Freshman boys basketball defeats rival FHN 50-31 in a defensive battle


On the first play of the second half, freshman Benny Scholler zipped a strong bounce pass to the back-cutting freshman Colton Jenkins for an easy lay-up. This was the trend that described the whole second half for the Rangers.

“[Playing] on the road against a good rival is always going to be a difficult match,” freshman Kevin McPoland said. “We needed to come out with the mindset to win this game, and we had that exact mentality.”

On Tuesday, the Rangers faced off against the Forest Hills Northern Huskies in a tough, road conference matchup. The outcome was as expected, for it has been a common theme since early in the season: a 50-31 win.

The first quarter was slow for both teams but especially for the Rangers. Both sides struggled to score, but FHC only managed to put up 3 points in the first eight minutes of the game. After a slight change to the game plan and intensity, the Rangers came out fighting in the second quarter.

In the first possession, freshman Louis Craffey laid it in easily off the backboard to start the Rangers out hot. After that quick switch of momentum, the defense took control. FHC’s rival to the north gave up some easy buckets to the Rangers off of poor defense, which ultimately led to a quick run for the Rangers to extend the lead. This run started with a lay-up plus the foul for Colton, which was immediately followed by an open three from freshman Pierson VanGorp to force Northern into a timeout. A few more buckets were exchanged until the buzzer went off, sounding the end of the half with a narrow halftime lead.

“The energy we continue to get from all 14 guys is the reason why we have been so successful lately,”  head coach Adam Monroe said. “We need to continue to bring that same energy into every game. I’m excited to see what the second half of the season has in store for us.”

That exact energy was brought into the second half. The third quarter started out much like how the first half went. A strong, accurate pass from Benny to Colton gave the Rangers the boost they needed, and this one possession turned the game around for Central.

Shortly after a few defensive stops, the Rangers went on a 16-2 run, which killed the Huskies’ confidence. Finally, FHC proved to be too much, and Northern began to crumble into pieces. FHC hit a few more shots and still fought hard until the bench players took over the show. 

The freshman boys pick up action against East Grand Rapids on Thursday, Jan. 24 at EGR. Their record now increases to 9-2 in regular play and 5-0 in the OK White.

“I’m proud of how well our defense played towards the end when it all mattered,” Jacob said. “We executed very well all game and played together as a team to pull out the win on the road.”