Boys varsity basketball topples over East Grand Rapids 52-46

Boys varsity basketball topples over East Grand Rapids 52-46

On Friday, February 24, Rangerball traveled to Pioneer territory for its second game against East Grand Rapids. Marking it the boys’ third to last game of the season, and against a large rival, tensions were high on both teams’ sides. With the boys wanting to stretch their winning streak to three, and East Grand Rapids looking to protect its reputation at home, it looked to be an eventful, thrilling game-and it did not disappoint, especially in the first quarter.

To start off, it was evident that both schools garnered large turnouts. Ranger supporters had more reason to cheer early on, however, as the boys managed to create a lead that was never lost for the rest of the game. Just four minutes in, they were up 7-0 against the Pioneers, and 12-7 as the first quarter came to a close. This made for a solid foundation for the rest of the game and characterized how the rest would play out.

Encouraged by the substantial student section, the Rangers continued their lead quite similarly in the second quarter. Steady performance on all aspects of the team, especially defense, allowed the boys to hold their lead 20-15 halfway through. Although the first half was undoubtedly a low-scoring period for both teams, the score was 22-15 Rangers at halftime.

After halftime, fortune continued to shine on the Rangers’ side, enabling them to stay consistent with their lead. In the early part of the third quarter, as one team would score, the other would as well, building the numbers up to 27-21 Rangers four minutes in. But at this time, East Grand Rapids’ scoring performance climbed as they made four three-pointers in the span of only a couple minutes, closing down their trail and sparking the nerves of Ranger supporters. With the latter part of the third quarter, the Pioneers’ offense fought harder, making the score 37-34 Rangers as the third quarter ended.

Now, as the score had been the closest all game, the last quarter was intense, thrilling, and dotted with fouls on both teams. The fight for the lead, and ultimately win, was the highest it had been at this point, and for the majority of the last quarter, either team could have won it. However, as usual, the Rangers managed to stay calm under pressure and continue to execute effective defense, holding East Grand Rapids off. With three minutes left, the score was 41-36 Rangers, then became a nerve-wracking 49-46; however, a levelheaded and impressive performance from the Rangers enabled them to gain the win 52-46.

“This win means a ton to our team. East Grand Rapids had always been a big rival and it feels great to win on their home court,” junior J Coe comments. Regarding playoffs approaching quickly, he notes: “As far as playoffs go, we’re going to take it one game at a time and focus on our game.”

Rangerball’s next game is another highly anticipated one, against Grand Rapids Christian on Tuesday, February 28. This upcoming week marks it the last week of regular season games, and the boys look to finish out their season strong in Eagle territory.