Saugatuck girls suffer heart-breaking loss to host Martin
By Jason Wesseldyk
MARTIN—Midway through the fourth quarter of the Saugatuck girls’ basketball team’s SAC Lakeshore contest against Martin on Friday, Feb. 1, the prospects of a win for the Indians looked promising.
After all, Saugatuck had just reeled off 12 straight points to turn a four-point deficit into an eight-point lead at 38-30.
But the Clippers had other ideas.
A 3-point play from Briana Warner started a 10-0, game-ending run for the Clippers, who eked out the 40-38 victory on their home court.
The game was the first in two weeks for both teams following a string of postponements due to the weather.
“You expect a game like this to be a little sloppy because of the lack of practice and it was,” Saugatuck coach Kevin Tringali said. “But our girls played hard. We just didn’t make quite as many plays as we needed to.”
Free throws played a big role in Saugatuck’s demise, as the Indians went 0-for-6 at the line in the fourth quarter and 4-for-17 for the game.
“We missed too many free throws and layups,” Tringali said. “We also had some untimely turnovers. You combine all that and we still only lost by two points, so we fell like we let one get away.
“Give Martin credit. Doug is a really good coach and that’s a good team. You can’t make as many mistakes as we did and expect to win.”
Saugatuck led 24-17 at halftime before Martin used a 13-2 run to take a 30-26 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter. Faith Guritz scored the final four points in that stretch.
But back came the Indians, using a 12-0 spurt that included six points from Moore to take the 38-30 lead only to see the Clippers answer with the game-ending 10-0 run.
Saugatuck had a chance to tie with Maddie Moore at the free throw line for two shots, but she misfired on both. The Indians then had three shots from the floor to tie or go ahead, but were unable to convert on them.
Moore led all scorers with 15 points.
“We obviously didn’t play as well as we would have liked, but I thought the girls played hard,” Tringali said. “Hopefully we can learn from this one and move from here.”
Guritz paced Martin with 14 points. Kiaya Warner added eight points.
The Indians had another close game when they faced Gobles in a makeup game on Monday, Feb. 4. And again Saugatuck came up just short, falling 49-44 to the state-ranked Tigers.
Saugatuck trailed 32-21 at halftime before pulling to within four points late in the game.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my kids tonight,” Tringali said. “That’s back-to-back games versus state-ranked teams where we were a couple possessions away from it being a different story.
“I hope these close games help our kids realize the importance of valuing the basketball. I’m optimistic these tough losses are going to help get us ready for districts.”