Otsego’s season ends at hands of familiar nemesis
It was like déjà vu, all over again for the Otsego girls’ basketball team.
Because just like last season, the Bulldogs advanced to a Class B regional final following a double-digit victory over a Wolverine Conference rival in the regional semis. And just like last season, Otsego ended up facing—and falling–to Marshall by a 22-point margin in the regional title game.
The final score of this year’s game, played Thursday, March 9, in Three Rivers, was 47-25.
Last season’s score was 52-30.
Despite the loss, Otsego coach Tony Koshar had nothing but praise for his team following the game.
“I’m really proud of the girls and their accomplishments this season,” he said. “We had a target on our backs all season (as the defending league champions) and for the most part handled everything with maturity and poise.”
Marshall tested that poise early, using a 20-6 first-quarter blitz to put the Bulldogs on the defensive.
“We obviously got off to really slow start and that’s not a recipe for success against the defending state champions,” Koshar said. “We had some looks that we liked but the shots weren’t falling early.”
Otsego did a much better job defensively the rest of the game, holding Marshall to single digits in the middle two quarters before allowing 12 points in the final frame.
But the Bulldog offense never could find its rhythm, failing to record more than nine points in any quarter. That included three quarters of six or less points.
“It really turned into a defensive struggle after the first quarter,” Koshar said. “We played championship-level defense during the game, but unfortunately had a hard time against their aggressive defense.”
Senior Erica Drobny was the one Bulldog who had some success against the Redhawk defense, accounting for more than half of Otsego’s offensive output with 13 points.
“Erica was fantastic again,” Koshar said. “She was our leader offensively and she really disrupted Marshall defensively.”
Drobny led the Bulldogs (20-4) with five steals, five rebounds and three assists.
Like Drobny, fellow seniors Cayla Koshar and Lynsey Perry also suited up for the Bulldogs for the final time.
“It’s always sad to see our seniors leave the program and we had three special multi-year seniors this year,” Tony Koshar said. “Erica had a phenomenal four-year career and will go down as one of the all-time best players here.
“Cayla worked hard to come back from a torn ACL her freshman year and became one of those players you could always count on. She was one of our best defenders and rebounders. Lynsey unfortunately ended the year injured, but gave everything she had to the program over the last two years. We will definitely miss those three, but we are also excited about our returnees and the future of our program.”
Junior Grace VerHage added six points in the loss, while Mattison Rayman went for four points. Rayman and Jaycie Callaway each blocked a pair of shots.