Rangers outlast North Posey, claim 47-30 winFebruary 3, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
FERDINAND — Forest Park (15-3) sophomore Amber Tretter did not hesitate to impact the opening stages of Wednesday evening’s 2A Sectional 48 contest against North Posey. Tretter found a comfort zone deep in the left corner, received the ball and splashed a 3-pointer through the hoop.
She repeated her exact motion on the next possession and gave Forest Park a critical jolt of early momentum. Those baskets buoyed the Rangers in their 47-30 opening-round victory in front of their exuberant home fans.
“It really picked us back up and brought back the energy for the rest of us,” Tretter said. “With the student section and the crowd, it was really nice to have them all back. They were able to cheer us on. It was really loud, so it was nice to hear that again.”
The Rangers flummoxed the Vikings with an extended full-court press throughout the first half. Forest Park defenders swarmed inside potential passing lanes and disrupted North Posey’s offense.
“When you can get a team to turn the ball over, that’s one less possession for them and one more possession for you,” Rangers head coach Tony Hasenour said. “That’s a little bit of a double whammy there. We needed to convert on a few more of those. We had some times where we forced a turnover and weren’t able to convert. I also thought our rebounding needed a little bit of improvement tonight — we missed some box-outs and gave them way too many second-chance points. Those are things that we’ll have to address tomorrow in practice for them to be successful the rest of this week.”
Forest Park took a 26-18 lead into the intermission. The Rangers tipped off the second half with a newfound zest for attacking the basket. Several drives resulted in foul shots, and the Rangers converted on 15 of their 23 attempts at the line.
“We feel like when we get it to the rim and draw that contact, that’s all good things,” Hasenour said. “It’s an individual foul and it’s a team foul. We feel good with our post players that we have rotating in and out. We feel good if our guards go down there on the block and post up. We were able to get some good looks on the inside in the second half and stretch the lead out a little bit.”
The Rangers kept their motors humming throughout the fourth quarter. The Vikings earned some last-minute baskets, but the lead proved to be insurmountable.
Tretter led Forest Park with a game-high 19 points and four 3-pointers. Fellow sophomore Carley Begle added nine points in the victory.
Before the game began, Hasenour offered some words of encouragement and advice to the spirited Forest Park student section.
“I just said, ‘You haven’t been able to do this all year, so enjoy it and make the most of it,’” he said. “‘Also, make sure that we’re still doing the right things that we’re supposed to be doing with masks and trying to stay as socially distanced as we can.’ The kids don’t always take that too well, but I just wanted to put that in their ear. Hopefully, we can have them back on Friday and at any other future games we may have.”
Forest Park will meet Perry Central at approximately 8:15 p.m. on Friday.
“I’m really excited,” Tretter said. “We’ll need to go out there and play our game.”
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