Blackhawks prevail despite losing point guard to injury

By: 
Leo Martonosi

Fennville’s depth paid big dividends on Friday, Jan. 20.
Despite losing starting point guard Jace Cossey to a broken jaw earlier in the week, the Blackhawks came away with an 80-64 win over Hartford on Friday, Jan. 20.
“I said early on that this is the deepest team I’ve had,” said Blackhawks coach Joe Rodriquez. “To lose your starting point guard for the year obviously hurts, but we got through this game, at least.”
Cossey was in attendance for this team’s win.
“Jace has been playing really well and I not only feel bad for him but for his parents,” Rodriguez said.
The Indians of Hartford took advantage of Cossey’s absence to jump out to a 22-17 first-quarter lead.
However, it was only a matter of time before the Blackhawks turned up their game several notches in racing to the 16-point win.
“We ironed out some things and I reminded our guys this was a 32-minute game,” Rodriguez said.
If senior Julian Martinez-Grigg wasn’t scoring from all over the court, junior Austin Lewis was.
Martinez-Grigg tallied a team-high 20 points. Lewis added a career-high 19 points.
Lewis wears the same jersey number his father Marc did at Jenison High School.
“It was because of my dad that I asked for No. 33,” Lewis said.
Rodriguez was pleased with the constant improvement he’s gotten from Lewis.
“Austin has been really coming on which is nice to see even more now with (Cossey) out,” Rodriguez said.
John Paul Alfaro and Felipe Martinez, who started at point guard for Fennville, also reached double figures with 13 and 10 respective points.
Martinez-Grigg, Ben Renkema, Alfaro and Nathan Schmuck (eight points) also brought the ball up the court for Fennville.
“Our goals haven’t changed, but with (Cossey) out we’re going to need contributions from more guys now,” Rodriguez said.
The Fennville players went crazy when junior reserve guard Luke Garpow, who had entered the game 30 seconds earlier, nailed a long field goal at the buzzer for the 7-2 Blackhawks.
“As a coach you like to see things like that,” Rodriguez said.
Austin Nelson (24 points) and William Martinez (23 points) scored 47 of Hartford’s 64 points.

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