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Rangers Beat Spartans on Parents Night

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A 31-4 run in the second half was the difference in Reading’s 52-35 win over Springport on Thursday night.

“I’ve been telling them all year, it’s about imposing your will on another team,” said Rangers coach Brett Kerspilo. “That’s exactly what it was. We got a jumpstart, got fired up.”

Reading trailed the Spartans 24-20 with 4:28 remaining in the third quarter, but the Rangers scored the final 13 points of the frame.

The run was capped by a threepointer from Corbin Hoover, followed by a steal and layup from Alex Price in the closing seconds of the third.

“We got a big play and it elevated us. We hit that three at the end of the third, and then to get that steal, we scored five points in seven seconds,” Kerspilo said. The momentum carried into the fourth quarter, as Reading outscored Springport 18-4 in the first seven minutes of the final frame.

With both team’s backups in the game, the Spartans knocked down a few free throws to slightly even the score.

The first half could not have been any different than the second, as both squads went toe-to-toe with very little scoring on either end. Reading led 9-6 after the first quarter, and 16-14 at halftime.

The Spartans then opened the third quarter on a 10-4 run to take the lead, before Reading’s defensive intensity finally led to success at the offensive end.

“They try to limit shots and they try to stall. Our 1-3-1 defense is all about energy. Once you have that energy, it can be dominant,” Kerspilo said.

“That’s what I love about that defense. You can really shut people down.”

Reading was led by freshman Ben Affholter with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Alex Price contributed 13 points and six steals. Nick Affholter added 12 points and six rebounds. Cole Boyd scored five points for the Rangers.

The win lifts Reading to a 7-13 record overall to end their regular season. The Rangers will take the momentum of this win to Jonesville on Monday for a district quarterfinal matchup with Union City.

“I thought we broke through a wall, as far as confidence, tonight. What a momentum-builder,” Kerspilo said.  “We got great energy from our seniors Dylan Rose and Alex Hill.  They’ve done a nice job of being unselfish leaders for this team and it was awesome to send them out with a victory in there final home game.

“We had a rough February, but it’s March Madness. It’s a new beginning. The next game is your next focus. I think we can be someone who’s scary if we can bring this kind of energy every night.”

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