Boys freshman basketball ends its shortened season with a 10-0 record and conference championship


After high expectations surrounded the talented freshman basketball team for most of the season, it is safe to say that the boys lived up to the hype. The team came into the year expecting to have a dominant season, and that is exactly what they did. They won by an average of 32.5 points per game without freshman Brady Miller, who was pulled up for JV all year. Despite the absence of Miller, FHC dominated and as a result, was crowned conference champions. The Rangers were led by a copious amount of talent, and their starters were aided by unlimited depth off the bench. Although head coach Adam Monroe has coached some stacked teams throughout his career, he has never seen a team like this one. Mainly, the team was led by Ty Hudkins and JT Hartman. Both were not shy to fill up the stat sheet, as they got into double figures in most of their games this season. Ty was a menace defensively, converting steals into effortless layups. JT brought more of a dominant approach, attacking the rim and bodying helpless defenders; both were key members of the team. Freshmen Mason McDonald and J Coe also had great seasons. Mason shot the three-ball well and dominated the glass with the help of J and his presence in the paint. He was a commanding piece down low, and he also gave other big men trouble with his array of post moves. Unfortunately for the Rangers, their season was canceled after their tenth game due to COVID. 

“I think COVID affected our season to a certain extent, but the group of guys that we had were extremely close,” coach Matthew Ellis said. “We didn’t get to do some off-court team building activities we’ve done in the past, but we did a good job of controlling what we could control. The guys came in and worked their tails’ off.”

COVID definitely affected FHC’s season, but it did not affect the team’s chemistry. They created a bond on and off the court which was evident when it came time to play. FHC started its unique season against an athletic Northview team. After an early run from the Rangers, Northview called a timeout. FHC got out to a bigger lead, and before you could blink, they held over a 15 point lead. Physical defense mixed with dominant rebounding gave the Rangers a 55-38 win versus the Wildcats. Hartman and Hudkins both had great games, with JT scoring 10 and Ty scoring 16 points. Freshman Roman Brummel also had an impressive game, as he sparked 11 points of his own and controlled the tempo of the game. A win over a big rival for the Rangers gave them their first win of the season and a perfect foundation to build off of.

After a 1-0 start, FHC took on a bitter Forest Hills Northern team. In its middle school days, FHC dominated the series. FHN would prove to be no match for a possessed Ranger squad. They got off to a hot start and led 24-7 at the end of the first quarter. Central kept the pressure going; Northern could never find a rhythm. Lifted by Mason McDonald, J Coe, and a big fourth quarter from Chase Enbody, the Rangers took care of business with a 70-29 victory. With their first two wins being against rivals, FHC was building momentum for the acme of their season. 

The Rangers piled on a few more victories shortly after. Heading into March, the boys were 8-0 and winning by large margins. One of those victories, their largest of the season, came in a Saturday game against the Hudsonville Eagles. Central got a lift from all 15 players, most specifically Matthew Seurynck and Jacob Harleton. They came off of the bench and gave the Rangers a huge boost. Seurynck had eight points with an effective day on the glass, while Jacob Harelton controlled the pace of the game and dished out some great assists. Heading into the ninth game, the team faced a familiar foe in the Northview Wildcats. Earlier in the year, FHC dominated the Wildcats for all 32 minutes of the game. This time around, the Wildcats came in with more focus and took advantage of some miscues by the Rangers. FHC had great opportunities at the rim but could not capitalize, allowing Northview to stay in the game. Central led by five at the end of the first. Ty Hudkins had a huge half scoring 10 points. In the second half, the Rangers came out recharged and ready to play. They won every loose ball, dominated the glass, and knocked down some shots. The second-half blowout gave them a 56-35 win. 

“Definitely when we were in a close game at halftime with Northview,” Ty Hudkins said when asked about his favorite part of the season. “We came out of the locker room with crazy energy and the score went from a six-point lead to 26 in six minutes.” 

FHC looked to use this momentum in its final game of the season. The team had a rematch with its bitter rival in Forest Hills Northern. In the first game, it was straight domination from the get-go. This time, however, Northern entered with more energy. FHC came out swinging though, scoring the first 10 points and forcing a Husky timeout. The Huskies came out of the break with their best effort, and it kept them in the game but they never led. Northern used its energy in unconventional ways, trying to take the mental edge. Despite this, FHC brushed it off like it was nothing. The squad dominated in the third quarter and never looked back. The Rangers took down the Huskies by a score of 56-27, finishing the season 10-0 with a 3-0 conference record and a conference title. 

“The most enjoyable moment for me was when we got the green light to start contact practices,” coach Monroe said. “The guys were foaming at the mouth to get started and so were coach Ellis and myself as a coaching staff.”