Otsego’s Allie Thiel (right) battles for position with Allegan’s C.C. Cerven as the two await a potential rebound.

Bulldogs hold off Tigers

Jason Wesseldyk

The Otsego girls’ basketball team led 9-4 at the end of the first quarter and never trailed in its Wolverine Conference East contest with Allegan on Saturday, Jan. 10.
Still …
“I was never comfortable,” Otsego coach Tony Koshar said. “We had the lead throughout the game and every time Allegan would make a two or three possession game we were able to respond. But as a coach, you’re never comfortable until that final buzzer sounds.”
And when that final buzzer sounded, the Bulldogs had secured the 52-39 win, allowing Koshar to breathe a sigh of relief and relax as his team improved to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in divisional play.
“This was a tough game for us, very physical,” Koshar said. “To be honest, I thought energy-level wise, Allegan came out with more energy in the first half. And that’s a credit to them. They’re a young team, but they’re really playing hard for (Allegan) coach (Kelly) Archer, which is great to see.”
Archer also had praise for her team in the losing cause.
“I thought this was the best game we played all season,” said the first-year Tiger coach. “We’re so young. Half the team can’t even drive yet. But these girls have been working so hard and this is one of the first games I’ve really seen what we’ve been working on in practice carry into a game.
“I really think this gives us something to build on and will give us a lot of confidence moving forward.”
Much of the Tigers’ confidence came from the fact they trailed only 21-17 at halftime. And Allegan was still very much in the game with 1:23 left to play in the final quarter as a C.C. Cerven free throw cut the Bulldog lead to 45-39.
But the Tigers were unable to score the rest of the way, while Otsego connected on seven of its final 10 free throws to pull away.
Allie Thiel led the charge from the line, going 3-of-4 in the final 1:19. Katie Voisard made both of her free throw attempts during that time, with freshman Liz Barwegen making good on two of her four tries.

For full story, pick up a copy of the January 15 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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