Girls varsity basketball sets records and milestones during the 2021-22 season


After a shortened season last year and a first-round loss at the hands of Lowell, the girls varsity basketball team had one goal in mind: win a conference championship and win at all costs in the postseason. After a great start to the season, though, the girls struggled to end conference play on a high note. A district semifinal loss to Rockford wasn’t the way the Lady Rangers wanted to go out, but a successful season full of milestones and records made it a memorable one.

A trio of non-conference games in early December started the season for the girls. Senior Theryn Hallock scored her first triple-double of the season against the Wyoming Wolves, leading the girls to an opening 59-44 win to start the season. After the early statement, the Hawks of Forest Hills Eastern traveled across town to face off against the Rangers. Despite a late comeback effort from the Hawks, FHC clamped down on defense in the late moments of that Monday contest for a 56-49 win. Just a couple of days later, FHC capped off the first semester with a great win against Jenison. In the thick of Winter Break, the Rangers boasted a 3-0 record heading into the Cornerstone Holiday Tournament.

Over the holiday break, the girls went 1-1, suffering their first loss to West Catholic. However, after they barely beat Catholic Central 51-49, they maintained a winning record of 4-1. With a 4-1 record, FHC faced an uphill battle when it entered its daunting conference slate. Lowell was on the table first, and as always, the Red Arrows were a challenge for the Rangers. The Rangers did not have a great game overall, dropping another matchup to Lowell. The next day was more of the same from FHC, as the girls lost to Portland at a Cornerstone showcase the following day. At 4-3, the girls had to put together some solid wins.

FHC’s next contest ended in a blowout loss for East Grand Rapids, which was very unexpected. Outstanding performances by Theryn and junior Delaney Smith were exclamation points after the two losses. A close game against Forest Hills Northern a couple of days later resulted in a close loss by five points, but there was a lot to build off of that loss. Great play in the paint by junior Maya Holser and sophomore Maggie Sneider was just what the girls needed to start putting a lot of wins together. 

The next week wasn’t what the girls wanted, but tough games against Grand Rapids Christian and Byron Center the next two weeks would not help either. To start the week, a win against Greenville was great; however, Byron Center was a buzzsaw just waiting for anyone to get in its way. The Bulldogs blew out the Rangers, sending the team into a rough patch of games to start February.

The schedule ahead in February was filled with games against some of the top teams in the OK White Conference. Lowell, EGR, and Forest Hills Northern all stood in the way of the ladies gaining some ground in the conference standings. A close first half against Lowell faltered in the second half in a loss, and despite making a comeback in the second half of the East Grand Rapids game, the Pioneers, who were led by Macy Brown, pulled away for a win at home. The ladies traveled to FHN just a couple of days later, and yet again, the Huskies played excellent defense to hold off the Rangers’ attack. FHN’s staunch defease resulted in a 15-point loss for FHC and extended the Rangers’ losing streak to four games. Unfortunately for the Rangers, this loss put them out of conference championship contention and denied them a possibility at the number one seed in their district. 

A close win against Northview to start the following week was a plus, but yet again, another tough test was close ahead. Grand Rapids Christian, a team the lady Rangers had lost to by more than 20 points just a month ago, was like no opponent FHC had faced before. After a first half that seemed like the Eagles had the momentum, out of nowhere, Theryn went off in the second half. Then, after grabbing a close lead in the fourth quarter, the Eagles pulled away in the end. Still, a lot of confidence was gained based on the girls’ defensive pressure on the Eagles and great ball movement on offense. 

The final stretch of regular-season featured games against Greenville and Byron Center looked to be a turning point right before the postseason started. An easy win led by Theryn scoring 50 points and reaching 1,500 career points put some hope in the girls going into a game against a great Byron Center team. Despite all efforts, the Bulldogs cruised in the matchup, winning again by a very big margin. Matching up with Northview to start the postseason the next week, the girls needed a win to stay alive.

Yet again, like she has all season, Theryn put the team on her back. The hot start in the first half was an excellent sign for the ladies. Great defense to start the second half seemed to pull the Rangers ahead, but Northview still had some fight. After a 7-0 run by the WIldcats, FHC pulled away with the help of freshman Jordan Koning and Theryn. A 58-37 win put the Rangers in the district semifinals against Rockford. In the end, FHC put up a solid fight against the Rams. There were even some times when the Rangers seemed like they would pull away. Nevertheless, Rockford was just too big of a match for FHC. A 69-53 loss to Rockford ended the girls’ 10-12 season.

“I have been so fortunate to have coached so many incredible young ladies in my time,” coach Kristina Prins said. “But, there was just something about this year’s group of girls that made this year just so much more special.”