the point where his basketball-shoed prosthesis ends and his leg begins.
“Right now it’s kind of sore,” said Bowey. “So I have to adjust it quite a bit.”
Bowey then turned and ran for the locker room, looking forward to the same thing as Lone Peak players—the Class C post season. Sheridan is in Class C District 12, along with the Lima Bears, the Ennis Mustangs, the Harrison/Willow Creek Wildcats and the Twin Bridges Falcons.
In the Class C District 11 tournament—hosted by Manhattan Christian Feb. 15-17—LPHS boys will face White Sulphur Springs at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, while the varsity girls later play Gardiner at 7:30 p.m. If the Big Horn teams advance, the girls would play Shields Valley at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, with the possible boys second round game scheduled for 6 p.m. vs. the Eagles of Manhattan Christian.