Otsego sophomore Charlie Woodhams, being guarded by Plainwell’s Zak TerMeer, scored a team-best 15 points in the Bulldogs’ win over the Trojans. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Bulldogs beat Trojans for 15th straight victory

Jason Wesseldyk

Confidence has been a hallmark of the Otsego boys’ basketball team this season, playing a key role in helping the Bulldogs secure wins in 15 of its first 16 games.
“These guys trust each other and believe in what we’re doing as a team,” Otsego coach Matt Dennis said. “One of the byproducts of that trust and belief is confidence. There’s not much that rattles them out there on the court.”
That confidence was on full display during the fourth quarter of Otsego’s rivalry game with Plainwell on Monday, Feb. 19.
Despite seeing a 12-point cushion cut in half in a span of less than two minutes midway through the final frame, the Bulldogs didn’t panic. Rather, they regrouped to score the game’s final six points and claim the 61-49 victory.
“Our guys do such a good job of staying composed,” Dennis said. “They’ve had a lot of success this season and they’re able to draw on that when things aren’t going our way.”
The win—the 15th in a row for Otsego—was the fifth for Dennis in five tries against the Trojans, including a district contest last season.
“I’m still pretty new to this rivalry, but it’s great,” Dennis said. “They boys really get amped up about it and it’s always a great atmosphere.”
As has been the case throughout the season, the victory was a team effort.
Charlie Woodhams spearheaded the Bulldogs’ balanced scoring attack with 15 points, while Will Eldred and Jayden Dentler joined him in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Zac Lucas added eight points, with Addison Atwater chipping in with seven points.
“This is the way this team has been all season,” Dennis said. “It’s just a very unselfish group that moves the ball well and is always looking for the best shot.”
Otsego built up a 33-24 lead at halftime, pushing that advantage to double digits at 35-24 thanks to a basket by Woodhams to start the third quarter.
But Plainwell wasn’t going to go down without a fight, responding with a string of nine straight points to narrow the gap to 35-33.
Luke Morrell scored four of those points for the Trojans, with fellow senior Evan Finch contributing a 3-point play.
“I give a lot of credit to Plainwell,” Dennis said. “Our press has been really good for us this season, and they attacked it better than any team we’ve played. They have a couple of guys who are very good scorers.”
Otsego’s lead stood at 46-41 after three quarters before the Bulldogs used a 9-2 run to open the final quarter—including a 3-pointer from Eldred—to make it 55-43.
“Honestly, I didn’t think we shot the ball as well as we normally do,” Dennis said. “But the guys did what they needed to do to get the win.”
Finch and Morrell shined in the loss, combining for 40 of their team’s points. Finch netted a game-best 24 points, while Morrell went for 16.


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