By Travis Smola
The Bulldog faithful got a real show on senior night when the Vicksburg varsity boys basketball team faced off with Allegan in a battle that went right down to the final seconds of the game.
In the end, Vicksburg came away with a narrow 60-57 victory to send the crowd home happy in a battle that could have gone either way.
“That was just a fun game, back and forth. They brought their best game tonight, that’s great,” Head Coach Zach Wierenga said. “I like how our guys responded. They had runs, we answered, and we finished the game and that’s good to see.”
Vicksburg took an early lead in the game thanks to Dylan Zemitans, who sunk three consecutive three-pointers to open. He led the team in scoring with 25 points on the night. He also led the team in rebounds.
Despite the fast start, the Tigers responded to the pressure well. The score was 13-12 Allegan after one. The Bulldogs regained momentum going into the half, bringing the score to 30-23. In the second half of the game, possession became more key.
“Finally started rebounding there in the second half, that was good to see,” Wierenga said. “We just battled. We’re a young team, we’re learning. We’re playing together, and we’re playing hard.”
One of those key young players was sophomore Carter Brown. He had 13 points and four rebounds in the contest. In the waning seconds of the game, he sunk two key free throws to give the Bulldogs a three-point margin and the victory as time expired. While things may have been tense for the crowd in attendance late in the game, Wierenga said it’s a scenario the team has prepped for.
“We’ve practiced a lot of those late game situations where we’re down a couple, we’re up a couple, we go through those, so I don’t think guys were nervous or worried,” Wierenga said. “I think we had practiced it enough that they were ready for it.”
Other Bulldogs who scored included Devin Debiak, who had four, RJ Vallier who had six, and Grant Anderson who had six. While they didn’t get on the score sheet, Logan Jones and Evan Anderson both had an excellent night rebounding the ball in key moments of the game.
For Wierenga, the way the team finished is key as they get into the second half of the season, which has been up and down for the Bulldogs.
“I think we early we took some lumps, but I think we kept working,” he said. “I’m very proud of our team for that, and I think we’re going to start hitting our stride here.”
By Travis Smola