Clippers score game’s final 10 points to upend Indians
Midway through the fourth quarter of its SAC Lakeshore contest against Saugatuck on Friday, Feb. 1, the prospects of a win for the Martin girls’ basketball team didn’t look good.
After all, Saugatuck had just reeled off 12 straight points to turn a four-point deficit into an eight-point lead at 38-30.
But as is so often the case, looks can be deceiving.
A 3-point play from Briana Warner started a 10-0, game-ending run for the Clippers, who eked out the 40-38 victory on their home court.
The game was the first in two weeks for both teams following a string of postponements due to the weather.
“I knew this game had a chance to be pretty ugly based on the fact that neither team had played in two weeks or even practiced in a week,” said Martin coach Doug MacVean, whose team got back on the winning track following its lone loss of the season in its previous game against Gobles. “It was sloppy. There was still a decent amount of effort there, but we just struggled to find any consistency.
“Still, I’m proud of the girls for finding a way to get it done when it counted the most.”
Faith Guritz was among the players to get it done for Martin in crunch time.
With the Clippers trailing 38-35, Guritz connected on a 3-pointer that accounted for the final points of her game-best 14-point effort and tied the score at 38-38.
Guritz, who scored 10 of her points in the second half, also snagged 12 rebounds for the double-double. She had missed two games prior to the Gobles game with an injury and has been trying to find her offensive rhythm throughout the season after leading the team in scoring the past two years.
“It’s no secret that we need Faith playing at a high level for us to be as successful as we believe we can be,” MacVean said. “Her scoring is down this year from where it’s been in the past, and hopefully this is the start of a good run for her.”
Eleven seconds after Guritz’s triple, Warner scored on a layup off an assist from Jaclyn Hildebrand to give Martin the 40-38 lead with 12.7 left to play. Hildebrand set up the basket with the final of her game-best five steals.
Saugatuck had a chance to tie with Maddie Moore at the free throw line for two shots, but she misfired on both. The Indians then had three shots from the floor to tie or go ahead, but were unable to convert on them.
Saugatuck went 0-of-6 at the line in the fourth quarter and 4-of-17 for the game.
“We missed too many free throws and layups,” Saugatuck coach Kevin Tringali said. “We also had some untimely turnovers. You combine all that and we still only lost by two points, so we fell like we let one get away.”
Saugatuck led 24-17 at halftime before Martin used a 13-2 run to take a 30-26 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter. Guritz scored the final four points in that stretch.
But back came the Indians, using a 12-0 spurt that included six points from Moore to take the 38-30 lead only to see The Clippers answer with the game-ending 10-0 run.
Moore led all scorers with 15 points.
“We obviously didn’t play as well as we would have liked, but I thought the girls played hard,” Tringali said. “Hopefully we can learn from this one and move from here.”
Kiaya Warner added eight points for Martin, while Hildebrand and Natalie Yowler had six each.