by Richard Creaser
copyright the Chronicle 2-13-2014
ORLEANS — The Lake Region Rangers boys varsity basketball (13-4) team kept their season longest seven-game winning streak alive with a 52-20 win over the visiting Richford Falcons (4-13) on Wednesday night, February 12. The win was a near mirror image of the Rangers’ last win against the Falcons 58-24 back on January 9.
Wednesday’s contest enabled Lake Region Coach James Ingalls an opportunity to send out his underclassmen, giving his regular starters more rest time headed into the impending playoff season. Coach Ingalls said he liked seeing the quality minutes his second string brought to the table.
“I think it speaks to how deep a rotation we have,” the coach said after the game. “The boys put up some real quality minutes. We had a total team effort and that earned us the W.”
Nine different players hit the score sheet for the Rangers with Alex Beauregard and Dennis Newland leading the attack with 11 points apiece. Richford’s Jeremy Franklin led the Falcon attack with seven points on the night.
Sophomore Trent Bathalon was one of the Lake Region players who benefited from increased playing time in the game. Bathalon finished the game with seven points including a three-pointer recorded in the final quarter of play.
The Rangers’ solid defensively play limited Richford’s scoring chances while enabling Lake Region to mount an offensive outpouring. The Rangers were highly efficient in controlling the play in the paint both offensively and defensively.
“Defensively we played very, very well,” Coach Ingalls said. “I thought our press was really good and we boxed them out really well. I’m a bit of a defensively-minded coach so I was glad to see that tonight.”
Bathalon credits control around the basket and solid passing for the Rangers’ success.
“I feel like the cutting and movement was a really big thing for us,” Bathalon said. “When we keep control and don’t rush we play better.”
Though the two squads were fairly evenly matched on height, the Rangers appeared to dominate offensive and defensive rebounds. Limiting the number of repeated shots the Falcons could take on net was a critical component in the Rangers’ success.
“They got a lot of big guys and play a tough, physical game,” Bathalon said of the Falcons. “We had to work around them to get the chances we got.”
That physical play, while useful in keeping the Rangers away from easy baskets, did eventually take its toll. The Falcons gave up 12 free throws in the last two quarters alone putting their struggling offense in an even deeper hole. By comparison, Richford only surrendered a single free-throw to Lake Region in the entire first half.
“Things were definitely starting to get a little chippy out there,” Coach Ingalls said. “I didn’t want to escalate things so I started using my bench more. I can honestly say I’m happy with how they played this game. There really wasn’t anything glaringly obvious that we need to address.”
The Lake Region Rangers hold their final regular season home game on Friday, February 21, as they take on visiting BFA-Fairfax. The game has a scheduled 7 p.m. start.
contact Richard Creaser at firstname.lastname@example.org