By Travis Smola
The Vicksburg varsity basketball team and new head coach Josh Noble unveiled a new unselfish style of play in their opening game against Comstock. The result was an impressive 51-35 victory.
The two sides traded the lead back and forth. It seemed every time the Bulldogs pulled away by a couple, the Colts were there to hit a three.
“When a team like Comstock comes out and hits six or seven threes and we run the way we run, we’ve got to be patient, we’ve got to be able to trust each other,” Noble said. “And it just seemed like their legs got kind of tired at the end and our guys stuck with it.”
Things were tied 24-24 at the half, but the boys began to really spread the ball around in the second half as they excelled in all phases of the game. Kyle Rose led the scoring charge by putting up a double-double. He was five for six shooting for 12 points with two free throws. He also helped lead the Bulldogs’ excellent rebounding with 13. Jacob Conklin was close behind in scoring with 11. Dillon Shook had seven points while Parker Wilson had six. Chase Myers and Lucas Hatridge each added three. Timmy Sarvari and Ethan Buscher rounded out the scoring with a couple of three-pointers.
The unselfish nature of the team’s play was hard to miss, especially in its passing as the Bulldogs moved the ball quickly and efficiently all game. “We try to preach that. We’ve got a lot of guys who play multiple sports, so they get to see what a team is in a lot of different seasons.” Noble said. “You never know when that last pass is one too many passes and tonight it seemed like we made the right passes at the right time and they were very unselfish.”
The team pulled away in the second half to go up 42-33 at the end of the third and then allowed just two more points to come away with a 51-35 victory.
It was quite the homecoming for Noble, who teaches seventh and eighth grade history at the middle school. Noble is a familiar name to long-time Vicksburg residents. The 2004 graduate was a part of Vicksburg’s last District championship team.
“I wear that with pride, but I also wonder why it was the last one,” Noble said. “We’ve had some good talent come through here. We need to be competing at that level.”
The Bulldogs’ new coach said he spent six years in South Carolina and one year in Haiti gathering some coaching experience. But he says he’s thrilled to return home and coach the team he used to play on. “I’m excited to be home, my family is here. I went all over the world and you know what I kept thinking a good place was? Vicksburg. When I was growing up, I didn’t think that much. But coming back has been a lot of fun.”
The Bulldogs closed out the last games before winter break with a 74-53 loss to Otsego and a 46-33 win over Allegan to bring their record to 2-2.