Buzzer-beater lifts Indians past Watervliet
Technically speaking, Blake Dunn’s 3-pointer in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter won the Saugatuck boys’ basketball team its game against Watervliet on Friday, Dec. 16.
But as far as first-year Indian coach Andy Diaz was concerned, there was an even bigger reason the Indians survived for the 48-46 win.
That reason? Defense.
“I was proud of our defense tonight,” Diaz said. “We’ve said we are going to hang our hat on defense and tonight we played Saugatuck defense.”
That defensive effort was all the more impressive considering the size Watervliet has. The Panthers’ frontline was listed at 6-foot-8, 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-4.
And it was that solid play on the defensive end of the floor that allowed the Indians to keep the game close throughout.
“We led most of the game until the fourth quarter,” said Diaz, whose team improved to 2-1 with its second consecutive victory following a 66-63 loss to Martin in the season opener.
But just when it looked like the game might slip away, Dunn stepped in to play the role of hero.
His 3-pointer found its mark with 1.9 second remaining on the clock, erasing a one-point deficit and lifting the Indians to the win.
Dunn finished with a game-topping 32 points. Jackson Shriver was next in line with seven points.
That point total for Dunn was nearly identical to his scoring output three days earlier in a home game with Bangor.
In that contest, Dunn poured in 33 points to go with eight assists and five rebounds as Saugatuck posted the 69-59 win.
Wyatt Werme posted a double-double, going for 14 points and 10 rebounds. He also finished second on the team with five assists.
Saugatuck ended up with 23 assists on 27 made field goals.
“We did a much better job of moving the basketball (as compared to the Martin game),” Diaz said.
The Indians jumped out to a 17-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and were up 36-28 at halftime. Both teams scored 14 third-quarter points.