By Jason Wesseldyk
The season got off to a slow start for the Saugatuck girls’ basketball team, with the Indians dropping their first four games.
Things are definitely looking up, however.
After posting their first win of the season in the form of a 59-40 decision over Black River on Tuesday, Dec. 19, the Indians made it two in a row with a 60-45 victory over visiting Coloma on Friday, Dec. 21.
Defense played a key role early for Saugatuck, which opened up a 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“Our full-court pressure in the first quarter helped set the tone,” Saugatuck coach Kevin Tringali said.
By halftime, Saugatuck had upped the lead to 16 points at 38-22.
The third quarter was simply more of the same, as a 12-5 scoring edge gave the Indians a 50-27 cushion entering the final frame.
“This was the second time in two games that we came out of the locker room with great energy to start the second half,” Tringali said.
The tandem of Maddie Moore and Erin Stannis did the bulk of the offensive damage, with Moore going for 17 points and Stannis close behind with 15.
“Hands down this was our best team effort of the season,” Tringali said. “We took care of the ball, shared the ball and hit our shots. Most of all I thought our team defense was phenomenal. It’s a great way to head into (Christmas) break. I’m very proud of tonight’s effort and energy.”
The win over Black River featured nine Indians finding their way into the scoring column.
Moore led four double-digit scorers with 12 points. Stannis and Emma Walker each had 11 points, while Karissa Moerler added 10 points.
“It was nice to finally put a complete game together,”Tringali said. I’m happy for my team. We had a tough stretch to open the season. Hopefully we’ll build off this.”
The game remained close at halftime, with Saugatuck leading 27-20. But a 17-3 run by the Indians put the game out of reach as they took a 44-23 lead to fourth quarter.