Brendan Cargill leads a talented freshman boys basketball team to a 2-0 record to end the week


After easily defeating Pewamo-Westphalia in the first round of the Cornerstone Holiday Tournament, the boys freshman basketball team turned right around to face Hudsonville in the last game of the tournament. The boys had one day to prepare for the Eagles and their well-coached program. 

“We entered the game focused and determined to win our first championship of the season,” head coach Gordon Shields said. “Our guys were locked in from the start and we knew we were going to have some fun.”

Before the whistle was blown, Forest Hills Central faced some early adversity. Denis Medic dunked in warm-ups, which led to a technical foul to start the game. After that, the boys got out to a fast start and pressured the Eagles from the jump. While forcing many steals and deflections, FHC also handled the ball well with zero first-quarter turnovers. A defense-led Rangers team held a 25-12 lead at the half. 

Hudsonville came out energized to start the second half and forced some turnovers of its own. The Eagles climbed back into the game; but, clutch buckets from Malik Thomas and Brendan Cargill sealed the victory for FHC. Brendan led all scorers with 11 points, Malik Thomas added 10, and Seder Middaugh had 8 points. Using strength and intensity, the Rangers outrebounded the Eagles by 20 and had 22 deflections. 

Winning the Cornerstone Tournament was the first major accomplishment for the freshman basketball team. Still, the team had to focus on Wyoming immediately after the game because it faced the Wolves the next day. In their third game in four days, the boys looked to outlast a wave of pressure that Wyoming almost always brings.

To start the first quarter, both teams struggled scoring but FHC found itself up 13-8 at the end of the first. Wyoming’s pestering defense and FHC’s deny-based defense were highlighted, as players on both teams struggled to get into their offense. But, as the game inched closer to the end of regulation, the boys’ performance only became stronger. Led by Aaron Schellenburg’s seven fourth-quarter points, the Rangers defeated the Wolves 60-52. 

Brendan Cargill led all scorers with 15 points while Max Holser exploded for 12 points, and Aaron Schellenburg added 11.

The boys get a long rest period for the remaining winter break. In their first game back, the Rangers will host the Red Arrows of Lowell next Friday, January 7. Led by coach Shields, the freshman team boasts a strong out-of-conference resume with a 4-1 record and a tournament championship.