Otsego junior Mattison Rayman attempts to drive around a Marshall player during the Bulldogs’ loss to the defending state champion Red Hawks. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Struggles with Marshall continue for Otsego

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Kryptonite is known to be Superman’s one weakness.
The Otsego girls’ basketball team appears to have found its own version of kryptonite in the form of Marshall.
With their 61-36 loss to the Red Hawks on Thursday, Dec. 29, the Bulldogs fell to 0-3 against the defending Class B state champions the past two seasons. Otsego is 21-0 against all other opponents during that span.
The previous two losses to Marshall saw the Bulldogs drop a 57-37 decision in a regional final last March after suffering a 52-16 defeat in December 2015 during which Otsego failed to score in the second half.
“Marshall is obviously a great team being the defending state champs and returning their top six players, including a couple of All-Staters,” Otsego coach Tony Koshar said. “That being said, we are still really disappointed as we felt going in that we had an opportunity. It’s something we need to get figured out.”
Koshar thought his team might be figuring it out at the start of the second half.
Down 34-20 at halftime, the Bulldogs opened the scoring in the third quarter on a 3-point play from Jaycie Callaway, who was fouled on a made basket and then converted the free throw. After a miss by Marshall, Otsego got a 3-pointer from Mattison Rayman.
That cut the deficit to single digits at 34-28.
“We had some good moments,” Koshar said.
But Marshall had even better moments, responding to the 6-0 run by Otsego by scoring 21 of the next 23 points, upping their lead to 51-28 late in the third quarter.
“That obviously put the game out of reach,” Koshar said. “When you play a team like Marshall, it’s important to do the fundamental things well and we didn’t always do that.”
One prime example of that came in the rebounding department.
Marshall nearly doubled up Otsego on the boards, holding a 30-16 edge in rebounds.
“Our big focus was rebounding and we didn’t do the job we wanted to do,” Koshar said.
Erica Drobny led Otsego (5-1) with 11 points and three steals. Rayman and Callaway added eight points each, while Liz Barwegen chipped in with six points.
For Marshall, Jill Konkle led the way with 18 points, followed by 11 from Nikki Tucker.
And while Koshar is disappointed with the game’s outcome, he is confident his players will be able to turn it into something positive.
“These kinds of games are a barometer for us and we will use it as a learning experience,” he said. “Although the final score doesn’t reflect it, we played them tighter than we had the two losses last year.
“We will work on getting better and hopefully run into them sometime during March Madness.”

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