Liz Barwegan, seen in a recent game, scored 14 points in Otsego’s win over Paw Paw. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Bulldogs defend divisional crown

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Otsego entered the girls’ basketball season as the favorite to win the Wolverine Conference North championship.
On Friday, Feb. 17, the Bulldogs fulfilled those expectations. And they did so in dominant fashion.
Thanks to its lopsided 60-33 win over Paw Paw in its final divisional game, Otsego improved to 7-1 in the division to lock up the title.
The divisional crown is the second straight for coach Tony Koshar’s Bulldogs, who will play Wolverine South champ Edwardsburg today (Thursday, Feb. 23) for the overall league title.
“I think the expectations were high going into the season,” Koshar said. “We knew we were capable of this and we are still happy to accomplish what we have so far, but we still have a lot ahead of us and hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
As the defending divisional champions, Koshar knew his team—which ran its winning streak to nine straight—had a target on its back throughout the season.
“Back to back division championships is a great accomplishment for the girls,” he said. “They have worked hard and in many cases withstood our opponents’ best efforts.”
The Bulldogs wasted no time in setting the tone for the game, scoring the game’s first eight points. The lead stood at 16-8 at the end of the first quarter.
The rest of the game was simply more of the same, with Otsego holding leads of 29-14 at halftime and 43-22 after three quarters of play.
“We got off to a great start and built our lead from there,” Koshar said. “I was really proud of our effort, as Paw Paw is a dangerous team and it was a must-win for us.”
Three Otsego players scored in double figures, with Liz Barwegen and Jaycie Callaway topping the list with 14 each to go along with 10 from Erica Drobny.
Mattison Rayman added eight points to the balanced attack.
“Liz and Erica really controlled the tempo for us,” Koshar said. “We also rebounded the ball really well, which is a big key for this team.”
Rayman led the way with eight rebounds, followed by six each from Drobny and Barwegen. Callaway and Kaelyn Arlington chipped in with five rebounds each.
Drobny also led the way with four steals and three assists.
 

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