By Jason Wesseldyk
Fennville 56 Watervliet 36
Fennville coach Joe Rodriguez entered the Friday, Dec. 7, contest against visiting Watervliet hoping his players would respond well following a 23-point setback to Zeeland West three days earlier.
Respond the Blackhawks did.
Fennville raced out to a 13-7 lead after one quarter and added to that lead in the subsequent three quarters in snagging the 56-36 win.
“It was a group effort tonight,” Rodriguez said. “I was really proud of our effort and intensity that we came out with. After taking a beat down on Tuesday, we came out tonight with a chip on our shoulder and played hard for the home crowd.”
Naun Velasquez led a balanced scoring effort with 12 points. Jace Cossey was next with nine points.
“Naun did a wonderful job running the rim and getting himself some easy ones,” Rodriguez said. “I’m happy for him and his teammates starting our conference slate on a good note.”
Fennville 42 Zeeland West 65
Losing isn’t the worst thing in the world if you learn from it.
That was the message from Fennville coach Joe Rodriguez following his team’s 65-42 non-conference loss to Class A opponent Zeeland West on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
“Sometimes it’s good to be humbled,” Rodriguez said. “Tonight we played a well-coached machine. I told our guys that we schedule games like this so we can learn what next level basketball is like.”
Jace Cossey paced Fennville (1-2) with 14 points, while Luke Aguilar had eight.
“I’m grateful that Zeeland West gives us a chance to compete versus Class A-level basketball and I know our guys took a lot of lessons away from it,” Rodriguez said. “I know we got better tonight.”
Saugatuck 43 Brandywine 55
It was a clash of styles when Saugatuck hosted Niles Brandywine on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
“Brandywine looks to cause chaos and push the tempo,” Saugatuck coach Brian Ward said. “We are much better when we slow things down.”
Brandywine used its up-tempo style to turn what was a 7-5 lead into a 17-5 lead thanks to a 10-0 run in the first quarter en route to handing Saugatuck the 55-43 loss.
“The game was an exciting back-and-forth affair for the most part,” Ward said. “However, we allowed Brandywine to speed us up at too many points during the game and played right into their hands, taking some really bad shots and turning the ball over way too much.
“It was because of those moments that we played ourselves out of a shot to win the game.”
Brad Dunn played well in the loss, leading Saugatuck (1-2) with 16 points. Cooper Myers and Winston Marcy added seven points each.