Otsego's Bill Woodhams drives around a defender. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Bulldogs post victory over visiting Marshall

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Bill Woodhams knows what it’s like to play on a successful basketball team.
As a sophomore, he was part of the 2014-15 Otsego squad that won Wolverine Conference, district and regional championships before seeing its season end in the Class B quarterfinals.
Now a senior, Woodhams is trying to do his part to make the current incarnation of the Bulldogs as successful as it can be.
That included a 20-point effort from Woodhams against Marshall in a non-league home game on Thursday, Dec. 29, that saw Otsego post the 69-50 victory.
Woodhams has led the Bulldogs in scoring during each of their first six games this season, which has come as no surprise to first-year Otsego coach Matt Dennis.
“Bill is a senior with great confidence in his ability to shoot the ball,” Dennis said.
That confidence rubs off on his teammates.
“Bill gives the team confidence,” Dennis said. “He steps on the floor with the confidence that he will do well and the rest of the team feeds off of that. And the guys do a great job of finding him and he hits the shots. Even when he’s not hitting the shot he gives the same effort every night, but fortunately for us most nights his shot is falling.”
Not that Woodhams was the only Bulldog to play well against Marshall.
Two other Otsego players also scored in double figures, with junior Zak Lucas going for 12 and senior Tyler Rayman adding 11.
“Overall the team played really well,” Dennis said. “We shared the ball well and found the open man.”
Otsego knocked down a dozen 3-pointers as a team, with Woodhams accounting for four of those.
“When you’re shooting that many threes and making them, it makes the game easier,” Dennis said.
The Bulldogs held a 16-10 advantage at the conclusion of the opening quarter and outscored Marshall by at least five points in each of the first three quarters.
Otsego led 33-22 at halftime and 50-33 after three quarters of play.
Dennis hopes the win will give his team some momentum as it gets into the heart of is Wolverine Conference schedule following Christmas break. The Bulldogs—who dropped its first two league games to Vicksburg and South Haven by a combined five points—host Three Rivers on Friday, Jan. 6, and Edwardsburg on Tuesday, Jan. 10, before heading to Plainwell on Friday, Jan. 13.
“We have the tools to be a pretty good team and make some noise in conference play,” Dennis said. “I’m hoping this win gives us great confidence going forward. Marshall is a good team. The win tonight should show us that we can be pretty good if we do the little things.”
 

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