Finch, Morrell lead Plainwell past Allegan
The third time, as the old saying goes, is the charm.
For the Plainwell boys’ basketball team, the third quarter proved to be the charm in its Wolverine Conference showdown with Allegan on Friday, Feb. 3.
The Trojans outscored the Tigers 22-9 in the third stanza to break open what had been a four-point game at halftime en route to the 66-52 victory.
A pair of juniors did the bulk of the offensive damage for Plainwell during its third-quarter charge.
Luke Morrell went for 10 points in the frame, six of which came on two 3-pointers. Evan Finch, meanwhile, was close behind with eight points as he repeatedly slashed his way to the basket.
Finch, who scored 14 first-half points, was the player Allegan coach Matthew Haack pointed to as the main catalyst for Plainwell’s success in the game.
“(Morrell) hit a couple of threes the third quarter, but we really had a hard time stopping Finch, Haack said. “He was making plays and finding ways to get to the rim and that hurt us quite a bit.
“We need to recognize when someone is hitting their shots and make a better effort to shut them down.”
Finch and Morrell each finished with 24 points to tie for game-high honors in the scoring department. As if that wasn’t enough, Finch also had 12 rebounds for the double-double.
Despite those performances, Allegan managed to keep the game close throughout the first half.
In fact, the Tigers were down just a single point at 24-23 with 2:31 left in the second quarter following a pair of free throws from Jack Sturman.
But Plainwell scored the next five points—including three from Finch—before Tiger Caleb DeKryger knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 29-25 at halftime.
“I like the way we played in the first half and thought we did an excellent job of disrupting their passing lanes,” Haack said. “When we play with a high defensive intensity, it usually helps us put up some points on the scoreboard.”
Then came the Trojans’ third-quarter onslaught, which put the game out of reach.
DeKryger paced Allegan with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Sturman and Hudson Smith added 11 and eight respective points.