Otsego’s Liz Barwegen splits Allegan defenders Haylie Curtiss (left) and Leslie Scane (right) during the Bulldogs’ 53-39 win. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Barwegen leads Otsego to divisional win over Allegan

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

A pair of second-half scoring runs propelled the Otsego girls’ basketball team to the 53-39 win over Allegan on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
The Bulldogs held a razor-thin 30-29 lead midway through the third quarter before ending the frame on an 8-2 run that included 3-pointers from Erica Drobny and Grace VerHage.
Then, following a basket by Allegan’s Leslie Scane to open the final stanza, Otsego scored nine straight points, with Liz Barwegen accounting for six of those.
That upped the Bulldogs’ lead to 47-33 midway through the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
“I was pleased with the way our girls responded in the second half,” Otsego coach Tony Koshar said. “Allegan’s a tough team and this is a tough place to play. I didn’t think we played badly in the first half; it’s just that Allegan did a really nice job of staying right with us.”
Barwegen finished with a season-best 22 points, 15 of which came in the second half.
“Liz has been good for us all season, but the last three to five games she’s really been coming on,” Koshar said. “She’s really comfortable out there right now and she’s been giving us a big boost.”
Mattison Rayman joined Barwegen in double figures with 10 points, while Drobny was close behind with nine points. VerHage and Jaycie Callaway chipped in with six and five points, respectively.
For Allegan, Delanie Nahikian led the way with nine points. Kara Bishop and Antonette Ware each went for eight points, with Scane adding five and Haylie Curtiss going for five.
“I know this game didn’t end up the way we wanted it to, but I was still proud of the way we played,” Allegan coach Josh Holman said. “There are some different little things we need to work on, but the girls gave a great effort and I’m proud of that.”
Allegan lost to Otsego by 20 points when the teams met in December and were never really in that game.
“We’ve come a long way already this season and I know we still have plenty of room to improve,” Holman said. “We’ve grown by leaps and bounds, and we just have to stay true to the process and keep getting better.”
Allegan led 16-15 after one quarter and were down 22-21 at halftime.
The deficit was back at one point when Otsego went on its 8-2 run to close out the third quarter.
“That was big,” Holman said of Otsego’s run. “When Drobny and VerHage hit those threes on back-to-back possessions, it kind of took the wind out of our sails a little bit. You go from being down one to being down seven. That’s a big swing.”

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