On Tuesday night, the freshman basketball team swept the season series against Cedar Springs with a huge 63-32 win. So far this season, the Rangers have learned how to combine their talents on offense and defense to create a massive impact on their record. Looking to clinch the conference title, the boys knew going into the game that they had to win. Playing a struggling team like Cedar, everyone got to contribute.
“With everyone on the team receiving playing time this game it was really cool,” said Cam David, who is a starter on the team. “The whole team pitched into the win. It affected the game in a positive way, having switched spots with the guys who work as hard as everyone in practice and got a chance to do it in a game and make it their night.”
The starters for the Rangers came out strong and created a large lead for the other players to come into to. Coach Kevin Banner said that these are the important games. The ones that are fun and the guys are pumped up to watch their teammates who push them daily.
“The main goal during games like these are the same as every game,” Banner said. “Build on the good habits and continue taking steps forward. Whether that be on the bench or on the court, we just want to build the habits that will lead us individually and as a team to be successful.”
The difference between these games and the difficult games is the key players. The key players in this game were Issac Ghareeb who had 18 points and Jonah Cummings and Evan VanArtsen who both had 10 each.
“Cedar Springs defense was strong in the first half, we were only up by four points,” Issac said. “In the second half, I came out and scored three straight three-pointers to clinch a larger lead. I like these games because all of the people that don’t usually play started and played for most of the game so we all felt like we needed to show our coach something.”
Coach Banner said that throughout the easier games, he wants his starters to pay respect to the players who have been integral to getting us where we are and to get a true appreciation for what their fellow teammates do.
“I ask them to put in the same amount of work and grind every day without receiving the reward of playing time every game. It’s an extremely hard role and is so grateful for all that they have done this season,” Banner said. “The best part is that even when the bottom players go into the game it is just as consistent as when the starters go in.”
Looking ahead, the Rangers take on Lowell on Thursday. They have won against Lowell previously in the season by 12 points. Cam Davids says that Lowell will be more difficult to play out then Cedar was but they will make sure they follow through. As their season is coming to an end coach Banner reflects on how the team has been able to play so well together.
“Lately I think a huge part of our team getting closer, has to do with them taking ownership and accountability of the team,” Banner said. “The voice in practice has been gradually been less of me each day and more of them. When that happens and it’s the players leading it just ends up meaning more and the results have shown. I’m going to truly enjoy these last two weeks as their coach and looking forward to the growth I believe this team will make.”