Otsego wins Wolverine basketball titlePublished 7:51am Friday, February 28, 2014
The Edwardsburg boys basketball team was tied with Otsego three times in the first half of Thursday’s Wolverine Conference championship game.
But the Eddies were never able to take the lead in the game as the fifth-ranked (Class B) Bulldogs posted a 62-51 win to claim their third straight conference title.
“They’ve got a great ball club,” said Edwardsburg coach Steve Wright, whose team fell to 14-6. “They’ve got a lot of balance and they’ve got size, they’re quick and they can shoot. There’s a reason why they are where they are.
“I thought our guys battled. When we needed a shot to go in we just couldn’t get it to go in.”
Otsego was led by 7-footer Seth Dugan, who was a force offensively, defensively and on the boards. Dugan, who’s a junior being recruited by Northern Illinois University, LaSalle University and Western Michigan University, scored 16 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, blocked three shots and altered several others.
“It’s huge,” said Otsego coach Josh Holmes about Dugan’s impact. “He rebounds and the biggest thing he does is change shots. We wanted to make them get to the rim and shoot over Seth. That’s a great weapon for us.”
Edwardsburg shot only 34-percent (18-of-53) from the field.
“They were physical,” Wright said. “When we were able to get in the paint they stayed right with us and they closed out well on our shooters.”
Dugan got plenty of offensive help as A.J. Atwater added 16 points, including three 3-pointers, and Michael Williams added 10 points.
Dante Razzano scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Eddies. Grant Szalewski also scored 12 points.
Two Otsego runs were critical in the game. A 10-2 run to finish the first half gave the Bulldogs a 34-25 halftime lead. Dugan had a dunk and a blocked shot in the final :11.
“We would play pretty solid defense and they would get a shot off and they would miss it and they somehow got the rebound in their hands and make a shot,” Wright said.
Otsego finished with a 36-28 rebounding advantage.
After seeing Edwardsburg pull within 49-46 on a rebound basket from Jackson Gaideski with 4:58 left in the game, Otsego scored the next nine points to take control of the contest. The Bulldogs got three points during that stretch off a technical, which was called on Razzano.
“It looked like a fastbreak and the (Otsego) guy made a play and we didn’t get a call and whether we should have gotten a call I don’t know,” Wright said. “That stuff happens. I just wanted to get (Razzano) relaxed and get him back in there.”
Otsego 62, Edwardsburg 51
A.J. Atwater 16, Kwanye Gilmore 8, Seth Dugan 16, McLane May 6, Chris Pearl 6, Michael Williams 10, Brady Syrek 0, Jordan Owens 0, Kyle Kanwischer 0, Jacob Bomeli 0, Evan Stack 0, Anthony Sigalas 0. TOTALS: 22 13-21 62
Jackson Gaideski 6, Dante Razzano 12, Jordan Douglas 0, Grant Szalewski 12, Dylan Hulett 3, Dalton Raymond 7, Isaac Vite 0, Derek Pierce 9, Joe Queener 2. TOTALS: 18 11-14 51
Otsego 15 34 48 62
Edwardsburg 12 25 40 51
3-point baskets: Otsego 5 (Atwater 3, May 2), Edwardsburg 4 (Razzano 2, Szalewski, Pierce). Total fouls (fouled out): Otsego 11 (none), Edwardsburg 18 (none). Technical: Edwardsburg (Razzano). Shooting: Otsego 22-of-54 for 41-percent, Edwardsburg 18-of-53 for 34-percent. Rebounding: Otsego 36 (Dugan 17), Edwardsburg 28 (Razzano 8). Turnovers: Otsego 15, Edwardsburg 15. Varsity records: Otsego 18-2, Edwardsburg 14-6