Fourth-quarter comeback lifts Plainwell past Tigers
It’s not how you start that matters. It’s how you finish.
That quote—or some derivation thereof—has been attributed to many motivational/inspirational writers in speakers, including the likes of Zig Ziglar and Joel Osteen.
It’s a sentiment Plainwell girls’ basketball coach Tim Rieman likely shared following his team’s Wolverine Conference clash with Allegan on Friday, Jan. 5.
Despite falling behind double digits in the first quarter and trailing by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, the Trojans used a huge fourth stanza to secure the 42-29 victory in comeback fashion.
The game was the first for both teams in two-and-a-half weeks following Christmas break.
“You could tell both teams hadn’t played in a couple of weeks,” Rieman said. “There were some rough patches. But we’ll definitely take it.”
With the Trojans entering the fourth quarter facing a 23-16 deficit, Rieman pleaded with his players to get more aggressive.
The result was 19 trips to the charity stripe in the final stanza, with Plainwell making good on 15 of those attempts.
That effort at the line spearheaded what was a 26-6 advantage during the final eight minutes of play as the Trojans pulled away for the victory.
“We got to the line by finally being more aggressive at both ends of the floor,” Rieman said. “We took better care of the ball and attacked them on a regular basis in the second half. Their fouls started piling up and our girls did a great job of converting at the line in the fourth quarter
“We also started turning them over as well. We try to wear teams down with the style we play and fortunately it was successful late in the game for the second straight game.”
Alivia TerMeer led the charge for Plainwell, racking up a game-best 13 points. Korrin Johnson nearly joined TerMeer in double figures with nine points.
As well as the game ended for Plainwell, it started equally well for Allegan as the Tigers used its defense to create offensive chances.
“We started quickly, which is always good to see in your first game back from break,” Allegan coach Josh Holman said. “We were able to handle their pressure and we moved the ball well.
“Our defense was also playing well. We were buzzing around with active hands and communicating with one another.”
As a result, the Tigers built a 14-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“Josh has Allegan playing really well defensively,” Rieman said. “They were very aggressive and we didn’t help ourselves by shooting terrible along with a lot of turnovers. Give them credit, as they had a lot to do with that.”
The rest of the game didn’t go as well for Allegan offensively, however, as the Tigers were limited to no more than seven points in any of the final three quarters.
“Consistency has been our Achilles heel this season and we need to continue to push to put together a full 32 minutes,” Holman said.
Delanie Nahikian led Allegan in scoring with 11 points and rebounds with eight. Antonette Ware added eight points.