Girls varsity basketball secures third straight win, defeats Wayland 50-44


Senior Madi Winter’s return to the girls varsity basketball team in Saturday night’s game was impactful to say the least. Named the leading scorer with 26 points, her contributions helped lead the Lady Rangers to their win over Wayland in their second game of the Cornerstone Holiday tournament with a final score of 50-44.

“It wasn’t just me working; I had a lot of people passing [to me],” Madi said. “I’ve been missing playing with my girls and it’s just awesome to finally get out there and be a complete team.”

Described as a “floor general” by her teammates, Madi’s return was much anticipated.

“[Madi] just brings so much fire,” said Head Coach Kristina Prins about her four-year starting point guard. “She has the experience [and] she’s very confident, which we needed. She turned it on today.”

Junior Claire Baguley was also relieved to have her teammate back on the court last night.

“[Madi] can get you the ball; she just knows the game so well, so it’s nice to play with someone that knows how you play and is really experienced,” Claire said.

Despite jumping out to an early 15-8 lead and dominating the first quarter with their tight press and quick passes, the Rangers found themselves losing control through the second and third quarters. With a large and aggressive Wayland lineup, the game came within one point in the final two minutes.

“We were conforming to how they play, what they do, [and] their style. We just let them do what they wanted,” Prins said. “[We had to tell ourselves,] “That’s not how we play, that’s not how we work. We have to dictate the game.a��”

With frustration throughout the team, the Rangers started to become much more aggressive on defense and were called for fouls many times in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Once FHC reached the double bonus for team fouls, the Wildcats started their comeback as they were an extremely impressive free-throw-shooting team.

Two made Wildcat free throws put the score at 42-41 with less than two minutes to go, FHC narrowly ahead by one. Madi was then fouled and made both free throws. Claire, who had 19 points total on the night, made a layup, senior Ashley Lutkenhoff made two more freethrows, and Madi added another two. These points sealed the Ranger victory, despite a three from the Wildcats that put the final score at 50-44.

Claire, as well as being the second highest scorer, was also named to the All-Tournament team for the second year in a row.

“I work really hard [and] it feels good to know that that my efforts are being recognized,” Claire said. “But I’m just glad we went away with two wins [from this tournament].”

With another win under their belts, the Lady Rangers have now won three straight and are 3-3 overall. They head into conference play with momentum and on a winning streak. FHC will head to Northview for the first conference matchup of the season on Tuesday, January 9th. Northview, with a lot of returning players and a historically talented program, will be a challenge for the Rangers.

“They know us,” Prins said. “It’s going to be a game like [the one tonight]. It’s going to be close [and] they’re going to be keyed in on Madi and Claire, so that just means other girls have to step up.”