Girls JV Basketball Falls to Grand Haven 36-21

Girls JV Basketball Falls to Grand Haven 36-21

Jake Heilman, Sports Reporter

Despite late surges by the sophomore guards Chloe Grooters, Alex Vaughn-Earvin and Zoey Guikema, the JV Lady Rangers fell 36-21 to the Grand Haven Buccaneers.

The Lady Rangers night started off rough after quickly falling behind 14-2 in the first. The Rangers missed key shots early on and struggled to get in an offensive groove. Rebounding was also an issue from the get go.

“Our rebounding has been a struggle all year,” head coach Kevin Brechting said. “They were taller than us, and I knew it was going to be a struggle. The effort was there, but they were really tough.”

The Ranger defense, despite giving up big numbers in the first, leveled out and found a groove in the second half. After outscoring the Buccaneers 13-6 in the third quarter, the Rangers showed their first signs of a fluid defensive performance. It was a big step when the team switched from a zone to man defense.

“I was very pleased, because we played the whole time,” Brechting said. “We struggled up front, and we made some adjustments. In the end, they made the final adjustments.”

In the second half, the Rangers looked like a brand new team. After a big shot from sophomore forward Jacqueline McLaughlin, the Ranger point guards took matters into their own hands.

“I came out more aggressive,” said point guard Zoey Guikema, who finished with 7 points. “In the first half I had little energy. In the second half, I had more confidence that I could actually get this done.” 

Zoey hit a three to cap off a big Ranger’s run late in the third quarter. The Rangers had narrowed the lead to 20-16. Chloe Grooters also had a big night, as she scored eight and brought down three rebounds.

“We were a lot more put together on offense,” Chloe said. “We were setting good picks, and we were running the plays how they actually should’ve been run. It created a lot more opportunities and allowed us to play looser throughout.”

The third quarter performance was one to take away from for this team, as they went on a crazy 8-0 run.  The team looks to use that quarter as a stepping stone into future performances.

“It was better tonight,” Chloe said. “The third quarter was definitely something that we can take away from. The rebounding and the plays still need to be worked on, but we’re getting there.”