Chris Battiste’s big night fuels boys JV basketball over Ottawa Hills in overtime 55-52

Tommy Spaletto

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After a game of both offensive and defensive success against the Lowell Red Arrows this past Tuesday, the boys JV basketball team hoped to carry the same momentum against one of the best teams in the OK White conference, the Ottawa Hills Bengals. The Rangers got the job done and defeated the Bengals 55-52 in overtime. Sophomore Chris Battiste had a monster game, finishing with an impressive 22 points. Sophomore Peyton Bush also came up big at the end of the game, scoring 10 points on the night.

Ottawa Hills started out hot, going on an early 7-2 run to start the game and forcing FHC into some crucial turnovers. But the Rangers were able to score more when they could move the defense with their passing and get the ball inside to Chris. In the second quarter, the deep bench of FHC had a rough time getting warmed up, but when it finally did, the bench players proved to be extremely effective. Sophomore Cam David had some big baskets and sophomore Peyton Bush helped move the ball around to get open looks for his teammates. FHC would go on a big 5-0 run to go into the locker room with a good feeling about how the second half will pan out.

Both teams came out with great defensive energy after they traded scores to start the half. The Rangers seemed to find their offense against Ottawa Hills by getting the ball inside and using their size advantage with Chris and fellow sophomore forward Matthew Mahoney. FHC had hit a bit of a scoring drought in the middle of the third, missing four consecutive shots in a couple possessions. But they responded big with a huge and-1 by Chris to regain some momentum. It was a back-and-forth offensive showdown, and Chris once again came up huge when he had the game-tying layup to send the two teams into overtime.

Ottawa Hills forced the Rangers into some early turnovers within the first few minutes and got out to a hot start in overtime, but once again, FHC adjusted. Chris and Peyton Bush took over the game on both ends of the floor and the Rangers sealed the deal, winning 55-52.

This win puts the Rangers at 6-2 in the OK White conference and 9-6 overall. It also helps the Rangers in the conference championship race, as now they are shortly behind the Northview Wildcats. FHC now shifts its attention to Tuesday, when it will face the rival Forest Hills Northern Huskies in a much-anticipated rematch. Last time around, the Rangers took a victory on the Huskies’ home floor, and they will need to play the same way in order to sweep the season series with FHN.