Girls varsity basketball preview: Ottawa Hills Bengals


With Tuesday’s game against Lowell cancelled due to school closings, the girls varsity basketball team enters tomorrow night’s matchup with Ottawa Hills off of a little bit of a break. The 6-2 (1-1) Rangers will take on the 2-6 (0-4) Bengals on the road.

Ottawa Hills struggled through the OK White last season to fall in last place, compared to FHC’s second-place finish. Despite the unimpressive 2017-18 record, the Bengals were a scrappy team that put up a valid effort against the Rangers. While FHC did go 2-0 against Ottawa Hills last season, the victory margin was only 12 points in both matchups.

The first time these two played last season, the Rangers were clearly the dominant team throughout the entire game. FHC cleared the bench with five minutes left in the game, which allowed the Bengals to make a small comeback before the final buzzer sounded. The second time these two played, the game was extremely scrappy and aggressive. The athletic ability of the Bengals put FHC to the test, and two Ranger starters left the game due to injury en route to the come-from-behind win. 

Two of Ottawa Hills’ conference losses this season have come to Cedar Springs by 8 and to Northview by 25. While the Rangers only lost to Northview by 9 in overtime, FHC also only beat Cedar Springs by 9 a week ago. The OK White has had all sorts of shake ups and upsets so far this season, so each matchup is truly anyone’s game.

The Ottawa Hills mindset is to never give up and to always find a way back into games, which was clear in last year’s two matchups. The Bengals return plenty of talented and athletic players, and a home crowd will definitely be the advantage in this intense matchup tomorrow night.

The Rangers bring their own scrappiness to games, and it will be interesting to see how these two streetball teams play with one another tomorrow night. A key for the Rangers this game will be not going outside the confines of their regular play and maintaining level heads through a physical game.

The Lady Rangers cannot take this team lightly, despite the differences in records. Offensive leaders senior Claire Baguley and freshman Theryn Hallock will be important in this game for FHC to get out ahead early and stay there. A solid offensive performance combined with the Rangers’ usual lockdown defense could be the difference for FHC to break .500 in conference play and head into a rivalry game next week against FHN with a win.