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Blackhawks falter against unbeaten Clippers

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By Leo Martonosi

Sports Correspondent

MARTIN—Doug MacVean couldn’t have been more delighted with how his girls’ basketball team from Martin performed on Friday, Jan. 11.

The Clippers bested visiting Fennville 56-18 to stay unbeaten at 6-0.

“This is the best this group of girls when it comes to playing together,” said MacVean, whose team was again without the services of leading scorer Faith Guritz as she continued to recover from a sprained ankle suffered in practice four days earlier.

While MacVean was up in the clouds about his team’s performance, Fennville coach Chip Nightingale left the beautiful new Martin gymnasium feeling sick to his stomach.

“We only scored three points in the first and third quarters and two points in the fourth quarter,” Nightingale said. “You are not going to beat almost any team—and especially not a team like Martin—shooting like that and making mistakes like we did.”

What bothered Nightingale the most was his team was playing at a high level, entering the game with a 4-2 record.

“We took a big step backwards tonight,” Nightingale said.

The Clippers played like MacVean expected them to from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

“We started strong against a team that has been playing well,” MacVean said.

Martin, ranked fourth in Division 4, was in control the entire game, leading by respective quarters by scores of 13-3, 24-13 and 47-16.

“The girls didn’t want to lose especially in this new building, which we are blessed and thankful to have,” MacVean said.

Kiaya Warner led Martin’s balanced scoring attack with 14 points. Gracie Shettler followed with nine points, while tossing in eight points was Natalie Yowler.

The Clippers also received seven points from Jaclyn Hildebrand, six from Briana Warner and five from Freddie Elkins.

“Even though she didn’t play, Faith showed how much she cares for teammates by cheering them on at the end of the bench for 32 minutes,” MacVean said. “I just love the kind of chemistry this team has.”

Coryne Howard led Fennville in scoring with six points. Dropping in four apiece were Nadia Allen and Danielle Davis.

Contact Leo Martonosi at leomartonosi1@gmail.com.