Boys varsity basketball earns first conference victory over Greenville, 62-47

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Boys varsity basketball earns first conference victory over Greenville, 62-47

En route to a hard-fought 62-47 victory over the Greenville Yellow Jackets, senior forward Jake Ball had a phenomenal game. Jake fell 1 point short of a double-double, finishing with 9 points and 12 rebounds, 6 on each end of the floor, as well as 2 steals and a block.

“Jake really played a great game overall,” head coach Kyle Carhart said. “With Dorf (senior forward Dan Deindorfer) in foul trouble early on, Jake Ball stepped up big time for our team, and I am very proud of him.”

The Rangers started the game off very slowly, turning the ball over three times in the first two minutes of the game and prompting Coach Carhart to take a timeout to calm the Rangers down. The Yellow Jackets started the game off with a 3-2 zone defense, trying to force the Rangers to take three-point shots and making it very difficult to get the ball down low to the big men. Greenville collected 5 offensive rebounds in the quarter and converted those to 6 second-chance points. Despite the struggles early on, the Rangers still led at the end of the first 13-10.

“I thought we got some good looks against their zone,” Carhart said. “We just couldn’t seem to make any of [the shots], but playing against the zone will definitely be something that we have to get better at.”

The Rangers came out with a lot more intensity in the second quarter and really started to take control of the game. The Ranger defense was stifling the Yellow Jacket offense, holding them to just 5 points on 1 of 13 from the field. Of those 12 missed shots by the Yellow Jackets, Jake collected 6 of them and outlet the ball to junior point guard Jimmy Scholler, who scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the first half. Jimmy was able to get in the lane to both score himself and set up his teammates to score. Late in the half, Jimmy blocked his third shot of the quarter, Jake collected the rebound and found the outlet in junior guard Mitch Wilkinson, who found a streaking senior Tate Hallock for a layup and a foul with one second left in the quarter. The senior forward’s recent return from injury provided a big lift for the Rangers, as Tate played a lot of the first half without Dan, who was saddled with the 2 fouls. The Rangers led 28-15 at the half.

 

“Defensively we really played them tough,” Jake said. “With Dorf being out most of the first half, we as a frontcourt knew that we were going to have to step up, and I thought we did that for sure.”

In the second half, Greenville came out defensively in the triangle and two, trying to stop both Jimmy and Mitch from scoring. The Yellow Jackets proved to be effective early in the half, as Jimmy only scored 4 points  The Rangers seemed to hit their stride in the middle of the third quarter. They were able to get Dan going a bit by getting the ball down to him on two straight possessions for two straight buckets. The Rangers kept trying to pull away, but Greenville would not go away easily, and the Rangers led by 10, 38-28, at the end of the quarter.

“They threw a bunch of different things at us when they were on defense,” Jimmy said. “They went with a 3-2 to start to try and force us to shoot the three. Then in the second half, they threw the triangle and two at us to try and slow us down on the perimeter. They played really well defensively, you’ve got to give them a lot of credit for that.”

Mitch had 9 of the Rangers’ 24 points in the fourth quarter to put away the Yellow jackets. Leading by 13 with 45 seconds to play, Tate made a play to seal the win. He jumped the passing lane, picked off the pass and was off and running to finish the game with a thunderous one-handed slam dunk.

“It’s great to have Tate back for sure,” Carhart said. “When he plays with the energy that he brought tonight, he adds another element to our team.”

The Rangers improve to 5-3 on the season and picked up their first OK White win of the season to even their league record to 1-1. The Rangers are back in action on Friday night when they host the Cedar Springs Red Hawks.

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