Freshman boys basketball battled but did not follow through against Forest Hills Eastern


Ali Czarnecki, Sports Reporter

Freshman Jeremy James dropped another 15 points in the freshmen boys basketball game on Thursday night. During Rangerball’s first home game, they fell 51-49 to the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks. Jeremy was all over the court on both offense and defense. He had several three-pointers that charged up the team and ensured a great first half.

“In the second half we got lazy on defense which caused them to score some easy buckets,” said Jeremy, who is a starting shooting guard. “During the first half, I think our defense was playing very well together but during the second half we got tired and it cost us the win.”

The Rangers had a 15 point lead against the Hawks going into the second half. With strong defense throughout the first half the Rangers blocked shots and grabbed rebounds to create several opportunities to gain this lead. Joey Wise put up eight points on Thursday, most of them being three-pointers. Joey also played tough defense with a few blocks.

“I thought we got a little too comfortable with our lead coming out of halftime,” Joey said. “We played back too much and Eastern came out playing hard, so we panicked a little and started playing uncontrolled and let it get away.”

FHE would not back down coming out of the locker room. FHE’s first lead of the game was in the third quarter after hitting a big three-pointer, making the score 41-39. This changed the game drastically causing the FHC to look flustered. The Rangers regained a small lead but it was short lived and the Rangers never went up again.

Head coach Kevin Banner thought that FHE turned it up a notch and the Rangers relaxed just enough to let them back in the game. From there on out of was a dogfight and we unfortunately came up just short. Being the Rangers first home game, Banner felt that the boys were more comfortable playing in their own environment. Despite the team’s outside shooting ability, Banner is going to emphasize the drive to the net in practice.

“Driving to the net will be a something to focus on, but I think we need to be tougher and more physical. That will lead to us driving and finishing more often,” Banner said. “It’s something that hurt us again and something that I need to do a better job coaching when playing against pressure D. We got a little careless with the ball in the second half. I thought we guarded hard, unfortunately rebounded poorly, shot it well and played together.”

The game consisted of a lot fouls that sent the boys to the line. The only problem was capitalizing on those opportunities.

“Our free throw percentage definitely changed the game for us because it was so low. We need to knock down the chances we get at the line if we want to win close games,” Jeremy said. “We played this game almost exactly like we played in Traverse City, with the only difference being our intensity on defense was much much poorer this game.”

Towards the end of the game with just two seconds left, Jeremey swished a three-pointer. The Rangers, however, could not find the other two points to tie the game. Looking ahead, the Rangers have an open schedule next week with no games. The following week the Rangers have a holiday tournament and will be playing twice at Cornerstone University. The team hopes to play well and lock-down two more wins to add to their 1-2 record.

“The game was a close loss to a very good team that’s a rival,” Banner said. “So although, it hurts and is a big punch to the gut, we definitely took a step forward. I believe we are getting more comfortable each game. I don’t think it will ever be completely smooth sailing, but good things are ahead for this team. That much I’m sure of.”