Boys JV basketball goes 17-3 en route to conference championship


For this year’s boys JV basketball season, sophomores Jacob Bonnett, Ben Scholler, and Conner Milton led the boys to a final record of 17-3. The Rangers had a very solid season this year, beating their opponents by large margins every time and staying at the top of the conference. Head coach Jordan George was very proud of the boys this season, and he enjoyed how the team worked so hard all year and yet still had time to have fun during practice.

“The season was definitely a success for a lot of reasons. Each guy got better in their own way throughout the season, which was really encouraging to see,” George said. “We all had a ton of fun together and grew closer as a group, and we also won a ton of games, which is always enjoyable. This group was such an easy one to coach because they simply played hard all the time.”

The start of the season began with a great win over Forest Hills Eastern. The boys beat the Hawks by a score of 45-34. Being that this was the first game of the season, the boys went into the game unsure about what to expect from the other team. The Rangers began the game a little tentatively, but soon enough they took hold of the reins and stayed in the lead until the final buzzer.

East Kentwood was their second game of the season. EK is always a tough opponent to play against, so the boys knew they needed to prepare for this one. In this game, Ben and Conner worked hard to keep the boys in the game, doing well on both offense and defense. The Rangers ended up losing this game 58-53, but they didn’t let this defeat get them down. They kept their heads up and looked forward to the rest of the season.

Up next was the yearly Cornerstone Tournament over winter break. Over this weekend, the boys had two games: the first against Allendale and then the championship game against Forest Hills Eastern. The boys took down Allendale easily with a score of 62-22, moving them onto the championship game. The boys got another good win over FHE with a score of 67-33, winning the tournament.

“The team attitude for this year was good because we all wanted to win, and I think the improvement of the team chemistry throughout the season helped us to do well,” Ben said.

After this tournament, the boys were in a great position; they were pumped up and motivated for their upcoming games and ready to do well for the rest of the season. The Rangers’ next three opponents were easy wins, ending each game with at least a 20-point victory over Greenville, Lowell, and Cedar Springs.

Throughout the season, every player continued to work hard and improve their play individually and as a team in every game they played. One aspect that helped them to be successful during this season was their never-ending hard work and teamwork, all helping one another to improve and do their best in every game. In these games, the boys built off of one another to do well against their opponents. Sophomores Pierson Van Gorp, Joe Murdock, and Maxime Larmande were all key players to come into the games this season and continue the high level of play.

“I think that throughout the season, the team continued to bond together and help each other as much as they could,” Jacob said. “Everybody stayed positive and tried to do their absolute best during practice which then translated over to games.”

The boys’ next game was a low point in the season, being by far the toughest loss of the year. They lost in four overtimes to Ottawa Hills at home. It was an extremely emotionally and physically wrecking game. This game was a nonstop, back and forth battle for victory. Ultimately, the Rangers fell to Ottawa Hills with a score of 110-107, being their only conference loss of the year.

“The first Ottawa Hills game was one of the hardest losses I’ve ever experienced as a player or coach, and I’m sure the guys felt the same way,” Jordan said. “To lose in four overtimes and to fight back so hard just to come up short, that was a tough result to accept. I couldn’t be more proud of how the guys bounced back from that game though; it really motivated us to improve and keep fighting.”

The season then took an upwards turn once again. The boys bounced back, winning their next three games against Forest Hills Northern, East Grand Rapids, and Northview. In each of these games, Jacob, Ben, and Conner continued to encourage their team on and off the court. Jacob with his outstanding efforts on offense, Ben’s smart decisions during play, and Conner’s domination on defense.

“Jacob, Conner, and Benny were our leaders on the floor this season, accounting for the majority of our points,” sophomore Joe Seurynck said. “Without them, we would not have been nearly as successful, so big shoutout to those guys.”

The Rangers’ third and final loss of the season was to Wyoming. Wyoming is another seasonally hard team to play against. The boys fought hard to get the win, but Wyoming ended up winning with a score of 79-69.

Coming back from this loss, the boys won out the rest of the season. They defeated their last seven opponents with their determination and want for the conference win. In this time, they got their revenge on Ottawa Hills, beating them by 62-50. They also beat FHN in their rivalry game for the conference win, 76-56. It was a great winning streak to end the season.

Now that the boys’ last season of JV basketball has come to an end, they now have to look to the varsity team and fight for positions to continue their Rangerball careers. Considering how well their season went, they have much to look forward to.

“One of the coolest things for me as the JV coach is being able to envision these guys making an impact on the program in the future. I think there are guys that we had this year that can immediately make a strong impact on the varsity, but it all depends on the level of work they are willing to put in this offseason,” George said. “We had a lot of multi-sport guys on the team this year, which made them a group that was tougher and more physical than most. I think they will bring a ‘bulldog’ mentality to the varsity next year, as they push the guys in the class in front of them and immediately make an impact.”