Saugatuck opens season with home win over Wyoming Lee
By Jason Wesseldyk
Christmas was still nearly a month away when the Saugatuck boys’ basketball team hosted Wyoming Lee in the season-opener for both teams on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
That didn’t stop Saugatuck players from giving their coach an early gift in the form of his first varsity win.
Coaching in his first game as a varsity head coach after spending the past five years at the JV level, Brian Ward led the Indians to the 38-34 victory.
“It was a good start to the season,” Ward said.
The game didn’t come without some drama.
Leading by as many as nine points in the third quarter, Saugatuck’s lead dwindled to two points at 36-34 in the closing minute of the game.
“Our defense got a little sloppy down the stretch and we allowed (Lee) to get back in the game toward the end of the fourth quarter,” Ward said.
But with nine seconds remaining, senior Brad Dunn stepped to the charity stripe and knocked down a pair of free throws to bring the score to its final.
Those two points capped off a game-best 20-point effort for Dunn. Cooper Myers—the team’s only other returning player besides Dunn—was next with eight points.
The game started with a 6-6 tie after one quarter and remained close through halftime before a 15-point explosion from Saugatuck in the third quarter provided some breathing room … at least for a while.
“We got off to a slow start as we tried to shake off some rust,” Ward said. “We started to get some things figured out during the second quarter, but really came alive in the third quarter.”
The Indians hoped to make it two wins in a row to start the season when they traveled to Lawton on Friday, Nov. 30.
Some third-quarter struggles ended those hopes.
Lawton used a 16-4 edge in the third frame to turn what had been a close game into a double-digit lead en route to handing Saugatuck the 49-36 loss.
“We had a terrible third quarter that may have ultimately cost us a chance at our second victory,” Ward said. “We had a few turnovers and failed to get back in transition defense a couple of possessions in a row as Lawton extended their lead out to 10. We were never able to come back.”
Myers played well in the loss, leading the Indians with 21 points. Dunn was held to five points.