Ranger boys defeat Spearfish, Philip

Esther Noe
The Hill City High School Ranger boys basketball team had another pair of back to back games last week. 
First, the Rangers traveled to Spearfish for a game against the Spartans Jan. 4. The Spartans beat the Rangers in 2022 and 2023, but the Rangers were ready for a victory. 
According to head coach Laramie Harvey, it was a back and forth game. There were many ties and lead changes, but the Ranger boys stayed composed and kept grinding it out. 
“It was tied 50-50 with under a minute to go, and then Ian Jorgensen had a dunk that put us up for the remainder of the game. So it was an exciting game,” said Harvey. 
Devin Buehler led the scoring with 19 points. Then, Alex Stoeckmann had 13 points, Everett Sullivan had 12 points and Ian Jorgensen had 10 points. The Rangers won 54-51. 
The next day the Rangers had a home game against the Philip Scotties, and there was a large turnout from both sides. 
“It’s exciting when you have a crowd like that. It’s just much easier to play in front of a lot of people versus an empty gym,” Harvey said. “And it excites the boys for them to have the opportunity to show people in our community what they’ve worked on and the type of kids they are.” 
“It took us a while to get going. I’m sure some of it had to do with playing the night before, a very mentally and physically exhausting game anyway,” Harvey said. “But it’s really not an excuse because Philip played the night before themselves. It just took us a while.” 
The Rangers were down a little at halftime but pulled out a large lead in the third quarter. 
“We just kind of never looked back,” said Harvey. “It wasn’t what we were hoping for, but to our boys’ credit, they came out and took care of business and then won.” 
Once again, Buehler led the scoring with 18 points. Stoeckmann had 13 points, and Zane Messick had 11 points. The Rangers won 61-47
Next up, the Rangers are traveling to Lead-Deadwood High School to face the Golddiggers Thursday, Jan. 11, at 7:30 p.m. After that, the Rangers are heading to Wyoming to play Sundance, Wyo., Saturday, Jan. 13, at 3 p.m.
“Any time we have an opportunity to play, we’re excited. We feel confident going to those games as long as we play to our ability and don’t come out flat,” said Harvey. “It’s our goal to learn how to come out and play to our level regardless of who we are playing. We’re excited to challenge ourselves that way for these next few games.” 

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