Boys freshman basketball falls to Ottawa Hills 56-30

Boys freshman basketball falls to Ottawa Hills 56-30

Sam Hopkins, Sports Editor

A tenacious, scrappy full court press from Ottawa Hills caused confusion on the offensive end for the Rangers, as they threw the ball away on back-to-back-to-back trips down the court. The FHC freshman boys basketball team was defeated by Ottawa Hills in a hard fought game 56-30.

“They’re a good team,” head coach Kevin Banner said. “We played good in the first half, but we weren’t able to convert in the second. We needed to do a better job at stopping their dribble drive, but tonight just wasn’t our night.”

Despite only losing to Ottawa Hills by one in their previous meeting, the Rangers struggled against the Bengals on Thursday night.

“We wanted to go in and play confident, because we knew we could hang with these guys,” freshman Jackson Clay said. “Going forward, we need to stay positive and work better together as a team.”

The first quarter was the most competitive between the two sides. The teams traded baskets back and forth throughout the first eight minutes. Jackson was lighting it up from beyond the arc and had six of FHC’s eight points at the end of one. As the quarter came to a close, it was all tied up at eight.

FHC started off the second quarter strong. Freshman Chris Junkunc was putting in good work on the offensive boards and was able to get several put back baskets because of it. Aside from Chris, the Rangers as a whole struggled on the offensive end. The Bengals were giving the Rangers several different looks defensively, and FHC wasn’t able to figure things out. FHC went into the half trailing the Bengals 18-14.

“At the half, it was a relatively close game,” Chris said. “They’re a big, physical team that just outplayed us tonight.”

FHC came out of the half in a 2-3 zone, while Ottawa Hills continued to apply pressure with their full-court press. In the first half, the Bengals were working the ball inside getting easy baskets, while FHC was settling for deep outside shots.

The third quarter brought an up-tempo style of play from both sides. The Bengals seemed to be handling the Rangers on both sides of the ball. Play was getting increasingly chippy, as Ottawa Hills pulled farther ahead.

The fourth was much like the third, as Ottawa Hills continued to expand their lead. It was clear that the Bengals were the team that wanted it more.

“They seemed to out play us,” Jackson said. “When there was a loose ball, they got to it first. On missed shots, they were the ones who grabbed the rebounds. They played harder and deserved to win the game.”

As the season comes to a close, FHC will look to finish strong in the next couple of weeks with some wins.

“We’ve talked a lot about playing together as a team,” Banner said. “Tonight, when we were tested in the third and fourth quarter, we went back and played more as individuals. Finishing out the season, we need to continuing working together and trusting one another when things get tough.”