A 62-42 defeat to Forest Hills Northern moves boys varsity basketball to 6-4


Coming off of a four-game winning steak, the FHC boys varsity basketball team looked to ramp up the momentum while facing an exceptionally difficult challenge: Forest Hills Northern. Despite leading the Huskies for most of the game, the matchup that took place earlier in the season saw FHN escape in a late-game nail-biter. Now on the road, the Rangers fell victim to the scorching hot play of their bitter rivals. In an all-out scoring display, Northern shot its way to a commanding 62-42 victory. 

“Obviously you never want to lose, but you grow from every game,” senior forward Matthew Mahoney said. “You never know what to expect come playoffs, so I think it’s important to experience some adversity beforehand, and losses against your rival certainly bring that.” Despite the outcome, the leaders of this Ranger squad see the glass-half-full aspects of the loss.

At the outset of the game, junior Jacob Bonnett got things going for Rangerball with two early baskets. However, this 4-0 lead disappeared quickly. After a three-pointer by junior Conner Milton to break the deadlock at four, the Huskies embarked on an 11-0 run to finish off the first quarter. 

Sitting at 15-7, the early-game deficit was certainly not insurmountable for FHC. Senior Peyton Bush converted on the first score of the second quarter, proving to be a promising moment for the Rangers. Regardless, FHN countered with yet another outburst. Husky senior and Ferris State commit Ethan Erickson took over in this stretch, as a 9-0 run for Northern boosted the lead to a demoralizing fifteen points. 

Following a Ranger timeout, FHC showed some life. Seniors Jonah Spates, Jeremy James, and Dallas Hopson all knocked down triples, as nine straight points went on the scoreboard for Rangerball. Additionally, a huge steal by Jacob Bonnett and pass to fellow junior Ben Scholler for a buzzer-beater layup cut the Husky lead to six points, as the Rangers went into halftime trailing 26-20. 

After a back-and-forth couple of minutes, Northern began to pull away. With help from tremendous outside shooting, the Huskies gathered a 17-point lead late in the third quarter. Despite the hustle and no-quit attitude displayed by Rangerball, the team could simply not gather enough momentum to make a dent in the lead. After trimming the lead to a measly 11 points, FHN put one final dagger in its rival with a couple of free throws and unanswered baskets. When it was all said and done, the Huskies of Forest Hills Northern came away with a brutal 62-42 drubbing. This twenty-point blowout poses some loose ends that the team must find a way to tie. 

“Staying focused and getting our defensive intensity to a higher level,” claimed junior Pierson VanGorp when asked about some main priorities moving forward. “We also have to move the ball more on offense.” When comparing defeats this season for Rangerball, imperfections such as these have become a trend.

“I think that all of our losses have come down to similar shortcomings, so this game will only further emphasize how important it is for us to be the aggressors and flat-out play harder than the other team,” added Matthew Mahoney postgame.

Down the road, Rangerball faces familiar foes. FHC faces Grand Rapids Christian on Tuesday, March 9th in a critical away game. Just 48 hours later, the Rangers play host to the mighty Greenville Yellow Jackets on Thursday, March 11th.