Boys varsity basketball leads from start to earn 70-59 win over Covenant Christian


En route to a 70-59 win over the Covenant Christian Chargers, senior center Dan Deindorfer had a career night. He helped lead the Rangers to victory by posting a stat line of 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

“Dan had a huge night for us, I was really impressed with his defense tonight,” head coach Kyle Carhart said. “He played tremendously. We knew we would have an advantage inside with him, and we just kept getting him touches. When he can really get it going like he did tonight, it adds a whole different dimension to our offense and makes us really dangerous.”

The Rangers started out hot in the first quarter, opening the game on an 11-0 run before forcing a Charger timeout. Mitch Wilkinson had 9 of his game-high 26 points in the opening quarter. Covenant hit back-to-back three pointers with time winding down in the first to cut the Ranger lead to 21-15 at the end of the first.

“We had a great week of watching Covenant’s film,” Dan said. “We knew exactly what they were going to do, and we came out with a ton of energy. I think we kept our foot on the gas all game. They never led, and we never gave them a chance to.” 

The Chargers cut the lead to 21-17, but that’s as close as they’d get for the rest of the night. From there, the Rangers went on a 13-2 run capped off by a Jimmy Scholler slam dunk. The junior point guard was able to get into the lane at will in the second quarter and set up the outside shooters in Mitch and seniors Jake Ball and Jay Shields.

Dan was able to catch the ball deep in the post and either get fouled or make easy buckets over the Chargers. His defense also shined in the second quarter, as he had 2 of his 3 blocks and 6 of his 11 rebounds in the second. The offense was on fire all night for the Rangers, but especially in the first half, where they shot 65% from the field. At the break, the Rangers held a 41-30 lead despite dealing with foul trouble late in the second quarter.

“Jimmy made my job easy,” said Mitch, the leading scorer tonight. “He did a great job of getting into the lane and either taking it himself or dishing it out for an open shot.”

In the third quarter, the Rangers found themselves in deep foul trouble. Without two starters in seniors Josh Wise and Tate Hallock, the Rangers were already stretching pretty thin with their rotation. Senior Tom Tomsheck fouled out, and Mitch and Jimmy both picked up their fourth fouls.

“We’ve talked about [the next man up mentality] in practices recently,” Carhart said. “It is something that Rangerball prides itself on. I’m really proud of the way some of our guys have stepped up in the last couple of games. This will only make us a better team because when we get those two [Josh and Tate] back, all of those guys will have more confidence.”

The unsung hero of the game was junior wing Jay Weiner, who was pressed into action with all of the foul trouble. Although it won’t show up in the box scores, Jay made a big impact on the defensive end. He allowed Coach Carhart to keep his best players in foul trouble on the bench while still maintaining a comfortable lead, as the Rangers led 55-46 at the end of the third.

“Jay shows that every day in practice,” Carhart said. “He came in and played incredibly hard and really gave us some great minutes. He’s a big reason why we won tonight.”

Despite the foul trouble and the Chargers’ pressure, the Rangers were able to close out the game by knocking in free throws. Even after Jimmy fouled out with four minutes to go, Mitch and senior Jake Ball were able to ice the game with their clutch free throw shooting. As a team, the Rangers hit 19 of their 24 free throws.

“Free throws can win or lose games a lot of times,” Mitch said. “Being able to knock down a lot of ours was great.”

The Rangers now move to above .500 for the first time all season, as they sit at 3-2. FHC will be back in action next Friday night at Cornerstone University in the championship game of the Holiday Tournament, when they’ll take on the winner of the Rockford-Godwin Heights matchup.