By Mari Smith
As the Bulldogs’ season progressed, they struggled to accumulate a series of consecutive wins. Vicksburg went on a long stretch of away games that proved unsuccessful. The Bulldogs travelled to Paw Paw on January 31 and were handed a 76-53 defeat. Paw Paw shot an amazing 10 for 10 from the 3-point line in the first half. High scorer for Vicksburg was Solomon Barwegan with 7 and Brad Spieldenner snagged six rebounds.
On the road again at Portage Northern, the Huskies delivered another double-digit loss to the Bulldogs with the final score of 55-21. Trae Williams scored five and contributed another six rebounds. Hunter Van added another five.
Berrien Springs was the Bulldogs next road trip on February 4, where Vicksburg narrowly lost by a score of 51-47. Coach McGuire stated that this was a “much better game for us against a pretty good team. We shared the ball and broke their press for each basket.” Barwegan tallied eight for the Bulldogs, with PJ Callahan adding another seven, and Spieldenner snatched 18 rebounds.
The Bulldogs were back on the bus to Plainwell on February 7, losing to the Trojans 68-57. Barwegen was again the top scorer with 10 and Spieldenner plucking an impressive 15 rebounds. The Bulldogs turned the tide on the 11 against Coloma where they scored a hard-fought 62-56 victory, with Barwegen sinking 15 for Vicksburg.
After many games on the road, Coach McGuire said they were looking forward to being back on their home court against Otsego on February 14. He noted that, “We haven’t shot the ball very well lately and sometimes the close confines of our own gym can get the shooting touch back.”
At the Vicksburg Homecoming game on the against Otsego, the Bulldogs fought hard and were only 4 points behind well into the fourth quarter, but Otsego pulled away fast in the end, defeating Vicksburg 62-48. Barwegan sank 15 points for the home Bulldogs, with Callahan shooting another 11.
Next the Red and White pulled off a victory against Three Rivers on the in a close 66-60 game. Barwegen was again the lead scorer with 23, and Callahan added another 13. Spieldenner was a shining star late in the game when he shot 3-for-3 from the 3-point line. The Bulldogs played another strong game the next day against the Tigers of Allegan, defeating them in double digits 55-43. Barwegen put 16 through the net and Williams added another 10.
Coach McGuire feels that the team has been playing better toward the end of the season, and he is hoping to finish strong. Their ability to have good free-throw shooting has been a big part of the Bulldogs winning some close games he said.