Boys varsity basketball preview: Lowell Red Arrows


First-year head coach of the boys varsity basketball team Kyle Carhart will lead his team against a familiar opponent in a familiar gymnasium Tuesday night when the Rangers trvael to face the Lowell Red Arrows. Carhart was the head coach at Lowell for five seasons, during which he led the program to new heights; his achievements included Lowell’s first district championship in over 30 years when the Red Arrows beat the Rangers to claim the title.

The Rangers enter this one at 9-5 and 4-3 in the OK White conference and are coming off of last night’s devastating overtime loss to the Northview Wildcats. The Red Arrows are 6-9 and 2-6 in conference play. The Red Arrows have been playing much better basketball of late, winning two of their last three games.

The Red Arrows’ two conference wins have come against Ottawa Hills and Greenville. Lowell played a very difficult non-conference schedule; the Red Arrows lost by 5 points to both East Grand Rapids and Godwin Heights and have been close with almost every team on their schedule. They have lost twice to both of the two best teams in the conference, Northview and Forest Hills Northern, but played both very close. 

Lowell is a very balanced team, and it is not afraid to go deep into the bench. The frontcourt is led by Jordan Dent and third-year varsity player Nolan Cusak. Lowell has a very deep backcourt that is led by second-year sophomore point guard Brett Spanbauer, Braden Hamilton, Robbie Snyder, and Gavin Coxon. Andy Anschutz and Trevor Petroelje provide ample depth to the Red Arrows’ backcourt. Brett Spanbauer will look to get into the lane and find open shooters on the outside as well as his big men down low for easy buckets.

Last season when these two met, the Rangers put a full-court press on Lowell and forced the Red Arrows into a lot of turnovers that led to easy buckets for the Rangers. Junior guards Mitch Wilkinson and Jimmy Scholler won’t be able to create nearly as many turnovers as they did last year, but they can still make life difficult on the Lowell backcourt. Jimmy enters this game averaging a team-high 3 steals per game and Mitch with nearly 7 rebounds a game; both of them, along with senior Josh Wise, are very good on-ball defenders and will try to limit the talented Lowell backcourt.

The FHC frontcourt looks to have a big advantage over that of the Red Arrows. The senior trio of Dan Deindorfer, Jake Ball, and Tate Hallock are combining to score nearly 25 points a game and grab close to 20 rebounds a game. Dan is a matchup nightmare for the opposition, and the Rangers will look to him early to score and get the Lowell front line in foul trouble. Jake has been a rebounding machine of late for the Rangers, as he has collected 8, 6, and 5 rebounds in his last three games, respectively. Tate has been a big spark recently for the Rangers coming off the bench since returning from injury. He is averaging 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals a game. His versatility has been a big key to the Rangers’ recent success.

The biggest key to this game will be the Rangers’ energy level. The game will tip less than 24 hours after the conclusion of the heartbreaking overtime loss last night. Jimmy played all 36 minutes of the game, Mitch played 35, and Dan and Josh both played 30 plus minutes. If the Rangers are able to play with a lot of energy, they will have a great chance to earn a ten-win record for the thirteenth straight season.