By Travis Smola
The Vicksburg varsity girls’ basketball team extended its record to 12-0 with a 47-16 domination of conference rival Edwardsburg. It since added two more victories to extend the record to 14-0.
The Bulldogs took an early lead against the Eddies and the game was never in question from there as Vicksburg extended the lead in the Wolverine Conference to two games over everyone else. The Bulldog defense was stifling in the game as the girls gave up only nine points in the first two periods and completely shut out the Eddies in the third.
“I tell the girls before every game, if they defend and rebound, I believe we can beat everybody,” Head Coach Tim Kirby said. “When our girls are dialed in defensively, we’re tough. We’re so long in our zone.”
The leading scorer for the Bulldogs was Maddison Diekman. She put up 15 points on five field goals, two free throws, and a three-pointer. Kendra Cooley was right behind her with 11 points on three field goals, a three, and two free throws. Emma Steele had seven points. Scarlett Hosner had six points and led the team in rebounds. Emily Zemitans put up four points. Makayla Allen scored three on a field goal and free throw. Hannah DeVries added one on a free throw and was a force on defense all evening.
The Bulldogs were up 32-9 at the half and only allowed one other basket the rest of the night. The rest of the Eddies’ points came on free throws. Edwardsburg came into the game second in the Conference with an 8-3 record. They were also on a four-game winning streak.
“The girls practice hard, they pay attention to what we’re doing, they understood the game plan defensively, and we got into their shooters, and we just kind of stymied them a little bit there,” Kirby said.
The team has long looked at Edwardsburg as the standard of excellence in the Conference. However, this year’s Vicksburg roster came into the season wanting to change the way people looked at the Wolverine.
“They’ve been the standard for the last five or six years in our Conference, and they went to the state semi-finals last year,” Kirby said. “This is a big one for us, to get over that hump.”
While Kirby acknowledged the win was a big one that had him nervous all day at work prior to the game, he feels like the team can’t afford to let off the gas right now. There’s still plenty of basketball left to be played in the season. They still have another matchup with the Eddies on the road coming later in the season too.
“We haven’t accomplished our goals yet. Our goal is to win a conference championship,” Kirby said. “We can’t have a letdown now. You know, sometimes you get a big win like that and the tendency is to come out flat the next game, or just to think you’ve accomplished something. We accomplished a big win tonight, but we haven’t accomplished our goal.”
After Edwardsburg, the girls picked up two more wins. One against Dowagiac 43-22 and another dominating performance against Otsego 62-24. Kirby has confidence in his team’s abilities, mostly through what he sees in their practices every day.
“This group, every day they come in and they work harder than they did the day before. We’ve had maybe one practice where I didn’t think we gave our best effort,” Kirby said “Every night when we come into the game, you can see in their eyes that they’re dialed in and ready to go. They were dialed in tonight.”
By Travis Smola