Boys varsity basketball drops season-opener to East Kentwood 75-58


Junior Jimmy Scholler played a superb all-around game in Friday night’s 75-58 loss to the East Kentwood Falcons. Despite Jimmy’s 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists on the night, the Rangers could not overcome the Falcons.

“Jimmy has been unbelievable so far [this season],” first-year head coach Kyle Carhart said. “We’ve asked him to do a lot, and he has done everything we’ve asked and more.”

The final score was very deceptive of how competitive the game was. East Kentwood came out firing on all cylinders, forcing Carhart to take a timeout to calm his guys down. After the timeout, the Rangers were able to cut the deficit to 16-11 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was back and forth, as both teams traded buckets and the Falcons led 36-30 at the break.

“It was great to see our guys respond to that early adversity,” Carhart said. “They came together and played very well and I am really pleased with that.”

The Rangers came out hot in the second half, cutting the lead to 39-38 when East Kentwood called a timeout. That one-point gap would be as close as the Rangers would get, as the Falcons immediately responded with a big 10-0 scoring run and led 52-46 after three quarters of play. In the fourth quarter, the Falcons outscored the Rangers 23-12 to put the game away. EK also had 18 offensive rebounds and converted those into 16 second-chance points. Although the Rangers kept the game within single digits for most of the night, they never led. 

“We just couldn’t seem to get over the hump tonight,” Carhart said. “We gave up a lot of second-chance points which really hurt us. Every time we seemed to make a run, Kentwood always had a response and I give them credit for that.”

Junior Mitch Wilkinson added 14 points and senior Daniel Deindorfer had 10 on the night. Daniel battled foul trouble most of the night, while Mitch had some tremendous drives to the basket for hard-earned points.

“It was a tough loss, but I thought we showed a lot of fight,” Mitch said. “We could’ve easily just laid down and quit when we got down early, but we didn’t. They came out and threw us a punch and we were able to swing back. I think it’s good that we have another [game] tomorrow so that we don’t have a lot of time to think about this loss.”

This morning the entire Rangerball program boarded the buses to head up to Traverse City Central, which serves as a team-bonding trip in addition to a non-conference away game.

“Traverse City is always the highlight of the season,” Jimmy said. “Going as a whole program is awesome and bonding on the bus ride is great. But we also know that we are there to win a game so you have to try and balance it.”

The one-day turnaround so early in the season will be a test for FHC as they look to avenge last year’s  one-point loss to TCC. 

“Having a game the day after another [game] is certainly unique,” Carhart said. “It will definitely be a good thing if our guys can respond the right way tomorrow night.”