Rangerball comes up short 52-42 against Forest Hills Northern


It just wasn’t clicking for the boys varsity basketball team in Friday night’s matchup for district bragging rights. 

Rangerball entered the contest hungry for a win over FHN, especially after a 2021 winter that entailed three Husky victories over FHC in Northern’s memorable run to the Breslin Center. 

Despite a significant loss of talent for the Huskies this year, they came into the FHC jungle with a vengeance. The Rangers struggled with the various defenses being thrown at them, leading to one too many easy buckets the other way. 

It didn’t seem to be FHC’s night in the end, as momentum swung Northern’s way late in the game to hand Rangerball its second consecutive loss. The 52-42 defeat poses adversity to overcome for FHC, as the remaining 12 games in the OK-White season present an opportunity to learn from such troubling losses. 

“Our message remains the same to the players,” head coach Kyle Carhart said. “We have to stay invested together as a team so we can continue to get better.”

Senior Pierson VanGorp was definitely a bright spot in this one, as he continued to shine on the defensive end while putting up a career-high of 9 points. His focus and tenacity on both ends have given the Rangers a significant lift all season long. 

Sophomore sharpshooter Jonas VanderWoude had an off-night from the field; yet, he got a few to drop. As the season progresses, along with Jonas’ skillset, he has the ability to step into a primary scoring role for FHC. 

Despite these noteworthy performances, the story of the game was simple; Rangerball really struggled to score in the half-court, pick up crucial defensive stops, and gather enough momentum to overcome a persistent second-half deficit. 

“We have to be a team that is consistently difficult to score against,” coach Carhart said. “With our team struggling to score in the half-court, we need to turn offense into defense by scoring in transition.” 

As FHC’s comeback hopes dwindled away, it became clear that such shortcomings must be tuned up in order to compete for the conference title. The Rangers will get an opportunity to bounce back next Friday, January 21, as they host Grand Rapids Christian at 6:00 p.m. 

“There are a lot of great opportunities for us ahead,” coach Carhart said. “We don’t want to miss out by not improving every day.”