Liz Barwegen (12) was one of four Otsego players to score in double figures during the Bulldogs’ win over Sturgis in the Wolverine Conference title game. (Photo by Gary Shook)

Otsego beats Sturgis for first league title in a decade

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

The last time Otsego won a Wolverine Conference championship, the sophomore duo of Jaycie Callaway and Liz Barwegen were first-graders.
That pair did their part to ensure the end of that 10-year championship drought.
Callaway and Barwegen combined for 27 points and 13 rebounds to help lift the Bulldogs to the 72-53 win over Sturgis in the Wolverine Conference title game on Friday, Feb. 26.
The victory was the 13th straight for coach Tony Koshar’s Otsego squad, which improved to 17-3.
“Obviously, I’m personally really pleased (with the title), but I’ve had my day in the spotlight and this is all about the girls and their success,” Koshar said. “It’s our first championship in 10 years and validates the hard work the girls put in during the offseason and practice during the year.
“We’ve been a top-tier program in the Wolverine, but hadn’t broken through (with a title) until this year.”
Callaway and Barwegen had plenty to go with that success, as did freshman Mattison Rayman.
Callaway finished with 14 points—putting her one behind junior Erica Drobny for the team lead—to do with a team-best seven rebounds. Barwegen added 13 points, six rebounds and a team-best five assists, while Rayman had 12 points, four rebounds and four assists.
“They’re young, but all of them have more experience with their dedication to playing high-level basketball in the off season,” Koshar said. “Jaycie has been a starter for us since Day 1 as a freshman. She has really come on lately offensively as she has become more comfortable with her role. Defensively, she blocks and alters shots and is a supreme rebounder.
“Liz was a big contributor to a successful team last year and her role has grown. Her basketball IQ is off the charts. She is like a coach on the floor. And Matti is one of those kids that doesn’t get bothered out on the court. She hit some shots early in this game to get us calmed down. She’s very versatile, which makes her a tough match-up for opponents.”
 

For full story, pick up a copy of the March 3 issue of The Allegan County News or the March 7 issue of The Union Enterprise or subscribe to the e-edition.

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