Big second quarter lifts Martin past Coloma
By Jason Wesseldyk
MARTIN—The gymnasium at Martin High School was a sea of orange when the Clippers hosted Coloma for a SAC Lakeshore girls’ basketball showdown on Friday, Jan. 31.
No, Martin didn’t change its school colors from maroon and white. Rather, the orange was for a much more important cause.
“It was so great to see a packed gym wearing orange in support of one of our freshman students who was diagnosed with leukemia this past week,” said Martin coach Ben Schipper, who led his team to the 45-36 win. “I want to say thank you to all the fans for participating and showing the young lady and her family they’re not alone in the fight.”
The Clippers started the game slowly, misfiring on 11 of its 13 first-quarter shots and trailing 6-5 at the end of the opening period.
The offensive struggles continued at the start of the second quarter, with Martin missing six of its first seven shots in the stanza to find itself down 9-7.
That’s when the Clippers made their move.
Following a free throw from Natalie Yowler, Martin scored on seven straight possessions as part of a 13-0 run that turned the two-point deficit into a 20-9 lead.
Five different players got into the scoring act during that run.
“That was the turning points,” Schipper said. “A big part of that was our transition offense. “Jaclyn (Hildebrand) played outstanding on-ball defense which led to some easy transition buckets for us. She was pushing the ball hard and finding open teammates who did a good job of moving without the ball.
“That three-minute stretch was important for our girls to see how effective we can be when we’re being the aggressor, yet under control not forcing the offense.”
The Clippers led 20-12 at halftime, pushing that lead to as many as 15 points at 32-17 and 34-19in the third quarter.
Coloma did manage to crawl back to within five points at 37-32, but Martin wouldn’t be denied.
“I’m proud of our girls for battling through a tough game,” Schipper said. “Coloma has been playing teams very tough and they gave us a good fight tonight. Our defense was stout and we played hard.”
Guritz led the Clippers with 10 points, 11 rebounds and four steals, while Kiaya Warner and Gracie Shettler went for nine and eight points, respectively.
Brie Warner chipped in with five assists and five rebounds, while Hildebrand had five steals.
“Gracie Shettler and Natalie Yowler gave us a good spark of energy of the bench tonight,” Schipper said. “It was also great to see Jordyn Seiser get her first points after coming back from a broken foot that has kept her out for most of the season.”