Boys varsity basketball suffers a tough opening loss to East Kentwood 68-66


Senior Andrew Tebeau provided a lethal scoring threat from beyond the arc in Friday night’s 68-66 loss to the East Kentwood Falcons. Despite Andrew going four for nine from beyond the arc and dropping 20 total points on the night, it wasn’t quite enough to lead the Rangers to a victory.

“They left a popper wide open on almost all ball-screens on the arc,” said Andrew, who also had four rebounds and four steals. “I think overall what it came down to was defensive breakdowns and we just have to stop ball better. On top of that, we have to rebound. I think rebounding was the biggest piece to that loss.”

With the Falcons using two big men consistently all night, it was a battle for the boards all night.

“They had two really big guys that were super physical underneath the basket,” Andrew said. “They were just a physical team overall and we just have to take this and really work on our boxing out.”

The final score is deceptive of the final effort put forth by FHC. After going down 23-13 at the end of the first quarter, FHC reenergized and came out with a great second quarter to cut the lead down to three with just seconds to go in the half. East Kentwood answered again, just as they had all night, however, with a buzzer beater from half court to make it 36-30 Falcons heading into the locker room.

The Rangers just couldn’t find a way to make that final key bucket to make the leap and take the lead.

“We just couldn’t make that stop to get over the hump,” head coach Ken George said. “When we watched [EK] play FHN, they just couldn’t get over the hump. They had a shot to tie the game, a shot to take the lead and they couldn’t take the lead. We did the same tonight and we just couldn’t quite get there and take that lead.”

The Rangers found themselves down by only two at the end of the third quarter. After a back and forth effort, FHC had a tie ball game on their hands with just under two minutes to play. A timeout by the Rangers stalled East Kentwood and started to build the anticipation in the gym.

Coming out of the timeout, the Falcons relied on their top players to keep possession of the ball all the way down to just over eight seconds to play in the fourth. EK’s point guard then crossed through the lane and attempted to get underneath the basket for a layup, when he lost the ball to the ground. After a crazy sequencing of touches, one of East Kentwood’s big men, Adis Poljiak, threw up a layup with 2.8 seconds to play to take a 68-66 lead.

FHC couldn’t find a way to score again with such little time on the clock.

“We’re so disappointed,” George said. “There’s so much build up to game one so they’re really bummed, but I told them that we fought hard. We made some plays to get back into it in front of an excited gym, but they just made some bigger plays. They aggressiveness and their rebounding was just hard for us tonight.

Senior captains Ryan Dunn and Ty George had big nights as they dropped 16 points and 17 points respectively. Ryan had a particularly great night attacking the lane and getting to the rim.

“They came out and punched us in the gut,” said Ryan, who also finished with nine assists. “What coach talked about at halftime was getting to the lane and creating for others. I knew when they weren’t going to help off of Ty or Jimmy, that I was going to have to take my guy to the lane and finish.”

While normally being a three point threat, Ty showed some great versatility tonight with back door cuts and driving to the lane to make his own points. He was the final one of the three double digit scorers for FHC Friday night.

Ty knows this team is going to run into adversity along the way, but has to rise up and beat teams like this to succeed later on.

“We know we have a lot of room to improve upon,” Ty said. “It’s a quick 24 hour turnaround tomorrow night in Traverse City which is the best thing for us. We knew coming in they were going to be a good team, but we know we’re going to have to beat teams like that and teams better than that if we want to go where we want to go.”