Rangers boys are bouncing back

Esther Noe
At first it appeared the Hill City High School boys basketball team was off to a discouraging start. After all, the first three games against the Red Cloud Crusaders, the New Underwood Tigers and the Hot Springs Bison were all lost by the Rangers. However, the turn of a new year appears to have brought a new vigor to the team. 
Although they lost a game against the Spearfish Spartans 85-60  Jan. 5, the next day proved a different story. At home in the Gins Gym, the Rangers claimed a win against the Edgemont Moguls 59-41. 
Coach Laramie Harvey shared that it was a rough start, but the wins are bringing up the team morale. The team also progressed defensively.
“Even more importantly,” said Harvey, “I thought  we at times played more as a team than we had earlier in the year.”
A week later the boys basketball team traveled to Sundance, Wyo. to face their next opponents. At first the Rangers took a strong lead and were up 20 points in the third quarter. However, the Sundance Bulldogs fought back and made it a close game. In the end, the Rangers claimed the win 59-56. 
“The game was kind of our season in a nutshell. At times we do some good things,” said Harvey. “And then we kind of fell asleep at the wheel a little bit defensively and allowed them to claw back in. But we made some plays to fortunately hold on.”
With these wins, the Ranger boys are rallying. 
“Just observing the boys, I feel like their excitement level has gone up a little bit after the last two games so that’s a positive,”  Harvey said.
However, the boys basketball team will need every scrap of this energy and excitement to gear up for their upcoming schedule. First, they face the Belle Fourche Broncs on Jan. 18. Next, they will play Lead-Deadwood with a 7 p.m. tip. After that is a bout against Custer Jan. 21 with a 6:30 p.m. tip. All three games will be held at Gins Gym. 
“It’s going to be a tall task. Anytime you play three teams in four days, it’s asking a lot of the boys,” said Harvey. “I expect the three teams to come here, and they’re going to get after it. We need to match their level of intensity if not put forth more.”

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