Tigers fend off late Trojan charge to pick up victory
As coaches often do, Allegan girls’ basketball coach Josh Holman and his counterpart from Plainwell, Tim Rieman, chatted prior to the start of their teams’ Wolverine Conference North contest on Friday, Feb. 5.
And how did the conversation go?
“When I was talking to Tim, I told him let’s make it fun and exciting,” Holman said.
The teams did just that, with the Tigers holding off a late Trojan charge to secure the 37-35 victory.
“This was not a pretty game, that’s for sure,” Holman said. “But I told the girls good teams find ways to win games like this. They find a way to grind it out and I think that’s what we’re starting to do. It’s all a process and we’re getting there.”
Allegan (5-10) trailed 16-13 at halftime and found itself down 22-18 with 4:34 left in the third period.
That’s when senior C.C. Cerven decided to make her presence felt.
Cerven used a pair of free throws, a jumper and a 3-pointer to score seven straight points and jumpstart a 12-1 run that gave the Tigers a 30-23 lead entering the final quarter.
“C.C.’s tough,” Rieman said. “She’s one of their senior leaders and she got hot in the third quarter for them. She’s a four-year varsity player who knows what it takes to play at this level and when she’s shooting like that, she’s tough to guard.”
Sophomore Delanie Nahikian scored the final five points of Allegan’s run, using a 3-point play and a layup.
“In the first half, I think we were settling way too much,” Holman said. “We were taking a lot of shots from the outside instead of driving and trying to make something happen that way.
“I keep telling the girls we have to work from the inside out, not the other way around. We started doing that in the third quarter and it paid off.”
In the fourth stanza, though, some of those bad habits started creeping back in for the Tigers.
With its lead standing at 32-27, Allegan took five straight 3-point shots rather than working the ball inside. The Tigers missed all five.
That helped spark a 6-2 run by Plainwell that included two free throws each from Jalyn Tran, Hayley Hawkes and Sophia Monroe, making it a one-point game at 34-33.
For full story, pick up a copy of the February 11 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.