By Travis Smola
The Vicksburg varsity boys’ basketball team avenged an early season loss to Sturgis during Homecoming with a resounding 65-51 victory over the Trojans.
Last time the Bulldogs faced Sturgis, they ended up with 31 turnovers. The team brought a renewed sense of energy. That word has been something of a team mantra in the second half of the season.
“The last two or three games that’s been our word. Just energy,“ Head Coach Josh Noble said after the game.
At the start, it looked like things were going to be close, but Vicksburg quickly pulled away for a 17-9 lead after the first quarter. The Bulldogs extended that lead to 36-25 at the half. In the third, the team slowly pulled away as a raucous crowd cheered them on.
“To come back a few weeks later and show up really pushes us towards the end of the season and I’m really happy for the guys,” Noble said. “They did a great job.”
Noble said several of the boys were banged up with injuries, but it didn’t show in their performance. Most notably with Kyle Rose, who scored 20 in the contest. Parker Wilson and Dillon Shook were not far behind him with 12 apiece.
Jacob Conklin was also playing through injury, but still managed to score 11 points. Drake Steele added four points for the Bulldogs. Ethan Buscher, Lucas Hatridge and Chase Myers each had two. Myers also had several key steals that ultimately led to Bulldog points.
Overall, the team seemed poised and patient. This was especially evident in their passing, something Noble said they’ve been focusing on in practice.
“They’re starting to buy into what you do in practice shows up in the game and I can’t be more proud of the way that they showed up,” Noble said.
The Bulldogs are now 8-11 overall. They dropped their three games to South Haven, Dowagiac and Three Rivers, before a 69-57 win over Parchment. In their latest game, the boys played a close one against Edwardsburg that went to overtime where they ultimately fell to the Eddies 48-38.
The team still should have some good momentum as the season wraps up.
“We want to get to Districts with a good amount of momentum and we’ve got six more games to see if we can do that,” Noble said after the Sturgis game. “It’s really easy to get them motivated when they play that way.”