Allegan falls in tournament final
The Allegan boys’ basketball team came up short in the championship game of its holiday tournament on Thursday, Dec. 29, dropping a 60-40 decision to Wyoming Lee.
But the fact that the Tigers were in the title tilt to begin with was a step in the right direction, as far as second-year coach Matthew Haack was concerned.
Allegan’s 54-38 win over Byron Center Zion Christian in one of the tournament’s semifinal games that earned its place in the finals was the Tigers first win since the 2014-15 season.
“Getting that win was so big for our guys,” Haack said. “They’ve been working hard and to get that first win was a huge relief for them. It really took away a lot of the pressure they were feeling. Now we want to continue to get better and make the rest of the season as good as it can be.”
In the title game against Wyoming Lee, Allegan sophomore Caleb DeKryger put together a strong performance. Not only did he lead both teams in scoring with 23 points, but he also collected 10 rebounds to give him the double-double.
“Caleb is a hard-working kid who never quits,” Haack said. “He’s always going to give you everything he has, and that’s what you saw out there tonight. He’s a very talented player and, as a sophomore, he has the potential to get even better.”
Unfortunately for Allegan, no other Tiger was able to muster more than the six points turned in by junior Landon Mielke.
Mielke also went for five rebounds.
“We just didn’t execute as well as we needed to offensively,” Haack said. “We did some good things. We just weren’t able to do enough good things consistently enough to win.”
The turning point in the game came late in the second quarter.
With the game still within reach for the Tigers at that time, Lee went on a run to end the half and give the Rebels the momentum coming out of the intermission.
“We let it get away from us a little bit at the end of the second quarter,” Haack said. “Then we were never really able to close the gap the rest of the way.”
DeKryger and Mielke tied for game-high scoring honors in the win over Zion Christian, each going for 15 points. DeKryger also had eight rebounds, with Mielke going for three.
Hudson Smith added seven points and four assists.