When games are over, Otsego boys’ basketball coach Josh Holmes usually corrals his players quickly, herding them into the locker room for the post-game talk.
Following the home contest with archrival Plainwell on Friday, Feb. 6, however, Holmes let the Bulldogs linger on court a bit longer.
“I just wanted them to be able to soak this up,” Holmes said after his team’s 69-44 win over the Trojans in front of an estimated 1,900 fans. “It was a great atmosphere and for our seniors, this might be the last time they play Plainwell. So I wanted to give them a little chance to enjoy it.”
The victory was made all the more enjoyable by the fact the Bulldogs had dropped a 69-59 decision to the Trojans when the teams met back in December.
Otsego senior Seth Dugan said his team didn’t want to endure that feeling again.
“We just wanted to come out and play as hard as we could and play as a team,” said the 7-foot Dugan, who will play for Western Michigan University next season. “We had this one marked on our calendar. It’s very special.”
Dugan did his part to make sure it was a special night for the Bulldogs (11-2 overall and 6-1 in the Wolverine Conference East).
Not only did he score a game-topping 27 points—including six on a trio of dunks—but he also pulled down 17 rebounds and blocked five shots.
“All the credit goes to my teammates,” Dugan said. “They’re the ones who were getting me the ball and creating scoring chances for us.”
And no Bulldog created more scoring chances than senior Chris Pearl.
Finding the open man time and time again, Pearl finished with 14 assists … at least by his count.
“I haven’t totaled up our stats, but Chris keeps track of his assists in his head. He’d rather get an assist than score and he said he had 14 tonight and I tend to believe him.”
Pearl also had eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks in a solid overall effort.
For full story, pick up a copy of the February 12 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.