Ranger Boys Basketball finishes 1-1 in tourney

Jeff Schlapp Enterprise Sports Editor
Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The Park High Rangers boys and girls basketball teams traveled to Frenchtown on Friday and Saturday to take part in the Frenchtown Tip Off. Both teams were matched up against the Frenchtown Broncs on Friday night and the Stevensville Yellowjackets on Saturday.

On Friday night the Rangers played the Broncs tough throughout the game and were led by Payton Kokot with 17 points and Kaden McMinn, who put up 13 points. But the Broncs were able to hold on for the victory with the final score 49-42.

“We had them where we wanted them late, within one possession but made a few mistakes that gave them opportunities. They’re a solid, well coached squad,” Rangers coach Kyle Neibauer said.

The Lady Broncs were equally tough for the Lady Rangers as the Rangers were defeated by a score of 58-29.

On Saturday the Rangers were eager to get back on the court, and it showed, as they ran the Yellowjackets off the floor with a strong defensive effort. The first quarter was close, with the Rangers holding a 12-9 lead as the teams took the floor to begin the second quarter. From that point forward however the Rangers’ stingy defense showed up.

In the second quarter the Rangers held the Yellowjackets to an amazing 2 points, the third quarter the Yellowjackets were outscored 22-6, and in the fourth quarter the Rangers outscored the Yellowjackets 15-4 for a blowout win 62-21.

“Coming off the close loss, we were hungry for a win. Our defensive pressure in the second half was the key factor in the win,” Neibauer said.

Payton Kokot again scored 17 points. Which may be his favorite number, as it matched his offensive output in all three of the Rangers games this season. Leading the Rangers in scoring was Wils on Saile, who poured in 20 points for a season high. Other Rangers who dented the scorecard were Drew Rogge and Kaden McMinn with 9 points each, Baylor Arterburn, who tossed in 3 points, with River Smith and Calvin Caplis each adding 2 points.

The Lady Rangers battled the Lady Yellowjackets on Saturday and lost 44-36. The Rangers played a strong first half and found themselves down by only 1 point 21-20 at halftime. But the Rangers could muster only 5 points during the third quarter and found themselves down heading into the fourth quarter by a score of 35-25.

And despite outscoring the Yellowjackets in the fourth quarter 11-9, the Rangers comeback came up short.

Taylor Young led the Rangers in scoring with 15 points. Megan Nelson added

9 points. And Elsa Cajune and Emily Jesson added 8 points and 2 points each.

The Rangers will each play on Friday at home against Laurel. The girls game is set to tip off at 6 p.m. followed by the boys game at 7:30 p.m.

After playing their first two weekends on the road, the Rangers are looking forward to playing their first home game against conference rival Laurel.

“We’re excited for a home game. These boys have been working hard and we will be prepared for Laurel,” Neibauer commented.