Girls varsity basketball starts hot to beat Cedar Springs 53-44

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Girls varsity basketball starts hot to beat Cedar Springs 53-44

Sophomore Brittney Probst was the unsung hero in FHC’s 53-44 conference win over Cedar Springs last night. This lockdown defender face guarded the Red Hawks’ leading scorer, senior Brighton Miller, for three and a half quarters while holding her to 0 points in the first half and just 4 points in the second—all of which came off of free throws. Brighton would sink two more free throws late in the game, when Brittney was sidelined with foul trouble, to end with just 6 points.

“I just knew I had to shut her down and keep her to a limited amount of baskets,” Brittney said. “I knew I had to face guard her and just make sure she didn’t ever have the ball.”

A usual sixth player in off of the bench, Brittney was moved to the starting five last night largely because of her impeccable defending abilities.

“There’s just no one that’s quite like [Brittney] defensively, so we thought about putting her on Brighton as practice for guarding some other girls that we’re going to play this year,” head coach Kristina Prins said. “It was a no brainer [to start her, and] Britt did a phenomenal job; she was really locked in.”

With Brighton’s usual scoring stifled by Brittney, in addition to lockdown man defense from the other four on the court, Cedar Springs struggled offensively in the first half. The Lady Rangers found a couple hot hands early in freshmen Theryn Hallock and Remmie Ingraham, as the two combined for 13 of FHC’s 16 points in the first quarter compared to the Red Hawks’ 5.

Senior Claire Baguley came alive in the second quarter, scoring 9 of her team-high 18 points in the second. Claire has been the leading scorer in nearly every game this season, and she had an impressive final stat line of 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block in addition to her 18 points.

“I feel like with my experience I just know how to attack the basket, and I’m used to playing in front of this crowd,” Claire said. “This year I really have people who can get me the ball when I’m open.”

FHC outscored the Red Hawks 17-7 in the second to end a solid half of basketball leading 33-12. While the Rangers played their usual airtight defense to keep Cedar Springs to minimal points, their offensive schemes were really coming together, and the team seemed to play its best half of the season so far.

“[The first half] felt good; for the first time this season I think we ran a lot of our plays successfully, and we were playing great defense,” Claire said,” so we put all the pieces together in the first half.”

The second half was a completely different story. The Red Hawks came out of the locker room unwilling to go away easily, while FHC got sloppy quickly. Cedar Springs went on an 8-0 scoring run to start the quarter, and the Rangers didn’t score until more than halfway through the quarter. FHC also picked up 9 team fouls in the third alone, and the Red Hawks took over all the momentum and substantially closed the gap; the Lady Rangers led 41-28 after three.

“The third quarter happened; [that’s] what always happens in the third quarter,” said Prins, noting the negative trend of a third-quarter slump. “We just start playing one-on-one basketball, we don’t play as a team, and we go away from our fundamentals.”

With Brighton Miller still being shut down by Brittney and later Theryn, other Red Hawks stepped up and got hot from behind the arc. Cedar Springs slowly crept their way back to make it a close game, and FHC only led by 7, 49-42, with two minutes remaining in the game. Luckily, the dominant first half was enough to override the second, and the Lady Rangers were able to run down the clock and claim their first conference victory, 53-44.

Theryn also had a standout night on both ends of the court. She earned 14 points and 4 assists on offense, while claiming 4 steals on defense. Claire and senior Kaitlyn Piontkowsky dominated on the boards, securing 8 and 7, respectively.

FHC now moves to 6-2 (1-1) and will head into Lowell for a rivalry road game against the scrappy Red Arrows on Tuesday.

“Lowell is always good; they have some good girls,” Prins said. “It’s going to be aggressive, and it’s going to be a bulldozer game. We expect them to come to play and want to beat us. It’ll be a good rivalry game.”

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