Big second half lifts Trojans over Tigers
It’s been said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes.
But there was one more certainty when the boys’ basketball squads from Plainwell and Allegan squared off in a Wolverine Conference North contest on Friday, Jan. 10: one team would earn its first win of the season.
That team turned out to be the Trojans, who used a strong second-half effort to pull away for the 59-34 victory to snap their five-game losing skid to open the season.
The Tigers, meanwhile, slipped to 0-6.
“It feels great to finally get the monkey off our back,” Plainwell coach Dan Klein said. “Two of our games have been blowouts, but we’ve been right there in the rest of them. We just couldn’t quite get over the hump. Hopefully this will help the boys relax a little bit now that we got that first one out of the way.”
Austin Miller scored a game-topping 15 points for Plainwell, leading a balanced offensive effort that saw five Trojans score at least seven points.
Reece Comerford joined Miller in double figures with 10 points, followed by Daeshawn Dixon-Schuhmacher with nine, Nick Tiller with eight and Connor Buschini with seven.
“We were able to get a lot of guys involved offensively, which is always good,” Klein said. “But the biggest thing for us was limiting our turnovers and keeping (Allegan) off the offensive boards.”
Although Klein was able to breathe a sigh of relief following the game, the first half was anything but stress free.
Allegan opened the game by scoring the first four points on baskets by Zach TerAvest and Tyler Dangremond before Plainwell responded with an 11-3 run to take an 11-7 lead. The Tigers responded by scoring five of the quarter’s final seven points to cut their deficit to 13-12.
“I thought we came out a little too hyped up and were just out of synch,” Klein said.
The back-and-forth nature of the game continued into the second quarter. Allegan tied the score at 27-27 on a 3-point play from Tyler Aldrich in the closing minute before a Dixon-Schuhmacher basket gave Plainwell a 29-27 lead heading to halftime.
“Allegan came out and played hard, just like they always do,” Klein said. “They wanted that first win as badly as we did, and I told our guys this was going to be a battle.
“At halftime we talked about settling down and playing a little more relaxed in the second half.”
The Trojans definitely seemed to heed that advice, opening the third quarter on an 8-0 run that included four points from Tiller. A basket by Aldrich finally ended the offensive drought for Allegan, but those would be the Tigers’ only points of the period as Plainwell took a 40-29 lead to the final frame.
The Tigers scored the first point of the fourth quarter on a free throw from Dangremond to make it a 10-point game. Allegan could get no closer, however, as Plainwell scored 19 of the game’s final 23 points.
Baylee Schafer paced Allegan with eight points, while Aldrich had seven and Dangremond added five.