Trojans fall short in regional title game
Plainwell girls’ basketball coach Tim Rieman stood near the entrance to his team’s locker room, his eyes red and slightly puffy.
His Trojans had had just suffered their first loss—a heartbreaking 50-47 defeat at the hands of Benton Harbor in a Class B regional final on Thursday, March 12—after winning their first 23 games of the season.
Rather than focusing on the disappointment associated with seeing its storybook season come to an end, Rieman chose instead to focus on the amazing journey the season had been.
“It was a great, great ride,” he said. “I’m so proud of these girls and everything they’ve accomplished.
“We came into the season with three goals (to win the Wolverine Conference East, to win the overall Wolverine Conference title and to win a district title). We reached all of those goals. So every game from districts on was gravy, and we were just hoping to make it last as long as possible.”
And while proud of every player on the team, Rieman had special words for two of his Trojans.
“Sarah Morrell and Macayla Wright have been with me for four years now, and they’re teams have won 72 games during that time. That’s an average of 18 wins per season, which is unbelievable. They’re both such great players, great leaders and great people. I’m definitely going to miss them.”
Those feelings were mutual for Morrell.
“I couldn’t have as for a better coach,” Morrell said of Rieman. “To have him as my coach all four years is so special and it means so much to me.
“This whole year was great. I never imagined we’d make it this far, but the team really came together and played so well. This is the best senior year I could ask for.”
And it appeared as though Morrell might have at least one more game in that senior year.
Down 37-32 after three quarters, the Trojans scored the first six points of the fourth period, culminating with a basket from Morrell to give Plainwell the 38-37 lead.
Benton Harbor’s Kalabrya Gondrezick answered with a basket of her own to give the lead back to the Tigers, but Morrell came right back with another basket. She was also fouled on the play and the ensuing free throw put Plainwell up 41-39.
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