Otsego’s Sophie Wieber (back) provides defensive pressure to Allegan’s Haylie Curtiss.

Otsego girls survive scare from Allegan, win by six

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Early in the third quarter of its Wolverine Conference East contest with Allegan on Friday, Feb. 13, the Otsego girls’ basketball team found itself facing a 25-16 deficit.
Cue senior co-captains Allie Thiel and Sophie Wieber.
“When we got down by nine, I called a timeout and Allie and Sophie really put the team on their backs,” Bulldog coach Tony Koshar said. “They’re both three-year (varsity) players, so they’ve been here before. They’ve been through battles like this and they provided such a calming influence for the other girls.
“They just stayed positive and talked about executing our game plan and the other girls responded.”
That they did.
Otsego scored the final 11 points of the third stanza and went up as many as seven points in the fourth quarter en route to securing the 38-32 victory.
Thiel paced the Bulldogs (11-5 overall and 7-2 in divisional play) with 11 points to go with five rebounds. Wieber matched freshman Jaycie Callaway—who also snagged a game-best eight rebounds–for second on the team with nine points.
“It seems like Allegan’s always a tough place to play, especially shooting the ball,” Koshar said. “And I give (Allegan coach) Kelly (Archer) and her players so much credit. They battled us so hard, just like the first time we played them.”
In that earlier game between these two teams, Allegan (4-14, 1-8) was within six points with less than two minutes to play before Otsego used free throws to pull away for the 52-39 win.
“Our record may not show it, but we’ve made so much progress this season,” Archer said. “We’re so young, with only one senior, and the girls have just kept on battling and working hard. And we’re so close. This is the second time we’ve played Otsego tough. We played (Wolverine Con­ference East champ) Plainwell tough. And we’ve lost so many close games.
“This is just another piece in the puzzle and it will make us better the rest of this season and into the future.”
 

For full story, pick up a copy of the February 19 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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