Charlie Woodhams (center) celebrates reaching 1,000 career points with Otsego coach Matt Dennis (left) and athletic director John Kubiak. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Otsego’s Woodhams reaches milestone in win over South Haven

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Otsego senior Charlie Woodhams entered his team’s Wolverine Conference boys’ basketball clash against South Haven needing five points to reach 1,000 for his career.
He didn’t wait long to get them, hitting a jumper and then a 3-pointer in the game’s opening minutes.
But he didn’t stop there, adding 23 more points to give him a game-best 28 as he led the Bulldogs to the 73-61 victory.
Otsego coach Matt Dennis couldn’t have been happier for Woodhams.
“Charlie is the type of person and player a coach loves to have in their program,” Dennis said. “He has a desire to be the best and puts the time into becoming the best while still being humble and being a team player. The legacy he leaves is one that shows a player can play the right way, be a great teammate and still find success.”
Woodhams also had nine rebounds to leave him one short of a double-double.
“Charlie is getting a lot of well-deserved attention right now, but he earned everything he has gotten and I hope that is what young players learn from him,” Dennis said. “If they put in the time to get better and are coachable, their opportunity will come.”
Woodhams wasn’t the only Bulldog to shine in the game. Sophomore Ashton Atwater was close behind Woodhams in scoring with a career-best 26 points to go with six rebounds.
“Ashton has gained more and more confidence as the season has gone on,” Dennis said. “We’ve moved him off the ball some, with Jaxsen Callaway playing the point more. This has allowed Ashton to see some gaps and get some shots due to the defensive rotations. To see him have a great game on both ends of the floor is great.”
Woodhams and Atwater carried the Otsego offense in the early going, each scoring nine of the team’s first-quarter points as the Bulldogs led 18-13.
South Haven fought back to take a 25-23 lead with less than three minutes to play in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs closed the period on a 10-0 run—starting with a triple from Peyton VanderHoff—to go up 33-25.
The teams played nearly even in the third quarter—South Haven held a slim 25-24 edge—before Otsego used a 16-11 advantage in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Woodhams scored eight of those fourth-quarter points after going for nine in the third quarter.
“(South Haven) coach (Larry) Ash did a great job of limiting our runs,” Dennis said. “Every time I thought we could open the game up, he called a timeout and slowed any run we were on. We were still able to put up 73 points, but couldn’t shake South Haven and they hung around the whole game.”
Callaway joined Woodhams and Atwater in double figures with 10 points. He also had seven rebounds, seven assists and four blocks.
Brenden Williamson and Zander Russell led South Haven with 24 and 14 respective points.
The win upped Otsego’s record to 12-1 and marked the 10th straight win for the Bulldogs. The last three of those victories have come with starting senior forward Owen Watson sidelined with an injury.
“Our substitution rotation has been different and players have done a great job adjusting to new roles and new positions at times,” Dennis said. “While I look forward to Owen returning, I am very pleased with how we’ve played these last three games and I think our depth will be even greater once he is back.”

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