Boys varsity basketball drops heartbreaker to Northview 82-79 in overtime

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Boys varsity basketball drops heartbreaker to Northview 82-79 in overtime

Senior forward Dan Deindorfer had a game for the ages for the boys varsity basketball team last night. Despite the heartbreaking overtime loss to Northview, Dan scored a career-high 31 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots.

“I felt great tonight,” Dan said. “My teammates kept getting me the ball down low, and I just kept trying to score.”

Unlike the last time they played the Wildcats, the Rangers started the game on fire. A three-pointer from junior guard Mitch Wilkinson gave the Rangers a 9-2 lead and forced a Northview timeout. A three-pointer banked in by junior point guard Jimmy Scholler then gave the Rangers a 15-7 lead with four and a half minutes remaining in the quarter.

From there, the Wildcats swung momentum in their favor. The Rangers went cold, turning the ball over on five of their next eight possessions and missing their final six shots of the opening quarter. Northview capitalized, finishing the quarter on an 8-0 run to even up the score at 15 after one.

The second quarter saw both teams trading buckets back and forth, with neither being able to take more than a 4-point lead in the first six minutes of the quarter. Mitch hit three of his four made three-pointers in the quarter, and Dan did a great job defensively to force 3 turnovers and block 2 shots. The Rangers, however, continued to struggle to take care of the basketball, turning it over six more times.

Northview senior guard Cody Tierney was all over the place for the Wildcats, jumping the passing lane to earn 4 steals and 8 points off of the Ranger turnovers. After the Rangers were able to stretch the lead to 6, Northview quickly scored the next 4 points to end the half trailing the Rangers 31-29. 

“Northview’s defense was pretty good,” Jimmy said. “Cody [Tierney] is really quick and a great defender; [he] makes you work really hard to get open, and you have to really think before passing the ball to someone he’s guarding.”

The Wildcats came out on fire in the third quarter. Wildcat guard Donovan Richardson had 14 points, including four three-pointers in a span of six possessions; the fourth made shot from behind the arc gave the Wildcats a 51-42 lead—the largest lead either team had all game—and forced a Ranger timeout. Dan had a monster quarter to keep the Rangers in it, as he scored 13 of his 31 points, including the first 9 for the Rangers, and grabbed 5 rebounds. The Rangers only turned the ball over twice in the quarter and cut the deficit down to 3, trailing 54-51 at the end of the third.

“I was definitely feeling it in the third,” Dan said. “I just kept making moves and going right up, and my shots just kept on dropping.”

Senior forward Jake Ball hit a streaking layup to give the Rangers the lead back at 58-57 two minutes into the fourth. From there, much like the second quarter, the game was back and forth with four ties and five lead changes. Up by 2 with just under two minutes to go, senior forward Tate Hallock stepped to the line and proceeded to bank in two free throws to give the Rangers a 4-point lead.

Northview went on a very quick 4-0 run to tie the game right back up. After Jimmy missed a contested shot with just under a minute to go, the Wildcats seemed content with holding the ball for the final shot of the game. But with seven seconds left, Wildcat guard Kaden Boucher tripped on the ball and was called for a kicked-ball violation. After a timeout to set up a play, Jimmy drove hard to the right, drew a double team and found an open Jake Ball for a three-point shot. The shot rimmed off, the game was tied at 71, and for the first time all season, the Rangers headed to overtime.

The Rangers scored the first 4 points of overtime, only for the Wildcats to score the next 4 quickly to tie the game right back up. With the game tied at 77, Jimmy, normally an 81% free throw shooter, hit just one of two, putting the Rangers up only 1 with 50 seconds left. The Wildcats then hit five of their next six free throws and the long three-pointers from Jimmy didn’t go, as the Rangers dropped another conference game 82-79.

With the loss, the Rangers fall to 9-5 and 4-3 in OK White conference play. They will be back in action Tuesday night at Lowell.

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