Boys Varsity Basketball Looks Towards Northpointe After Loss to Covenant Christian

Boys Varsity Basketball Looks Towards Northpointe After Loss to Covenant Christian

Sam Hopkins, Sports Editor

In the opening moments, senior Jack Uecker laid the ball in to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Covenant then came storming back, putting up a 16 point run of their own. Although the Rangers would battle back and close the deficit, they did not have the firepower Friday night to propel them to a win against the Covenant Christian Chargers.

FHC varsity boys basketball fell to Covenant Christian 59-43 in Round One of the Cornerstone Holiday Basketball Tournament.

“Lots of credit to [Covenant Christian], but we just didn’t play great,” junior Ryan Dunn said. “We gotta spend some extra time in the gym and work harder at practice because a lot of our errors can be fixed. We missed a lot of open shots, so in order to win some games we’re going to need to convert better.”

FHC got out to a slow start against a 3-0 Chargers team on Friday night. After Covenant Christian went on a massive uncontested run early, the Rangers had a lot of clawing back ahead of them.

“I think what happened was our lack of defensive success turned into a really frantic offensive situation,” head coach Ken George said. “We were trying to get it all back right away, and guys were trying to do things that were too hard and it’s not okay.”

FHC didn’t seem to have an answer on defense for Covenant and shot themselves in the foot throughout the first half with seven turnovers. FHC would go on to switch up their defensive scheme to a half court trap mid-way through the first which caused the Charger offense to stall, but Covenant would eventually find an answer offensively. The first quarter came to a close with the Chargers leading 20-11.

“We needed to be a lot tougher,” senior John Fuller said. “They had us on the ropes, but we were able to battle back a bit. We had several bursts of success, but we couldn’t piece them together.”

FHC came out of the huddle with a different energy than they had played with in the first. Starting the quarter off strong, the Rangers closed the gap to 3. Due to heavy defensive pressure and a high-tempo offense, the Rangers had managed to run the floor and score several off of the fast break. FHC now trailed 17-20 after a monstrous momentum swing.

“I was really proud of when they had us down big early,” George said. “We didn’t bail; we bucked up. We forced a hot time out, or two, and were back in it.”

After a quick timeout, the Chargers answered back. They went on a run of their own, led by guard Benji Kuiper. As the teams headed into the half, Covenant Christian led 41-24.

“We wanted to come out in the second half and play lockdown defense,” Ryan said. “First half we gave up 41 points, and in the second we held them to 18. We played better, but that first half hurt us overall.”

As both teams came out of the break, more of the same continued. FHC had gone back to the half court trap that they had used back in the first, but the Chargers continued to exploit it in the third. The two sides traded baskets back and forth in an otherwise uneventful third quarter. As the teams regrouped for the fourth, the Chargers were on top 51-34.

The fourth quarter brought more of the same. FHC managed to get to the free throw line often, but was unable to capitalize on many of their chances at the strike. When all was said and done, the Rangers had fallen to the Chargers 59-43.

FHC will now head into their second round of the holiday tournament against the Northpointe Christian Mustangs. FHC and NPC have met earlier this season in a scrimmage, and the Rangers seemed to have their way with the Mustangs.

“We can’t underestimate that team,” John said. “They’re definitely a good squad. We just need to play them tougher than we played tonight and knock down some of our shots.”