Nordhoff cagers hit bumps in road
By Jesse Phelps
The Nordhoff boys' basketball team played
in the Kiwanis Tournament Dec. 23 through 28 in Ventura and came
away with a 1-3 record and some great experience heading into
The Rangers opened the tourney against host Buena Dec. 23, losing
61-47. "Buena's a really good team," said Nordhoff
coach Mike Probyn, "they won the tournament." Buena,
a large school playing in Division II, led 23-14 at end of the
first quarter. Nordhoff played their hosts even in the second
quarter and were still down nine at half.
The Rangers used hustle and effort to take the lead and were
down only two points heading to the fourth, when Buena switched
defenses to take control of the game.
"What they did in that fourth quarter, they switched to
a zone," explained Probyn. "We tended to shoot the
outside shot first instead of going to the inside and missed
six or seven shots in a row. We just settled for outside shots
and we did not make them."
The free throw line ultimately hurt the Rangers. Buena made 21
of 24 from the charity stripe, while Nordhoff made just 19 of
31. "We played really well. When we fouled, they made their
free throws and we couldn't catch them. It was a good effort
on our part," Probyn said.
On Dec. 26, Nordhoff played Antelope Valley and a poor start
again cost the Rangers. They were outscored in the first quarter,
Nordhoff started to catch a rhythm and won the second quarter
13-7 to trail by six at the half. Back and forth went the score
in the fourth quarter. Nordhoff had a last shot to win the game
at the buzzer. Forward Micah Nylander's shot looked good but
rolled off the rim, sending the game into overtime.
Nordhoff was outscored six to four in the extra session and an
Antelope Valley offensive rebound denied the Rangers another
shot. The final score was 53-51.
Wiped out perhaps from the hard battle the previous night, Nordhoff
suffered a letdown in the third round. Rio Mesa demolished the
hapless Rangers 57-29. "We could not score," lamented
Probyn. "We held them decently but we just could not score.
Effort was good but we shot terribly. Rio Mesa's a good squad
and they nailed us."
Looking for a little redemption, the Rangers took on Channel
Islands on the tournament's final day. Down a bucket at end of
first and five points at halftime, the Rangers won the third
quarter, 19-10, and eventually the game, 58-50.
"It was a good win for us." Probyn said, "coming
off three losses in a row, we needed that one."
Nylander scored 18 in the second game and 50 for the tournament,
leading the team in scoring in all but one game. Sophomore inside
presence A.J. Maulhardt "did a good job on the boards,"
all tournament long, according to his coach. "We played
good D, but shots weren't falling for us." Maulhardt averaged
nearly 10 points a game for the tournament. "He's really
coming along for us," said Probyn.
Last Friday, Nordhoff traveled to Carpinteria to take on the
Warriors. The Rangers didn't have what it took, losing by four.
The final score was Carpinteria 52, Nordhoff 48, but the Rangers
missed 14 free throws to hand away the game in the final minutes.
"We were ahead most of that game," said Probyn, "And
they caught us right in the last minute. They executed in the
end." Nylander again led the Rangers in scoring, netting
17. Maulhardt had nine.
A tough week for the Rangers culminated in a loss in the annual
alumni game, 67-66.
The varsity had a balanced scoring attack. Everybody that played,
The Rangers were led by Ragnar Stroberg's 11 points. Ben Bower
and Nylander had 10 points each, Andy Doyle and Ryan Whitcomb
had eight apiece, Maulhardt had five, center T.J. Murphy and
Mike Bensley had four each, guard Garrett Stroup had three, and
Mike Brown had three. The alumni were led by the Sebek brothers.
Mark had 12 points and Tim 10. Eric Bensley had seven, Andy Flores
had six, Jordan swift had five and Noah Nylander had six.
The Rangers, at 6-7 overall, play at Rio Mesa Wednesday at 7
p.m. and look to erase the memory of the last game between the
two schools. "We've got about five more games before league
starts and we have that much time to put it together," said
Probyn. "Our shooting hasn't caught up to the rest of our
The Ojai Valley News
to the news