Boys varsity basketball preview: Forest Hills Eastern Hawks


The boys varsity basketball team enters Friday’s rivalry tilt with the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks coming off of a heartbreaking 66-64 loss to the Grandville Bulldogs, who hit a shot to win the game with two seconds left. The Hawks come into Friday night’s game with an 0-2 record, losing by 10 to Tri-Unity Christian and by 13 to a very good Forest Hills Northern team.

The Hawks graduated a very talented senior class last year, but they return some good offensive producers from last season. Senior forward Taylor Mitchell and junior point guard Solomon White, who both earned all-conference honors last season, form a lethal one-two duo. Senior center Nick Stoll stands at 6’6 and gives the Hawks a big body down low to counter the Rangers’ own in senior Daniel Deindorfer. FHE sophomore guard Dane Harvey and junior guard Gage Krueger help to bring a lot of versatility to the Hawks’ lineup. 

The Hawks have played two very good teams to start the season and also will go through the gauntlet of the OK Gold conference, which includes defending class B State runner-ups, Grand Rapids Catholic Central. FHE will look to take advantage of their versatility by pushing the ball and getting easy buckets in transition. The Rangers will need to rebound the ball well in this one to keep the Hawks from scoring second-chance points, which is something that the Rangers really struggled with in their opening-night loss to East Kentwood.

It could be even more difficult than usual for the Rangers, as senior forward and leading rebounder Tate Hallock got hurt in practice this week and will likely be a game-time decision. Senior guard Josh Wise also got hurt in practice and is very unlikely to play in this one. With the possibility of being down two starters, senior forward Jake Ball and senior guard Jay Shields will need to step up big for the Rangers. Josh is one of the best perimeter defenders for the Rangers, which is a severe blow considering the good guard play from the Hawks.

Junior point guard Jimmy Scholler will once again have a key matchup with the opponent’s point guard in Solomon White. Jimmy will look to get into the lane and set up outside shooters in Jay and junior guard Mitch Wilkinson for open three-pointers.

With the injuries, the Rangers will also try to pound the ball down low to Daniel for easy buckets and will rely on Jimmy to make plays all game. If the Rangers can overcome their lack of depth, especially with the possibility of being without two starters, they will have a great chance to get back to .500 at 2-2 on the season.