Hamilton falls to Klingler’s Grandville squad in tourney
After three seasons coaching at the sub-varsity level at Holland West Ottawa, former Fennville boys’ basketball coach Ryan Klingler is back as a head coach at varsity level with Grandville.
Based on how the Bulldogs played against Hamilton in the final of the Hamilton Tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 28, it seems like Klingler hasn’t lost his touch, leading his team to the 63-36 win.
“Ryan did a good job when he was at Fennville and I’m sure he’ll do a good job at Grandville,” said Hamilton coach Brant Haverdink.
The Bulldogs hit on 54 percent of their shots in handing the Hawkeyes (3-1) their first setback of the season.
“They obviously can shoot, but we made it too easy for them,” Haverdink said. “We didn’t play hard or with passion like we have been playing.”
No one shot the ball any better than Grandville’s 6-foot-4 senior forward Austin Dukeherer.
“This was his best game of the season,” said Klingler, whose team improved to 3-2.
Dukeherer finished with 20 points, including six triples.
As a team, Grandville—which has a student enrollment of 1,820 compared to 810 for Hamilton—drained 11 3-pointers.
“They are a much larger school than us and I’m sure Ryan expects them to be competitive in the OK Red Division (the largest OK division),” Haverdink said. “We need to learn from this experience.”
Hamilton’s Justin Stezowski paced the Hawkeyes with 12 points. Checking in with six points apiece for Hamilton were Jacob Visscher, Bradley Osborne and Tyler Eding.
Hamilton found itself down by six points, 16-10, at the conclusion of the first quarter and faced a 25-19 at intermission.
Grandville broke open the game in the third period, outscoring Hamilton 32-10 in taking a commanding 57-29 advantage into the fourth quarter.
“I told our kids it’s not the end of the world losing our first game,” Haverdink said. “We just need to play harder, which I expect them to do.