Fennville takes thriller from Saugatuck in ‘Never Forgotten’ game
It’s been nearly four years since Wes Leonard passed away tragically after hitting the winning shot in Fennville’s regular-season finale to cap a perfect 20-0 season.
But his younger brother Mitchell—now a senior at Fennville—and the rest of the community have made sure they’ve kept his memory alive.
“I’ll never forget him,” Mitchell Leonard said after the Blackhawks won a 67-61 overtime decision in miracle-like fashion against top rival Saugatuck on Friday, Jan. 30. “I always think of him.”
It was the annual Never Forget game between the two schools to honor the memory of Wes Leonard.
The visiting Indians appeared to have the game won when sophomore Blake Dunn swished a 3-point basket with time about to expire in regulation, giving Saugatuck the 56-53 advantage.
Fennville sophomore Julian Martinez-Grigg had other ideas, sinking a desperation three-fourths of the length of the floor game-tying triple at the buzzer to force the extra session.
“I practice that shot all the time at practice,” Martinez-Grigg said. “I always let coach know when I make it.”
Fennville coach Joe Rodriguez credited his other players with giving Martinez-Grigg the green light to pull out an incredible feat.
“Some of the guys mentioned that Julian makes that shot all the time in practice, so let him take it,” Rodriguez said. “All the guys had confidence that he would make that shot.”
Martinez-Grigg said it was the shot of a lifetime.
“I had to do it for Mitchell,” he said. “I wanted to do it for him.”
Mitchell Leonard did his part as well. Not only did he inbound the ball that resulted in the game-tying shot, but he paced Fennville in scoring with 23 points and collected a career-best 15 rebounds.
For full story, pick up a copy of the February 5 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.