Anders Rasmussen has a lot of range to warm up before a game, he can quickly take over a game in a variety of ways — mostly with his record-setting range.
Sometimes, like Thursday, it takes a little longer to take over.
But it’s going to happen. He almost led an upset over Forest Hills Eastern on senior night Thursday, which came up just short in a 71-66 loss.
In the process, Rasmussen broke Demetrius Lake’s Holland record (77) for most 3-pointers made in a season with 80 and also committed to play at Hope College next year.
“Senior night was huge. We are all super close and have been together for so long. It was a really big day for us,” Rasmussen said. “I was super excited about the record. I had no idea I was anywhere near that record until last week. I grew up watching him. It is pretty awesome to be able to break one of his records.”
Rasmussen has gained notice for an outside shooting range that seems to grow game by game. But he also has the ability to drive to the basket and score in the paint, as well as an under-appreciated mid-range jumpshot.
Hope will be gaining a well-rounded recruit.
“I am so excited to be a Dutchman for another four years,” he said. “I love the coach and the atmosphere. I am super excited.”
There are few players around who can take over a game in so many ways — and it starts way before game time.
“I can’t tell you how much this kid is in the gym,” Holland coach Corey Wolters said. “I have never seen anyone in the gym more than him. He gets there before practice and he form shoots. That time has made him the most disciplined shooter I have ever seen.”
Rasmussen alone would make Holland a dangerous team heading into districts — but he is not alone.
The Dutch have put together some strong pieces led by Jackson VanHekken, Xavier Chavis, Isaiah Arredondo, Pehyton Woudenberg, Ethan Vollsdedt, Zachary Hop and Maison Hagger, whose contributions are growing as the season continues.
The Dutch host West Ottawa in the district opener on Monday at the Dutch Dome.
“West Ottawa knows him really well and we will need some other guys to step up,” Wolters said. “We have had that lately. But we have had our own mental lapses lately that we have to limit.”
It was on display in Thursday’s senior day game against Forest Hills Eastern, which had a personal connection for Wolters, who played at West Ottawa with Forest Hills Eastern coach Jason Yelding, giving the game an extra special layer.
“Jason is doing a heck of a job with those guys. They play extremely hard and get after it,” Wolters said. “He is super energetic. He was always filled with energy when I played with him.”
The energy reminds Wolters of someone he is coaching now, who finished with 24 points.
Rasmussen builds that up over the course of the day, including a long shooting session.
“I usually get to the gym a couple hours before game time and shoot for (more than an hour). I am used to it,” he said. “After my freshman year, I realized just showing up and playing wasn’t going to be enough. I committed myself to getting shots before school every morning and after school. I knew I needed that to get to the next level.”
Rasmussen hit an early 3 to put the Dutch up 7-6, then another early in the second quarter.
But a late second-quarter run by FHE built a 32-21 halftime lead.
In the third, Holland grabbed a bit of momentum on a dunk by Chavis, but still trailed 51-40 going into the fourth. Chavis finished with 16.
Rasmussen nailed a contested 3 to start the fourth, then added another pulling Holland within 55-48, breaking the season record for 3s. He added an even longer one and the Dutch were within 57-51 with 5:40 to go.
He was fouled on his next 3-point attempt and made all three free throws to pull Holland within 59-56 with 4:01 to go.
It was as close as Holland would get, but Rasmussen proved once again he is one of the most dangerous opponents in tournament time.
“We are excited to host at the Dome,” he said. “We have new life.”