Boys varsity basketball preview: Northview Wildcats


The boys varsity basketball team enters its first OK White tilt of the year, when they travel to take on the Northview Wildcats on the heels of their most impressive victory of the young season. The Rangers led from the tip to finish in a 60-46 victory over the Rockford Rams. The Wildcats are 5-2 on the year with a few impressive victories of their own. 

Northview holds wins over two solid teams in Godwin Heights and Wyoming. Their two losses were to two of the best teams in the area: Hudsonville and Grand Rapids Union. The Wildcats finished last season at 14-7 and return a lot of their rotation from the team that finished as runner-up in the OK White to the Rangers in the 2017-18 season.

The Wildcats are led by a senior trio in forwards Brad Wickman and Ryan Castle as well as guard Cody Tierney, who was named first team all-conference last season. Cody Tierney is one of the fastest guards in the area and will provide a stern test for the Rangers’ backcourt to have to guard. Senior Donavan Richardson, junior Kaden Boucher, and freshman Kyler Vander Jagt help form a tremendous backcourt along with Cody. 

FHC center Dan Deindorfer will once again have his hands full matching up against the 6’7 Brad Wickman from Northview. Dan has been more than up to the challenge lately, as he has nearly had three straight double-doubles. Look for the Rangers to once again look to pound the ball inside to Dan and for him to challenge Brad Wickman. Brad, along with the 6’4 Ryan Castle, will be looking to challenge the Rangers’ front line. Senior Jake Ball will need to step up big on the glass for the Rangers, as they will once again be without senior Tate Hallock.

Junior point guard Jimmy Scholler, as well as junior guard Mitch Wilkinson, have both been on a tear lately for the Rangers. Jimmy was voted to the all-tournament team in the Cornerstone Holiday Tournament, and Mitch was named Tournament MVP. The Wildcats’ backcourt will be the best one that the Rangers have seen all season, so FHC will need Mitch and Jimmy to keep playing like they have been recently. This depleted team will get a huge life in this upcoming game, as senior guard Josh Wise is expected to play on Friday night after missing the last three games with an ankle injury. Josh’s great on-ball defense will come in handy against the Wildcats’ talented backcourt.

The key to this game will be the Rangers’ supporting cast. In the win over Rockford, Mitch, Jimmy, and Dan combined for 54 of the Rangers’ 60 points. Josh, as well as fellow senior Jay Shields, are both stellar outside shooters, and they will be big in the Ranger offense when Jimmy attacks the lane and looks to them on the outside. If the Rangers’ supporting cast can step up, they will have an excellent shot at improving to 5-2 and starting off conference play at 1-0.