Dr G's Ranger Roundup: Basketball

Rangers at Buckeye

February 2: Rangers vs Valley Forge

History was made tonight in the East Gym when Lakewood junior Luke Vannucci made his 82nd 3-pointer of the season (now 85), breaking Wes Gerhardt's record of 82. The loud, large and very proud crowd gave Luke a standing ovation, and the Rangers went on to a decisive 65-36 win over Valley Forge. Actually, history was made not so much tonight but through countless hours of practice and an obvious love for the game. Talent alone—and Luke has plenty—does not make records in such a competitive sport. Tonight's magic night was years in the making.   Lakewood built a large lead early, and was able to use its bench extensively. Starters Drew Jabolowski (12) Lucas Seguine (4) Dominic Peck (2) and Jack Gowan (2) joined Vannucci (20) to take control early. From there, reserves Riley Verderber (4), Luke Bonvissuto (4), Peter Checkett (3), Steven McAuliffe (2), Aidan Smith (2), Mohammed Abuzahriyah (2) and Griffin Starr (2) kept the Patriots at a comfortable distance. A special moment was reserved, however, for senior Luke George, who was able to play for the first time this year. The Ranger student section chanted for "LG" to enter the game, and erupted in joyous applause when he scored his two baskets.   The Sparkle Cheer Squad did their routines fabulously, the Student Section was all that, and the youth basketball players in attendance got to see a display of Lakewood community athletics in all its Purple and Gold glory. The "glory" is not so much in the records and winning—awesome as they are--but in the dedication it takes for Luke and all the players to earn their spot on the stage. The "glory" comes from being all in for one team, for everyone playing and cheering together for a common purpose. The Lakewood Rangers are—and have always been—one team, from one town, that give it everything. Tradition never goes out of style, and we have a great one. Long Live Lakewood.

January 27: Rangers vs Buckeye

Down by 15 midway through the 2nd quarter, the Rangers refused to quit, and when the harrowing four minute overtime period ended, Lakewood prevailed at Buckeye, 68-61. From the jump, it was clear that the Bucks intended to take away the three pointer, and they were largely successful. Up stepped Junior Lucas Seguine (34 points), who used his ball skills on drive after drive, scoring twisting layups, hitting two 3 pointers, and scoring from the line. In a great team effort, Lucas led the way—every time it seemed that the Bucks were about to finish off the Rangers, he made a play, including some late clutch free throws—one of which tied the game with 3 seconds left. Junior guard Luke Vannucci, as usual, handled the ball well, scoring 11, including a key late layup to help send the game to overtime. Senior Drew Jablonowski (8 points) battled a spate of taller players all night, leading the team in rebounds with 9. (Buckeye, like almost all teams, has more size than the Rangers.) Starters Jack Gowan (2 points) and Dominic Peck (3 points) helped the Rangers early, but reserves Luke Bonvisutto (2 points) and Aidan Smith (3 points) provided much needed height, rebounding and defense, and were vital to the Rangers comeback. Aidan hit a clutch late free throw in overtime to help clinch the win.  

We showed up in Medina County tonight—students, fans, parents—and brought enthusiasm and energy to match that of the always raucous Buckeye crowd. The Cheer Squad not only brought their usual stellar routines, but were clearly all in for the Rangers. In games like these, the comebacks usually fall short, especially on the road, So much energy is expended climbing the hill. But the Lakewood Rangers dug deep, everyone chipped in, and when it was finally over the faithful were both relieved and elated. Congratulations to Coach Cammock, his entire staff and all the players. The Rangers are one team, from one town that tonight, and every night, never gives up. Long Live Lakewood.

junior Luke Vannucci (Pictured with AD Mr Rob Slone)

Volume 20, Issue 3, Posted 12:29 PM, 02.07.2024