Senior night provides an unbelievable win and a chance for a conference title

Coach George sends off his seniors and reminisces on his players, as they gain an emotional win


Senior Sal Sidebotham became the hero Friday night after knocking down a foul shot with no time left on the clock. Senior night was buzzing with energy and chippiness, as the Rangers move into a potential conference title after the win over Ottawa Hills 53-52.


After Ottawa tied the game back up at 52-52 with 7.4 seconds left on the clock, the Rangers inbounded the ball to Sal to bring it up the floor in a rush. After Sal crossed half court, the Rangers looked unprepared for their last offensive attempt. Sal took it upon himself to throw up a three.

After the shot went well wide, Ottawa Hills fans erupted after sending the game to overtime, or so they thought. Shortly after, the ref threw up his hand signaling a foul beyond the arc. Three shots. Three chances to win.

Sal wasted no time, winning the game with his very first shot.

“I was just trying to get to the basket,” said Sal, who finished with a team high 22 points on the night. “I got trapped at first then moved outside. I pulled up for a three and got bumped. I just got the chance to shoot some free throws and did.”

The seniors altogether came up with several clutch plays throughout the incredible game to keep the Rangers in a great position to win. Senior Kyle Peirce had an outstanding night on the boards, pulling down ten total rebounds.

Senior Jack Uecker also came up huge with a three point ball to swing the momentum back in favor of the Rangers after an Ottawa Hills comeback.

Any win against a conference opponent is huge and can bring bad blood. After a win in this fashion, the tempers flared even more, as the benches quickly cleared after the game ended. Kyle was in the middle of the mess throughout the night.

“It was really emotional tonight,” Kyle said. “It was a physical game. It was a dog fight. We really stuck our noses in and fought hard to get this win.”

FHC sends off their seniors in big-time fashion with a literal last second win. Now they have a bigger challenge ahead. A conference championship. They look to accomplish this feat Thursday night against the Red Arrows of Lowell.


Looking back on the 2016-2017 season, head coach Ken George reminisced on some of his best memories and thoughts about his seniors on senior night.

Sal Sidebotham

“Sal is one of the most dynamic leaders I’ve ever coached. He has a way of getting the most out of the people around him. He really has the pulse of the team, being that barometer that we measure our team by. On top of that, on the court, he’s made a number of big plays at key times. He’s not afraid to take risks, and sometimes that results in a turnover but usually pays off in an assist or basket.”

John Fuller

“The injury to John was really difficult to go through, because now you have a senior that doesn’t get to experience the full Rangerball experience, especially late senior year. It’s a really disappointing thing. Before he got injured though, he was a really unique basketball player. He was able to guard guards, forwards, he was able to shoot threes, but also drive to the hoop. We put him on Matt Beachler, one of the best guards in the state this year, then last year we put him on Austin Branagan one of the better big men around. As coaches, he gave us a lot of leeway about matchups and gave other teams a difficult time matching up against him.”

Kyle Peirce

“KP is a great Rangerball story. He had limited minutes freshmen year, but then made a decision to outwork everyone and find a way to get on the floor throughout the rest of his career. Now he’s starting. It’s a tribute to commitment, it’s a tribute to working hard, it’s a tribute to doing the right thing, and it’s something that he decided a long time ago. It’s pretty gratifying as a coach when someone takes your advice and really does work hard and listens. He’s come a really long way not only as a player, but as a man. He will hold a Rangerball story that will be talked about for a long time even after he leaves.”

Jack Uecker

“When a stud athlete from another sport, which has happened a lot I guess in my 23 years coaching, it just adds importance and a sense of belief to the program. Jack is an all-state football and lacrosse player that loves to play basketball and has committed himself to being better. I’m really thankful that somebody who is so skilled in these other sports and so accoladed in these other sports, has dedicated himself for the last four months and really the last four years to basketball. I think if younger kids can do that and put in so much dedication to their second or their third sport, that’d really make a difference. For that reason and many others, I’m really thankful for Uecks.

Justin James

“Justin has been part of Rangerball I feel like since he was five years old. He has been coming to games for years, and his family has been so involved with his brother being the statistician last year. Justin knew early on that his minutes would be limited, and we talked about it. He told me that he was here, and he was in it, and he was going to prepare. He played a lot a few games ago and knocked down a couple and played very very well. Now with John’s injury, he’s starting to play some spot minutes here and there; we have confidence that when he goes in, he’s going to do great. When you’ve put in the time and worked super hard, you know that the results that come out will be a given.