It was a very successful night for the Ranger men as they brought home a third straight GLVC East championship to DeSimone Gymnasium. Their game was never really in doubt, but Lewis did manage to keep competitive until the final buzzer. The women’s game was very competitive early, but the Flyers pulled away in the second half, spoiling the emotional Senior Night for our ladies.
The girl’s game started out very slow, with both teams talent taking center court. Neither team was really able to get a rhythm early because both were causing turnovers and playing great defense. Whenever one side made a shot, the other countered immediately, whether it was a layup or three. The shooting for the Ranger women was uncharacteristically off tonight. The team couldn’t cash in on free throws throughout and their jumpers weren’t falling. While our women couldn’t hit a shot, the Flyers were staying true to their name and pushing the ball in transition, getting layups and hitting their shots. Though the Flyers are the second ranked team in the country, they didn’t dominate the game as expected. We were getting the shots we wanted. Unfortunately, it was just one of those off nights. The Flyers ran away with the game, 60-46.
Though the team lost, this doesn’t diminish the season they have had thus far and isn’t an indication on what is to come. This was the final home game for seniors Gaby Bronson, Jennifer Blunt, Sarah Mlachnik, Maddie Johnston and Justine Boerger, who have been very successful in their time playing for the Rangers. Their journey isn’t over yet. They are going into the GLVC tournament ranked fourth, having a first round bye.
Unlike the women, the men’s game started out with the Ranger men jumping out to a very quick 11-4 lead in the first five minutes. They were pushing the ball often early in the game, with Jimmy Gavin seemingly taking over towards the end of the half. They penetrated throughout, never settling for jump shots unless they were necessary. But when they did shoot, it seemed as though they couldn’t miss throughout the duration of the game. The all-time leader in three point baskets made went on a personal 6-0 run midway through the second half. The Flyers put on a show though, throwing up a pretty nasty lob towards the end. But when they tried it again, Gavin was having none of it. Free throws sealed the game and the guys won, notching their 25th win on the season, the most in program history, 73-68.
Seniors Jordan Mach, “Ziggy” Riauka, Tavaris McNeil and Mohammed Mohammed played their last game in DeSimone, but they all have their eyes on now capturing the GLVC tournament championship. They will go into the tournament ranked third, getting a first round bye in the tournament.
The men’s tournament begins on March 5, while the women kick off their tournament on March 6. Both conclude on March 8. The tournament will take place in St. Charles, Missouri.
Article by Jalen Perry