Rangers rally to beat Hartford 70-61

Published 1:28 pm Thursday, January 10, 2019

CASSOPOLIS — The Cassopolis boys basketball team rebounded from its first loss of the season in a big way Tuesday night.

The Rangers traveled to Hartford to take on the undefeated Indians in a key Southwest 10 Conference contest.

In a game that was close throughout, Cassopolis rallied to pull out a 70-61 win over Hartford to improve to 6-1 in conference action and 7-1 overall.

“It was a great high school game,” Ranger coach Ricky Evans said. “I told the kids before the game that it’s about playing on the road for a share of the conference and playing a team that is undefeated.”

Evans said his team responded, using its height advantage on Hartford, to pick up the victory and move back into first-place in the league standings.

“Hartford is a well-coached team and they play hard,” he said. “We wanted a challenge and we got one.”

Neither team could get away from each other through the first three quarters.

Cassopolis led after one quarter (15-13) and at halftime (31-28).

The Indians came storming back in the third quarter and outscored the Rangers 19-16 to tie the game at 47-47 with eight minutes remaining in regulation.

“With the game tied starting the fourth quarter, we told the kids now is the time to show everyone what they were made of and they did,” Evans said. “I was so proud of these young men, mostly because of the way we kept our heads.”

Tyrese Hunt-Thompson and Brayden Saxton came up huge in the fourth quarter for the Rangers.

Thompson scored 10 of his team-high 22 points in the final eight minutes, including 6-of-7 from the free throw line.

Saxton scored 11 of his 20 points, including 7-of-13 from the free throw line.

Cassopolis also got 14 points from Cerious Wilson.

Hartford was led by Trey Ackerman who scored a game-high 26 points. Aaron Sinclair added 15 points.

The Rangers are back on the road Friday night as they head to Mendon for a Southwest 10 Conference game. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.