Boys varsity basketball hangs on to beat Lowell 56-55


Despite turning the ball over 25 times and playing its sloppiest game of the season, the boys varsity basketball team was able to squeak out a 56-55 victory over Lowell behind a big performance from junior point guard Jimmy Scholler. Jimmy had 24 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals and was able to dictate the tempo of the game for the Rangers.

The Rangers started the game out defensively in a full-court press, and the Red Arrows were able to beat it and attack the rim at ease. This resulted in senior forward Dan Deindorfer, who scored a career-high 31 points on Monday against Northview, picking up his second foul of the night just six minutes into the contest. The Rangers turned it over six times in the opening quarter and only attempted nine field goals. The Rangers were not alone in a star player dealing with foul trouble, as Lowell guard Robbie Schneider also picked up two fouls in the first quarter. Despite the sloppy play, the Rangers only trailed 10-9 at the end of the first quarter.

FHC played much better in the second quarter, and a three-pointer from senior Jay Shields gave the Rangers their first lead at 16-15. Jimmy had a quarter for the ages, scoring all 16 of his first-half points, as well as collecting 2 steals and 3 assists. Senior forward Tate Hallock was monstrous off the bench grabbing 7 rebounds, but he along with fellow senior forward Jake Ball both picked up their second fouls in the quarter. Despite playing a good chunk of the first half with their frontcourt trio all on the bench with two fouls, the Rangers still led at the half 30-24. 

The third quarter was a sloppy one, as both teams turned the ball over eight times. Even worse for the Rangers, they were whistled for six fouls compared to Lowell being whistled for just two; four of those six FHC fouls were charged to Jake and Dan, as they both picked up their fourth foul in the quarter. Despite the foul trouble and sloppy play, the Rangers led 44-38 after three quarters.

The Rangers were able to stretch the lead as large as 8 points to open up the fourth, but Lowell came right back. The Red Arrows went on a 7-0 run to pull the game to within 1. For a stretch during the quarter, the Rangers turned the ball over on seven of nine possessions, allowing Lowell to get out in transition. With two minutes left, Jake fouled out on a very tough call, and the two free throws let Lowell take a 1-point lead.

With just under two minutes, Jimmy stepped up to the line and knocked in two free throws to give the Rangers the lead back. After senior Josh Wise hit one of two free throws to extend the lead to 2, the Red Arrows still had a chance. Josh then came up with a huge steal and a great look-ahead pass to Jimmy for a lay-in with 15 seconds left to give the Rangers the 4-point lead.

The Red Arrows, badly needing to score, drove the ball hard to the rim. Dan was waiting for the Red Arrow guard, as he blocked the shot and threw it ahead to Jimmy, who was fouled. With just three seconds left and leading by 4, the game was all but over. But Ranger head coach Kyle Carhart picked up a technical foul, giving the Red Arrows two shots and the ball after Jimmy was to shoot his one-and-one.

To make matters worse, Jimmy missed the front end of the one-and-one. Lowell made both free throws, making it just a 2-point game, and took a timeout to set up a play for its last shot. The Red Arrows got off a great look, but it rimmed out. After the game was over, the official scorebook said that the Rangers won 56-55, not 56-54 like the scoreboard indicated. Had that last shot dropped for the Red Arrows, they would have won the game.

With the victory, the Rangers move to 10-5 on the year and 5-3 in OK White conference play. The win ensures that FHC will now have its thirteenth-straight season of ten or more wins and in 21 of the last 22 seasons. The Rangers are back in action at home Friday against Ottawa Hills.