Boys varsity basketball takes care of EGR in a 21-point blowout win


Victory couldn’t have tasted much sweeter than it did on Tuesday night when the boys varsity basketball avenged its previous loss to East Grand Rapids. 

The boys were extremely hungry for vengeance, and it showed. From the opening jump, FHC controlled the tempo and established itself as a threat on both ends of the floor.

With assistant coach Jordan George stepping up in the absence of head coach Kyle Carhart, the Rangers were in uncharted territory entering the rivalry matchup. Regardless, they put pressure on the Pioneers all night long and came away with a 59-38 win.

“We talked before the game about the importance of setting the tone defensively,” coach George said postgame. “We knew that we would switch defenses a ton and that first quarter was proof that we were going to battle on both ends.”

FHC focused most of its attention on highly-acclaimed junior Simon Neuhaus of EGR. The 6’5 wing is burly and can shoot the lights out, but the Rangers did an exceptional job of keeping him at bay.

Rangerball’s defensive intensity was persistent throughout the game. Senior Jacob Bonnett broke an early 2-2 tie by picking off a Pioneer pass and laying it in on the other end. Seniors Pierson VanGorp and Conner Milton were active on Simon all night long; they made sure that he truly earned every point.

Finishing out the first quarter with a 19-7 lead and a plethora of guys in the scoring column, the Rangers refused to let up. Pierson and junior Nate Delaney scored a bucket apiece in the second quarter, which was capped off by a mid-range shot from Conner and a pretty fade-away near the buzzer by junior Jake Koning. FHC comfortably led 35-18 heading into halftime.

Sophomore Jonas VanderWoude picked up right where he left off against Lowell, leading the charge with 14 points. Two of them came to start the second half when he drove baseline and used his positioning to lay it in with authority. 

The Rangers were simply having fun in the third quarter. Conner spun on Simon and threw down a vicious, two-handed jam, which Pierson followed with a three of his own. Once Milton yet again spun effortlessly around an East defender and scored off the glass, it was apparent that FHC was the better team in the gym that night. 

A 17-point cushion going into the fourth quarter allowed the Rangers to essentially take the air out of the ball. They did their job of making free throws and taking care of the ball, handing them a 59-38 win when the clock hit triple zeros.

Considering that FHC only scored 40 in the January game at East, a 59-point finish shows considerable improvement. Jonas’s 14 and Conner’s 13 points stole the headlines in this one, but it was still a complete team effort.

“The second time through the league is always interesting because the familiarity is just heightened,” coach George claimed. “We need to be locked in on both ends for the next month.”

The revenge tour doesn’t end quite yet for FHC. On Friday, February 11, the Rangers travel to Forest Hills Northern with the chance to compensate for yet another loss earlier in the season.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this group,” coach George said. “I think the sky is the limit for these guys.”