Otsego’s Mattison Rayman (right) chases down a loose ball after knocking it away from a Paw Paw player during the second half of the Bulldogs’ 57-40 win. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Otsego uses big second half to upend Paw Paw

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

The score remained a little too close for comfort for Otsego girls’ basketball coach Tony Koshar as his team’s game against Wolverine Conference South foe Paw Paw entered the final minutes of the third quarter.
Make that much too close for comfort.
At the time, the Bulldogs were clinging to a 30-29 lead.
Then came the spark for which Koshar had been hoping.
The Bulldogs scored the final eight points of the third quarter to start a 20-5 run that spilled into the final stanza as they secured the 57-40 victory.
“It was a tale of two halves as we went back and forth in the first half,” said Koshar, whose team led 22-20 at the intermission. “In the second half, we became more aggressive both offensively and defensively and scoring the last eight points of the third quarter really gave us a nice boost.”
Mattison Rayman accounted for the final three points of the third quarter for Otsego, as she was fouled on a made layup and then hit the ensuing free throw.
After making the shot on which she was fouled, Rayman pumped her fists and let out a celebratory yell that helped fire up the rest of the team.
“Matti and Liz Barwegen really got us going and not only because they were our leading scorers,” Koshar said. “They displayed some grit and emotion that quite frankly this team needs.”
Rayman finished with a game-best 16 points, while Barwegen added 12 to go with four rebounds and four steals.
Gracie VerHage chipped in with eight points, four rebounds and six steals, while Erica Drobny added six points, five assists and six steals.
“We’ve been a little off our normal track so hopefully the second half gets us back in the right direction,” Koshar said.
 

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