Second-half surge helps carry Plainwell past Allegan
It’s been said that the third time is the charm.
The Plainwell girls’ basketball team put their own spin on that concept in its Wolverine Conference clash with Allegan on Friday, Dec. 21.
Rather than the third time, it was the third quarter that was the charm for the Trojans, who outscored the Tigers 11-1 in the third stanza to break open what had been a close game throughout the first half.
Plainwell carried that momentum into the final frame in handing Allegan the 45-25 defeat.
“We knew we were in for a battle and we weren’t able to play as well as we needed to throughout the whole game,” Allegan coach Josh Holman said. “Plainwell’s a good team. (Trojan) coach (Tim) Rieman always has his team prepared and they are going to give you a good game every time you play them.”
The Trojans entered the game with a little added motivation.
After winning its first four games of the season, Plainwell was coming off its first loss in the form of a 46-26 setback to Battle Creek Lakeview three days earlier.
“The girls were not happy after that game,” Rieman said. “Lakeview is a physical team and we did a nice job of handling that last season and were able to come away with a win. This year, we didn’t handle it well.
“But the thing I liked was the girls didn’t hang their heads after that loss. They were mad. They felt they should have played better and had a chance to win that game. They came out today and wanted to get back on the winning track.”
Rebecca Gibson and Alivia TerMeer led the charge for the Trojans, combining for 24 points to nearly match the total from Allegan. Gibson finished with a game-best 13 points, followed by 11 from TerMeer.
“Alivia is our go-to person offensively, but Rebecca’s strong play was a big key for us,” Rieman said. “(Gibson) struggled with her shot earlier this season, but she’s really come on the past few games. That makes us that much better of a team and gives our opponents another player to think about.”
Alison Bishop and Annika Hansen were the scoring leaders for Allegan, going for nine and eight respective points.
“We’re a young team,” Holman said. “We have two sophomores and a freshman on the roster and we’re still learning how to play at this level.
“It’s going to take some time and we’re going to have some ups and downs, but I’m really proud of the way this team competes. They work hard and they’re getting better all the time. The hope is we continue to grow throughout the season and are playing our best come playoff time in March.”
Plainwell started the game by scoring the first seven points only to see Allegan respond and narrow the gap to two at 9-7. The game remained a two-point lead for the Trojans midway through the second quarter at 16-14 before Plainwell closed out the half on a 6-2 run to make it a 22-16 lead.
The Trojans carried that momentum into the third quarter with their 11-1 edge to push their lead to 33-17.
Five points each from TerMeer and Kayelee Marshall helped Plainwell outscore Allegan 14-8 to secure the 20-point victory.
“This is a good game to head into Christmas break,” Rieman said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to build on this and continue to play well.”