Girls varsity basketball preview: Forest Hills Northern Huskies


FHC comes off of a convincing win over Ottawa Hills last Friday to host the Forest Hills Northern Huskies. The 7-2 (2-1) Rangers will battle with a 10-1 (3-1) Northern team in one of the area’s biggest rivalries. A win tomorrow night will nudge the Rangers above the Huskies in the OK White, as they sit at third and second, respectively. 

This matchup has come down to the buzzer many times in recent years, as the Huskies knocked FHC out of the playoffs in the 2016-17 season with a last-second free throw. The Rangers earned revenge last season, going 2-0 against the crosstown rival. The first matchup last year was thrilling, and 2018 graduate Madi Winter was the hero to earn the win for FHC. Madi earned 30 points in that game, including a three-pointer at the buzzer to win it 57-56. The second time these two teams played, the Rangers confirmed they were the dominant team and walked away with an 11-point victory. Madi and fellow 2018 graduate Emma Yoder were big scorers in that game to carry the team to the win and sweep the series against the Huskies.

Northern welcomed a new coach at the beginning of this season, and Jim Sprague has had incredible success with his squad. This FHN team is tough, with its sole loss coming to Greenville in a conference game earlier this season. The Huskies have posted statement wins against impressive teams such as Lowell and the very talented East Grand Rapids.

Northern’s top threat will be senior guard Sadie Knee, who reached 1,000 career points a couple weeks ago in the loss to Greenville. The Rangers held Sadie to just 7 points in the down-to-the-wire game last season, with 0 in the first half thanks to another senior last season, 2018 graduate Breanna Probst. If the Rangers can shut Sadie down again this year, it will take away the Huskies’ main scoring threat and be a huge advantage.

While last year’s seniors stepped up for the two games a season ago, the current squad is more than ready to compete in this crosstown rivalry. In order to beat Northern, the Lady Rangers will have to string together four nearly perfect quarters, which has been a struggle so far this season. FHC seems to always have one quarter, typically the third, where the other team destroys the Rangers’ established lead.

In recent games, FHC’s offensive schemes have been run almost flawlessly, and that will need to continue to put up the necessary points against FHN. Senior Claire Baguley and freshman Theryn Hallock, leading scorers and point guards, will be key with their ability to both score and distribute the basketball. Northern is also likely to run a zone defense, which the Rangers have struggled with lately; however, executing plays could be what allows FHC to find the basket around the Huskies’ defense.

While the Rangers are considered slight underdogs in this matchup, anything can happen against Northern. Look for a game that comes down to the wire tomorrow night in FHC’s gymnasium.