Boys varsity basketball falls to Forest Hills Eastern


On Tuesday, December 13th, the boys varsity basketball team traveled to Forest Hills Eastern for a much-anticipated game, looking to redeem themselves after their loss to Kenowa Hills. Games and matches between the schools in the Forest Hills district are always charged with a certain thrill due to the close proximity of the schools, making for fiery rivalries; this game was no exception.

Juniors Jonas VanderWoude, Ty Hudkins, and Brady Miller, and seniors Levi McKenzie and Nate Delaney were the talented starter lineup that night, and with their help, the first quarter remained very even.

To start off, both teams were neck and neck. Once again, McKenzie showcased his shot-making skills by contributing three three-pointers early on, aiding greatly in Rangerball’s fight. Throughout the first quarter, both teams consistently made their contributions to the scoreboard, making for high tensions–but the boys’ talents and skill allowed them to grasp a small lead going into the second quarter.

The second quarter greatly echoed the first. Similarities all around carried into the later part of the first half with Forest Hills Eastern and Rangerball remaining level on the scoreboard. As time went on, the Hawks began to surpass the Rangers’ defense little by little, making it possible for them to obtain a small lead as halftime commenced. Now, the team trailed Eastern, but only by a couple of points. Unfortunately, that lead for the Hawks only grew in the third quarter.

After halftime, Forest Hills Eastern began to give its all. As the scales tipped in the opposing side’s favor, luck only unfortunately diminished for Rangerball, even following the mental reset halftime provides.

“The goal of the third quarter was to let the offense handle itself and work hard on defense to stop Eastern from scoring. It didn’t go as planned. We failed possession after possession to get stops due to poor rotations and communication,” junior Adam Gray notes.

Seeing an opportunity to advance further beyond the Rangers, the Hawks pulled away in the third quarter greatly. Fueled by Rangerball’s sudden subpar defense, the score gap got larger and larger, and this time not in the boys’ favor. The final minutes and quarters of any game are crucial and are often where teams pull out comebacks or enhance their lead, but Rangerball could not execute a win.

“Being down at the end of the third put us in a really tough spot and we collectively knew we’d have to dominate the fourth to come back and win. Unfortunately, we couldn’t pull it off,” adds Adam.

Even though a vigorous attempt was put forth by the team in the last quarter to fight back, it sadly could not make it happen to the fullest extent. As the buzzer rang, the final score was 70-79. However, there are many positives to take away from this game, as it was extremely high scoring and remained neck and neck for the majority.

“The loss is also very frustrating. It will motivate us to work hard this week in practice. We need to work more as a team and develop our own individual roles on defense to prevent East Kentwood from scoring Friday,” continues Adam.

Rangerball’s next matchup is an even bigger one: they face off against East Kentwood on Friday, December 16th at home. Then, the boys look to shake off bad luck and even out their season record to 2-2 against one of the best teams in the state.