Hot shooting carries Allegan past visiting Saugatuck
Entering its non-conference contest against Saugatuck on Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Allegan boys’ basketball team had set a new season-high for scoring in each of its previous two games.
The Tigers ran that streak to three in a row.
Allegan jumped out to a 20-7 lead and never slowed down in picking up the 74-53 win over the visiting Indians.
The win was the second of the season for the Tigers in 10 tries.
“I know it might not seem like it just by looking at our record, but we are making progress,” second-year coach Jeff Turner said. “This game was the perfect example. This was our best offensive game of the season and that’s because guys are getting more comfortable in their roles and they’re buying into what we’re doing.”
As usual, Caleb DeKryger led the charge for Allegan.
Scoring at least four points in each quarter, DeKryger finished with a game-high 25 points. While most of those points came in the paint, the 6-foot-5 DeKryger did step out and knock down a couple of 3-pointers.
“Caleb is obviously our go-to guy,” Turner said. “The fact that he’s started to hit some more shots from the outside only makes him that much more dangerous.
“A lot of times the guy guarding him doesn’t feel comfortable stepping out and defending that far away from the basket. Because of that, he’s had some good looks from out there and he’s starting to knock some of them down.”
Malik Hardy and Ezra Butcher joined DeKryger in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Tyler Aldrich added eight points and Jayden Smith chipped in with six.
“We’ve had a lot of guys stepping up and making teams think about someone other than Caleb,” Turner said. “Guys are really starting to mature and grow.”
Allegan made its first three shots of the game with a jumper and a 3-pointer from Hardy sandwiched around an inside bucket from DeKryger. The Tigers stayed hot the rest of the game, making 29-of-57 (51 percent) of its shots from the floor.
“It seemed like they couldn’t miss,” first-year Saugauck coach Brian Ward said. “I know they have some good players, but I was not expecting them to shoot like they did. I didn’t feel our guys played all that poorly. It was just one of those nights when Allegan was knocking down everything.”
Brad Dunn did his best to keep the Indians in the game, scoring 12 first-half points and 11 second-half points for a team-best 23 points.
Sean Cozzie was next in line with eight points, while Cooper Meyers added seven points.
“We did some good things and played well in spurts,” Ward said. “We just have to continue to work to find that consistency we need.”
Allegan led 22-14 after one quarter and held a 37-21 edge at halftime. Saugatuck never got closer than 15 points in the second half.