Boys varsity basketball drops heartbreaker to Northview 57-56


En route to a heartbreaking 57-56 loss to the Northview Wildcats, senior big man Dan Deindorfer had a career night. Dan finished his monster game with 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

“We’ve really started to see this version of Dan lately,” head coach Kyle Carhart said. “When he’s really engaged on the defensive end, it translates to the other end on offense. When we got it down to him on the block tonight he did a tremendous job of finishing.”

The Wildcats came out firing on all cylinders early on, as they jumped out to a 9-2 lead. Northview big man Ryan Castle, who battled against Dan all game, had 10 of his 21 points in the opening quarter. The Wildcats were consistently able to get second chances, as they grabbed 6 offensive rebounds in the first quarter and turned those into 10 second-chance points. Those 10 points just so happened to be the differential between the two teams, as the Wildcats led 20-10 after the first.

“Northview is a really good rebounding team,” Dan said. “They aren’t like the typical team that only sends a few or even no guys to the offensive glass. For them, all five guys try to get it, and they’re super physical. I think in the first [quarter] they were just more physical, but we were able to correct that.”

After a Wildcat three-pointer to open the second quarter and push their lead to 13 points, the Rangers went on a quick 7-0 run to cut the lead to 6. Junior point guard Jimmy Scholler, who started the game off slow, had 8 of his 16 points and 4 of his 7 assists in the quarter to help the Rangers draw close. A pull-up jump shot from Jimmy off of a screen gave the Rangers their first lead of the game at 29-28. The Wildcats took the lead right back on a bucket and a foul by junior guard Mitch Wilkinson, picking up his third personal foul in the first half. The Wildcats finished out the half strong, retaking the lead at 36-31 at the break. 

“Unfortunately, we’ve gotten into a pretty bad habit of bad starts in the first quarter of games,” Carhart said, “but I am so proud of the way that my guys responded to some adversity. We played a really good team in a tough environment, and for them to respond the way that they did, I could not be prouder.”

Both teams came out hot in the third quarter, as it was a back-and-forth affair. The Rangers seemed to make it a point of emphasis to get the ball down low to Dan early and often in the third. Dan was able to get great positioning and was a force down low, scoring 1o of his game-high 22 points in the quarter. A Jimmy three-pointer gave the Rangers a 48-46 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“Dan had the hot hand and kept on scoring, so we just kept getting him the ball down low,” Jimmy said.

After the Wildcats tied the game at 48, the Rangers went on a mini 5-0 run to give themselves a 5-point lead with a little over five minutes remaining. Northview’s star of the night, Ryan Castle, then hit a three-pointer and a hook shot in the lane on back-to-back possessions to tie the game right back up at 53. The Wildcats took a 55-53 lead on a floater with a little over a minute remaining, and the Rangers took a timeout to think things over.

With just under 30 seconds remaining, senior Jay Shields stepped up huge for the Rangers. He drove to the lane, was fouled, and threw up a prayer at the basket as he was falling out of bounds. The ball dropped in, and he calmly sunk the ensuing free throw to give the Rangers a 56-55 lead with 23 seconds to play.

“Jay Shields made the play of the game for us,” Carhart said. “That was a great finish and an even better job by him to make the free throw to be able to convert the three-point play.”

The Wildcats point guard raced the inbound pass up the floor, got into the lane, and was able to convert a tough basket, leaving the Rangers down by 1 with eight seconds remaining. Jimmy got into the lane and threw it out to Mitch for a three that rimmed out, and the Rangers dropped their first conference game in over a year.

The Rangers fall to 4-3 on the season and 0-1 in OK White conference play. The Rangers will be back in action Tuesday night when they host the Greenville Yellow Jackets.