Plainwell girls’ basketball coach Tim Rieman (far right) and his players were all smiles as they celebrated their Wolverine Conference championship. The Trojans defeated Paw Paw 48-38 in the title tilt to secure the league’s top prize.

Perfection obtained:

Plainwell girls beat Paw Paw to complete first unbeaten season in three decades
Jason Wesseldyk

The year was 1985.
Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president of the United States for his second term. Michael J. Fox ruled at the box office in the original “Back to the Future.” The song “Careless Whisper” by the group Wham! topped the Billboard year-end chart.
That year also represented the last time the Plainwell girls’ basketball team had posted an unbeaten regular season.
The last time, that is, until now.
After a wait of three decades, the Trojans put together another perfect season as they defeated Paw Paw 48-38 in the Wolverine Conference championship game to improve to 20-0 in advance of district play.
Plainwell coach Tim Rieman was understandably pleased with his team’s performance, not just in this game but throughout the season.
“This is just unbelievable,” Rieman said. “I’m so proud of these girls. They’ve worked so hard and they deserve this. I mean, 20-0. Wolverine Conference champs. You can’t beat it.”
Paw Paw certainly wasn’t able to beat the Trojans. And Trojans senior Sarah Morrell was largely responsible for that.
Morrell, who signed to play for Cornerstone University next year, scored a game-topping 27 points. She also pulled down a game-best 14 rebounds to collect the double-double in leading her team to the victory.
“Sarah went out there and played the way you want your senior captain to play,” Rieman said. “She showed everyone why she’s one of the best players around and All-State material. (The Redskins) were very physical with her, but she handled it beautifully. She was huge for us.”
The game was reminiscent of the showdown between the two teams earlier in the season.
In that contest, the game was close at halftime, with Plainwell leading 22-18. But the Trojans used a 21-2 edge in the third quarter to pull away.
This time, Plainwell was up 23-16 at halftime before using a 17-6 advantage in the third period to extend the lead to 18 points heading to the final frame.
“That third quarter was obviously big for us,” Rieman said. “It gave us some breathing room.”
Shelby Hawkes and Mackenzie Pulver each contributed a 3-pointer to the critical third-quarter run.

For full story, pick up a copy of the March 2 issue of The Union Enterprise or subscribe to the e-edition.

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