By Travis Smola
The Lady Bulldogs varsity basketball team picked up its fifth win of the season on home court against Dowagiac, 51-33.
The girls started off scoring well, but struggled a little on defense. Although they never gave up the lead, they did let the Chieftains hang around for longer than Head Coach Tim Kirby would have liked. “We found a way to make enough baskets in the first half to have a lead,” Kirby said. “But I told my girls I didn’t want to give the other team any hope, and I felt like we gave them hope in the first half.”
Leading the scoring charge for the Lady Bulldogs was Hannah Vallier, who put up 19 points. She just missed getting a double-double with nine rebounds. Kelsey Diekman was the next leading scorer with 12 points. Chloe Hatridge scored 11.
Sydney Finos put up three points while Payton Lewis and Danielle Diekman each had two while Kaitlynn Szdlowski and Olivia Grinnell each added a free throw to round out the scoring. “Our defense was better in the third quarter even though we didn’t score as well,” Kirby said.
The team was able to finish out the game strong and end a two-game losing streak. Vicksburg is 2-2 since returning from winter break. They won the first game after the break, against Portage Northern 55-12. “If we play defense and rebound, we’re going to be okay,” Kirby said.
The next two games, however, saw a few problems. The Lady Bulldogs fell to Sturgis 49-34. Kirby said some foul trouble is what led to that game getting away from them. Three players were sick at the next game against Plainwell. The result was a 47-21 loss. “We let a couple get away from us that we probably felt we should have won, but tonight was a big one for us,” Kirby said.
The girls are in a decent position with a .500 record going into the second half of the season. They do face some tough road games ahead. “We’re 5-5, I feel like we probably should be maybe 7-3 right now,” Kirby said.