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Saugatuck girls come up short in hardwood battle with Watervliet


By Leo Martonosi

Sports Correspondent

Kevin Tringali isn’t usually into moral victories. Still, the Saugatuck girls’ basketball coach couldn’t have been much prouder of his team in its 54-42 loss to Watervliet on Friday, Feb. 3.

“I can’t fault the effort,” Tringali said. “The girls played hard. The energy was there for the entire game.”

What hurt the Indians’ chances of handing the 13-3 overall Panthers their first league setback were turnovers.

Saugatuck, which fell to 6-8, turned the ball over 24 times.

“That’s way too many turnovers,” Tringali said. “You aren’t going to beat too many teams, especially good teams like Watervliet, turning the ball over like we did.”

Tringali said mistakes are daggers against teams like Watervliet.

“They’ll kill you,” he said. “We just have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball because teams like we played tonight will make you pay for your mistakes.”

The Panthers knew they were in for a fight coming into the game.

“We hung right with them for 32 minutes,” Tringali said. “Our girls knew we could have won this game.”

This was the second time this winter that Watervliet pinned a 12-point loss on Saugatuck.

“A loss is a loss, but it didn’t feel like a 12-point difference,” Tringali said.

The Indians went up 10-8 on two of Erin Stannis’ nine points with time about to elapse in the first stanza.

Watervliet took the lead for good at 19-17 on a bucket by Logan Mizwicki, who finished with a team-high 11 points.

Just moments earlier, Madelyn Moore (seven points) had tied the game at 16-16.

With Melody Antel on the bench with three fouls, Watervliet moved out to a 25-17 halftime lead.

However, the Indians didn’t quit behind the strong offensive play of Claire Stannis and Melissa Goodell, who finished one-two in scoring with 14 and 12 respective points. Saugatuck trailed by only six points at 38-32 heading into the fourth quarter.

“This team has a lot of fight in them” Tringali said.

Antel eventually fouled out in the fourth quarter with 2:21 left in the game. The Panthers led 48-37 at the time.

The Indians also dropped a Tuesday, Jan. 31, contest with Bangor.

Up 19-18 at halftime, Saugatuck was outscored 27-11 in the second half to fall 45-30. Stannis led the way with eight points.