A valiant effort from Rangerball comes up short against a Northview powerhouse


Rangerball certainly knew it was in for a treat on Tuesday when it traveled to Northview.

Facing off against a 15-1 Wildcat squad that has taken West Michigan by storm, the Rangers were very much aware of the opportunity at hand. 

It was never going to be easy for FHC; Northview’s threats were striking early and often and the Rangers were struggling to contain the opposing offense. 

After leading by no more than seven points all game, the Wildcats were able to extend their lead to eight in the final minutes. Down the stretch, they slipped away with a 74-64 win. 

“We were able to stay close for the majority of the game,” head coach Kyle Carhart said. “Unfortunately, they made some tough plays late in the fourth.”

Rangerball faced an uphill battle all game. After Northview jumped out to a 7-0 lead, FHC had to continuously fight to stay in contention. 

Senior guards Ben Scholler and Jacob Bonnett traded crucial buckets to get the Rangers’ blood pumping in the opening minutes. The first quarter ended on a bang, with fellow senior Conner Milton muscling through defenders for an and-one finish off of a beautiful feed from junior Levi McKenzie. Rangerball trailed by just three.

Jacob and Conner were just getting started on their nights as the second quarter began. Bonnett gave the Rangers a brief lead by stealing it from the Wildcats and hitting Levi in stride for a transition layup. An extremely back-and-forth quarter led to a 32-30 Northview advantage to conclude 

In the second half, Conner stole the show for FHC. The star forward began to dominate inside on both ends, racking up points, blocks, and rebounds. He also knocked down a number of three-pointers that were much-needed by his boys. Milton finished his night with 21 points and 7 rebounds; he seemed to be everywhere on the court.

“Coach put me in the right positions to make plays,” Conner claimed postgame. “My teammates found me at the right time to make those plays.”

Although it trailed by just one entering the final quarter, FHC needed a lot to overcome Northview on the road. Then, as the Wildcats began to widen the gap, the Rangers’ upset hopes were diminishing by the minute.

Despite the solid defensive effort, Rangerball had no answer for Northview’s Kyler Vanderjagt. The D1-commit torched the Rangers for 33 points in a 74-64 revenge win for the Wildcats. Kyler’s play down the stretch is what sealed the deal. 

Looking forward, FHC faces yet another immense challenge. Standing between the Rangers and an end to the losing streak will be Grand Rapids Christian, as the boys travel to take on the Eagles on Friday, February 18.

“It was fun to see our guys battle and compete at a high level,” coach Carhart said. “It showed that they are capable of competing with anyone.”