Girls varsity basketball faces ups and downs throughout 2021 season, finishes 7-6


After a great 15-6 season that ended in heartbreak back in 2020, the girls varsity basketball team came back better than ever after a long time without basketball in the state of Michigan. Once governor Whitmer finally gave the go-ahead in early February to let contact sports begin, the girls were ready to get back into action. It was almost 11 months since girls basketball played together on the FHC hardwood, so head coach Kristina Prins was just as excited as her players were to finally tip-off the winter season.

“This season was the most unique and unprecedented with COVID,” coach Kristina Prins said. “We felt it earlier in the season but once we got going there really weren’t any direct issues for us.”

It came fast like lightning for the FHC basketball program because five days after the pause was lifted, both teams were playing their first game against the Northview Wildcats. The girls were clicking on all cylinders in its season opener, as they held onto a double-digit lead at halftime. Between their knack for making the right play and taking smart shots, the Lady Rangers swiftly got by the Wildcats, 65-34.

After a great start to their season, FHC looked to face a challenging gauntlet in its next two weeks. With a tough rivalry game against Forest Hills Northern, along with facing two great teams in Grand Rapids Christian and Byron Center, the Rangers had their work cut out for them.

In their first game back after the Northview win, FHC was back in action against FHN. This game was close for most of the first half, but when it came down to clutch time, the Huskies never found a rhythm to carry them to a victory. As the clock ticked down, the Rangers found their lead growing. This run would eventually lead to a great 49-33 win in a crucial game before their first tough matchup against Grand Rapids Christian.

As the girls got a great 2-0 start, it was new dawn as the girls faced one of the best teams in West Michigan the Grand Rapids Christian Eagles. As the game started, it was again another back and forth game but as the Rangers did in their previous game, the Eagles pulled away and FHC didn’t have an answer in their first loss of the year 68-55.

After a feel-good, bounce-back win over Greenville, FHC looked to face Byron Center, a new team to the OK White but still have improved a lot from their previous season. The game was neck and neck but the Bulldogs air raid was too much for the Rangers’ defense, as they were shooting lights out from the three-point arc. In the long run, the Bulldogs kept a consistent lead in a 62-48 loss, giving FHC a 3-2 record halfway through the season.

The downward slope kept rolling for the girls as its next game was against East Grand Rapids, one of the best teams in the state. After a close first half, FHC fell apart and after a big run by the Pioneers, they ran away with it 75-42. The Rangers were looking for a confidence boost going into its next game against Lowell, but as the game got closer and closer, Lowell pulled away with its attack from the arc as FHC went home empty-handed yet again with a 62-57 loss. It was clear that the Rangers were looking for a confidence boost after this losing streak.

“After that down spurt, we had to figure out some things with us and the starting lineup,” junior Theryn Hallock said. “We worked out our differences and I think that helped a lot when it came to later in the season.”

 As the losing streak came to a grand total of 3 games, the Lady Rangers were looking to come back better than ever. The great end to the season started with a blowout win over Northview 53-29 and the ball just kept rolling. It was an easier win against the Huskies this time around as FHC won against Forest Hills Northern yet again 61-39, but the toughest test was yet to come as the Rangers had to host Grand Rapids Christian for their second matchup of the season after FHC took a loss earlier in the season to the Eagles.

As the Rangers and the Eagles met up, it was an instant clash for the ages as the game was close for the entire 32 minutes. As the game went on though, the Rangers started to pull away after a great shooting performance from Theryn and fellow junior Remmie Ingraham as the Rangers downed Grand Rapids Christian 62-55. 

“[Grand Rapids Christian] was one of our key wins,” Theryn claimed, “they are very athletic and a well-developed team so it felt good to know that we beat a good team.”

After a narrow win over Thornapple Kellogg 53-52, FHC looked to avenge another early-season loss to Byron Center in a must-win game for the Rangers. It started out well for both teams as they were both hitting back and forth shots, but in the end, even if Theryn got her 1,000th point, the game wasn’t close in the end as the Bulldogs blew out the Lady Rangers 65-42. 

The team soon found out that its opponent would be a familiar foe in the Lowell Red Arrows, and FHC looked forward to the opportunity to avenge yet another early-season loss as the Red Arrows were a very good team with a lot of young talent. 

It felt like a new season of basketball for Michigan as the postseason got started on Monday, March 22nd. It was a new advent at FHC as the girls team would look to make it past the first round of districts for the first time in 2 seasons. It was a great game from the start as yet again, both teams were trading off buckets. After a great 7-0 run at the end of the half though, the Rangers looked to come back in the second half.

It seemed like an eternity for halftime to finally end, but both teams looked hungry for a win after coming out of the tunnel. As the third quarter started, the Rangers went on a quick run, but Lowell pulled away with a run of its own. After a back and forth fourth quarter, it was all over from Lowell as the Lady Rangers season came to an abrupt end with a 59-49 loss to the Red Arrows. 

“This year was so short and quick we learned these girls are adaptable and eager to learn,” Prins said. “They all were asking for ways to improve and get work in. We will be missing some key players next season, but this will give more fuel to those younger players to get better.”