Ranger boys dig out win over the Miners in rivalry basketball game

Redwood improves to 4-0 in early West Yosemite League play with 21-point victory over the El Diamante Miners

VISALIA – The Redwood Rangers basketball team defeated the El Diamante Miners, 62- 41, on Friday night to improve to 15-6, and 4-0 in league play. They are on a current winning streak for four consecutive matchups.

Jan. 21’s matchup was a big one for the Rangers. El Diamante and Redwood have always had a tense rivalry, and both schools’ fans and students really get into that rivalry whenever the teams face off. The student section was packed for Redwood, and they made their presence known with raucous roars. According to Redwood starting forward Kolby Howard, the crowd was immensely impactful for the Rangers.

And the Rangers gave their fans lot to cheer about. The Rangers never found themselves playing from behind due to their early lead that only got bigger as the game progressed.

The only success El Diamante was able to find came in the first half; specifically, it came in the middle of the second quarter. At this point in the game, the Rangers were struggling with capitalizing on opportunities and scoring. The Miners were able to capitalize off some of the Ranger’s mistakes and get within six points of the Ranger lead; the score was 24-18 late in the second quarter.

Unfortunately for the Miners, getting within six points was the best thing they’d do all night. Redwood would end the first half on a 7-2 run, to make the score 31-20 at the half; they put themselves in a great position.

Power forward for the Miners, Max Martin, said that a big reason for the loss on Friday was turnovers. “For us as a team turnovers has been a big factor in why we have been losing and in the game Friday that was a big reason [we lost],” Martin said.

The Rangers would only get stronger in the second half. Redwood started on a 6-1 run, and made the score 37-21 to start the third quarter. The Rangers did not look back for the rest of the game. They received high level performances from star players like Howard, Joey Volchko, Nahir Karimi and Miguel Willams.

Point guard Nahir Karimi could not have been more thrilled about how his team played on Friday night. “We did what we had to do, we were prepared for everything and absolutely dominated every minute of the game,” Karimi said.

This game was huge for the Rangers; it put their confidence at an all-time high, heading into Tuesday night’s critical matchup against the undefeated Mt. Whitney Pioneers. The final of which occurred after press time. On the other hand, while things could have gone better for the Miners, they still had a chance to show up in next week’s matchup against Golden West on Tuesday night. The final for which was also after press time.

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