Rangers defeat Pioneers in Conference Championship

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Sam Hopkins, Staff Writer

Tuesday night, the Forest Hills Central Rangers squared off against their notorious rivals, the East Grand Rapids Pioneers in a winner takes all, conference championship. Already facing off previously in the season, both teams knew what they were in for, already engaging in a 14-13 thriller.  Game two between the teams was the one that really mattered. After 48 hard fought minutes Tuesday night, the Rangers came out on top, as the Pioneers fell in a 15-9 score line.

Jumping ahead early, the Rangers shut down the Pioneer offense, only allowing one goal in the first quarter. For the Rangers, senior Max Kuiper led the way with a quick hat trick to propel the Rangers attack, to a 9-1 lead at the end of the first.

The boys played their hearts out, and they deserve it.”

— Jake Seiler, head coach

“It’s always nice to jump out early, and get the momentum behind us,” Kuiper said. “East’s a good team, so it’s important to have a quick start.”

The second half consisted of the Pioneers playing catch up, chasing the Rangers allusive lead. This game of catch up lasted the entirety of the championship, as the Pioneers never once went ahead.

Entering halftime, the Rangers had a comfortable lead, dominating the Pioneers in all aspects of the game. The defensive unit hadn’t been tested yet by the lethal Pioneer attack, but entering the second half, this was surely to change.

The second half consisted of Pioneer scoring, with the Rangers answering back with ease. The Rangers led by more than at least three goals throughout the entirety of the second half.

As the final whistle blew, the Rangers of Forest Hills Central were crowned conference champs and had taken one step closer to the sought after state championship trophy.