Trojans pull away from Bulldogs
Plainwell senior Mackenzie Pulver had been in something of a long-range shooting drought entering play against Otsego on Friday, Feb. 6.
A five-game drought, to be exact.
“Mackenzie’s been struggling with her shot a bit lately and her confidence has been a little shaky,” Plainwell coach Tim Rieman said. “But we keep telling her she’s the one player in our starting lineup who other teams don’t really expect to knock down a lot of shots.
“Because of that, there are going to be opportunities for her to step up and take advantage of that and when those opportunities arise, we told her to take them.”
That’s exactly what Pulver did against the Bulldogs.
Pulver knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the opening quarter to help stake the Trojans to a 14-8 lead en route to the 51-38 victory.
Shelby Hawkes added a big triple for Plainwell, burying one in the second period to help her team extend its lead to 25-11 heading to intermission.
“We knew (Pulver) could shoot and we just lost her a few times,” Otsego coach Tony Koshar said. “And then (Hawkes) hits another 3-pointer for them there in the first half to give them three 3-pointers from girls who aren’t necessarily their top shooters. That hurts.”
The loss didn’t just hurt Otsego’s chances of repeating as Wolverine Conference East champs. It killed them.
Plainwell, which improved to 15-0 overall and 8-0 in the division, claimed the crown by virtue of increasing its lead to two games with two divisional games remaining and holding the tie-breaker over Otsego.
“We knew if we lost this game, we still had a shot at the division title but we didn’t want to take any chances,” Rieman said. “We wanted to get it done here tonight so we could relax a little bit and guarantee our place in the league championship game for the second time in three years.”
For full story, pick up a copy of the February 12 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.