Bulldog Basketball Right in the Thick of Things

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Shane Earl heads for the basket against Portage Northern. Photo by Travis Smola.

By Travis Smola

The Vicksburg varsity basketball team is right in the thick of things in its division with a 3-4 record despite its most recent game, a 67-37 loss to Portage Northern.

“We didn’t come out ready to play tonight,” Head Coach Jeff Lovell said after the Portage Northern game.

He said the captains will need to step up. But overall they need to get better at moving and sharing the ball and executing the things they talk about in their practices. “In our three wins, we’ve played very good defensively and our three losses we’ve been not very good defensively,” he added.

Lovell said the winter break might be a good thing as it will give the team a chance to regroup a bit. They are still in position to make some noise in the division later in the year. “That’s something we can look forward to,” Lovell said.

The team’s three wins this year have come against Three Rivers, Paw Paw and Allegan. The Paw Paw game was its most impressive outing of the year thus far. Vicksburg downed the Redskins 62-39. Ten different Bulldogs scored in the contest. Sophomore Jacob Conklin led the scoring charge with 20 points. Junior Lucas Hatridge had 17 and Ethan Razmus-Buscher had seven.

The game was the second in a row they held an opponent to under 40 points. Lovell said the defense has played lights-out at times. “We keep the score down so we don’t need to score as many offensive points.”

The team dropped their last game of the year before the holiday break to Sturgis 34-28 on their home court for a record of 3-4 in 2018.

Lovell added that this particular team has seen a lot of turnover from last year; they are still young and learning. But he likes their chances after the winter break. “We still have a shot to win the south division. That’s our goal, to make it to the conference championship,” Lovell said.

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