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Slow start proves costly as Indians drop game to clippers

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By Jason Wesseldyk

Sports Editor

MARTIN—Saugatuck boys’ basketball coach Brian Ward was concerned his team would be a little rusty when it traveled to Saugatuck for a SAC Lakeshore showdown on Friday, Feb. 1.

And with good reason.

Due to poor weather conditions, his team hadn’t played a game in two weeks. Worse yet, they hadn’t even practiced in eight days.

“Most of our guys didn’t have a basketball in their hands during that time,” Ward said.

That rust showed early, as the Indians fell behind 12-4 and were unable to recover in suffering the 55-42 loss.

Like Saugatuck, Martin was playing for the first time in two weeks after the various postponements.

“Both teams were in the same situation,” Ward said. “Martin just handled it better that we did.”

Saugatuck’s Brad Dunn led all scorers with 17 points, while teammate Cooper Myers joined him in double figures with 11.

Martin, which led 19-8 after one quarter and 33-21 at halftime, used a balanced scoring attack that saw nine players score at least two points each, led by Cayden Curry with 14.

Michael Morey added nine points, followed by Carter Hilton with eight.

“As a coach, it’s great to see so many guys get involved offensively,” Moelker said. “When we move the ball and make the extra pass, we’re a tough team to guard because we do have so many guys who are capable of scoring.”

After falling behind by 11 points in the first quarter, Saugatuck played Martin nearly even the rest of the way. The Indians even outscored the Clippers 12-8 in the final stanza.

“It’s kind of been that way all season,” Ward said. “We dig ourselves a big hole early, getting down 10 or 15 points, then we play better the rest of the way. It’s almost like they feel they have nothing to lose, so they’re more relaxed and loose.

“It’s something we’ve talked about with them a lot. They have to find a way to come out with that same loose, relaxed play early in games rather than waiting until we’re down double digits.”

Three days later, Saugatuck played Gobles in a makeup game on Monday, Feb. 4, falling 58-56.

“It was a great game, going back and forth all night,” Ward said. “Ultimately, it was Gobles’ ability to make free throws down the stretch that iced the game for them.”

The Indians went 8-for-9 at the line in the fourth quarter.

Dunn and Myers each scored 18 points in the loss. Connor Seifert added 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

“We made too many mistakes throughout the game, including some very quick offensive possessions that we’d love to have back,” Ward said “But credit to Gobles for hanging in there and hitting the necessary shots down the stretch.”