While there wasn’t a ton of success on the offensive side of the ball for either team, one side just seemed to want it more defensively. Defense was the difference for the Rangers boys freshman basketball team against FHN on Thursday as they grinded out a 46-35 victory.
Head coach Kevin Banner was pleased with the defensive fire his team showed.
“We bought in and everyone upheld their responsibilities,” Banner said. “We held ourselves accountable tonight. We were in the right positions, and we just kept getting stops.”
Freshman John Corey agreed that defense was a big reason FHC was able to be in control.
“We played high in deny, and we didn’t let them get easy looks,” John said. “We played well in help, and we rebounded well. We boxed out well.”
The first quarter was a struggle as both sides were trying to feel each other out. However, in the second, FHC started to get something going thanks to a few big shots by John. He gave FHC the lead going into halftime 22-16. The lead was extended even more in the third due to big three’s by John and fellow freshman Christopher Junkunc. They wouldn’t look back from there, as the Rangers went on to win by eleven.
John was pleased with the victory after the sluggish start.
“We went into the game with not a lot of intensity,” John said. “We knew we had to get this win. I just started shooting, trying to catch on fire, and they just started falling.”
Chris was also vital to the win with his rebounding efforts. He gave his keys to his performance after the game.
“Just being fierce and playing angry throughout the game was big,” he said.
Banner singled out John and Chris as two of the big time reasons they were able to get the win.
“I thought they both really stepped up their game with their energy,” Banner said. “Chris was really physical down low. He was a man down there and just took it upon himself to get good post positioning. He fought through contact and we rode him offensively. John also hit some huge shots to give us some energy at a time where we were struggling to score.”