Trojan Vannessa Robinson (center) feels the defensive pressure from Otsego’s Kendra VanderLugt (left) and Kaitlyn Payseno (right). (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Third-quarter surge propels Trojans past Bulldogs

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

The third quarter was the charm for the Plainwell girls’ basketball team in its Wolverine Conference North battle with archrival Otsego on Friday, Feb. 14.
The Trojans outscored the Bulldogs 12-4 in the third period to erase a two-point halftime deficit and propel Plainwell to the 39-32 victory.
The win wrapped up a perfect divisional season for the Trojans at 8-0, while upping their overall mark to 12-4.
Lauren Vanderstelt led Plainwell’s third-quarter charge by scoring six of her 13 points in the stanza on a pair of 3-pointers. Alivia TerMeer also had a triple during the stanza.
“I thought Lauren and Liv really dominated the third quarter,” Plainwell coach Tim Rieman said. “Liv does a great job running the offense for us and Lauren is really starting to assert herself.”
The first 3-pointer from Vanderstelt gave Plainwell its first lead of the game at 18-17. A free throw from Otsego’s Kaitlyn Payseno knotted the score at 18-18, but Vanderstelt answered with her second triple, putting the Trojans ahead to stay.
“We got off to a slow start in the first half and had a tough time finding our rhythm,” Rieman said. “But the girls didn’t panic and they used our defense to keep us in the game until we could get a little offensive burst.”
Plainwell’s offensive burst actually started in the second quarter, as the Trojans scored the final five points of the period to cut a17-10 deficit to 17-15.
Vanderstelt, who also had five blocked shots, matched TerMeer for game-high scoring honors with 13 points.
Payseno led Otsego with 11 points, while Sabrina Powers had eight points.
“I was pleased with our effort,” Otsego coach Tony Koshar said. “We’ve had some trouble with consistency on offense, but we played very well defensively and stayed right with the top team in our division.”
 

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