Boys varsity basketball drops heartbreaker to Lowell on Senior Night 64-61


Senior forward Tate Hallock played his best overall game of the season, but it wasn’t enough and the Rangers dropped their Senior Night game to the Lowell Red Arrows 64-61. Tate played a season-high twenty-nine and a half minutes off the bench, scored 14 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, and blocked a shot. Tate was very aggressive, driving to the lane to both draw fouls and make plays for either himself or his teammates.

“I felt like I was a lot more aggressive than I have been this season,” Tate said. “I just tried to get to the basket and was trying to make a play either way. My mindset was kind of, ‘Either I get to the hoop, get fouled, or kick it out to an open teammate.'”

Due to it being Senior Night, the Rangers started five of their six seniors. The Rangers started the game strong, as they perfectly executed a play off the tip, and senior Jay Shields was able to find a streaking senior Josh Wise for the layup. After senior Tom Tomsheck picked off a Red Arrow pass, he found senior Dan Deindorfer for an easy lay-in, and the Rangers had themselves a 4-0 lead 25 seconds into the game. But for the remaining seven and a half minutes of the quarter, FHC would only muster 5 points.

The Red Arrows’ plan was to hold the ball for long stretches on each possession and to look for the best shot possible. Early on, the plan worked; although they only took eight shots, the Red Arrows made five of them and made five free throws in the opening quarter. With just under four minutes remaining in the quarter, junior guard Mitch Wilkinson aggressively drove to the rim, but a Lowell defender was there waiting for him, and Mitch was called for the charge for his second foul of the night. After one quarter of play, Lowell led 15-9.

“Picking up that charge was definitely frustrating,” said Mitch, who came into the game as the Rangers’ second-leading scorer but did not score at all in the game. “When you battle foul trouble all night long, you just feel like you can never get into a rhythm because you have to sit [on the bench] with the fouls.”

Lowell started out the second quarter hot, and at one point went on a 7-0 run to extend its lead to 24-12, forcing Ranger head coach Kyle Carhart to spend a timeout. Junior point guard Jimmy Scholler really got himself going in the quarter, as he scored 9 of his game-high 25. Coach Carhart had trust in putting Mitch back in with the two fouls, but with just over five minutes left in the quarter, Mitch was whistled for his third foul. After being down 10 for most of the quarter, Jimmy was able to make a three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to help the Rangers only trail 29-22 at the break. 

“We didn’t play our best at all in the first half,” Jimmy said, “but you’ve got to give a lot of the credit to Lowell. They came out and played really well, and they were really good offensively.”

The Rangers opened the second half with more intensity, and it showed. They went on a 10-0 run capped off by a Josh Wise three-pointer to give the Rangers their first lead since early in the first quarter and force a Red Arrow timeout. The rest of the quarter was back and forth, and it ended in a 42-42 tie.

Just a minute and a half into the fourth, Mitch picked up his fourth foul, forcing Carhart to once again go to the bench. After Lowell had taken a 3-point lead, Tate had a phenomenal drive, was hammered, and flipped the ball up to somehow find the bottom of the net. He made the free throw to tie the game up at 50 with five minutes left.

With about two and a half minutes remaining and trailing by 2, senior Jake Ball made the play of the night for the Rangers. After a missed shot, Jake made a great hustle play to get the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Jimmy, who found an open Dan under the basket for a bucket and the foul. Dan hit the free throw, and the Rangers led by 1. Lowell took the lead for good when their guard was able to get into the lane and finish with 40 seconds left to take a 2-point lead. After a turnover, the Red Arrows were able to seal the deal with free throws to win 64-61.

With the loss, the Rangers fall to 11-7 overall and 6-5 in the OK White. They will be back in action Thursday when they travel to take on Cedar Springs.