By Jason Wesseldyk
Fennville’s Lila Rosema poured in a game-best 24 points against host Allegan during this SAC girls basketball contest on Friday, Jan. 17.
The was the bad news for the Tigers. The good news was that they limited the rest of the Fennville roster to 11 combined points and picked up the 48-35 win.
“I think Fennville caught us by surprise a little bit,” Allegan coach Sharron Thompson said. “I thought their girls played hard and found success scoring the ball on us early, especially (Rosema).
“They also seem to be growing as a team and I’m sure they will continue to improve.”
Speaking of improving, the win was the second for Allegan in its past three games—the other game in that span was a one-point loss to Gobles on Tuesday, Jan. 17—after winning just won of its first seven games.
The fact that the Tigers are finally getting healthy after enduring numerous injuries in the early part of the season is a big reason for the recent success.
“It feels great to be building chemistry by having my players back,” Thompson said. “They are still fighting through injuries, but they are still able to perform. It kind of feels like the season is just getting started even though we are halfway through.”
The junior tandem of Katelyn VanAtter and Carlee Rynearson led the way for the Tigers, with VanAtter going for 18 points and Rynearson adding 13.
“I rely on Katelyn and Carlee heavily,” Thompson said. “I have been watching and coaching them since they were in middle school and to see how they have progressed has been great to watch. They play hard for me and are good teammates and that’s all I can ask of them.”
Six of VanAtter’s points came in the first quarter, helping the Tigers build a 15-8 lead. Allegan’s advantage was 29-20 at halftime.
“I think over the course of the last five games or so we’ve figured out how to win: jump out on teams and close the games up,” Thompson said. “There are always things to tweak, but overall we played very well and I like where we are headed.”
Ireland Ashley added five points in the win, with Aubrie Evans and Shyonna Thompson going for four points each.
Turnovers were a big factor for Fennville, which finished with 28.
“We turned the ball over quite a bit tonight, several that were unforced,” Fennville coach Josh Weimer said. “When we start valuing the ball a bit better, we will find ourselves in a better position to win some more games.
“Based on the score, something tells me that if we don’t give Allegan 28 extra possessions tonight, we might find ourselves right where we need to be at the end of the game. Our effort was great though, and we played until the end. That’s something I can never question when it comes to them. I’m thankful and proud of our ladies for that.”
Weimer had special praise for Rosema.
“Lila was great tonight,” he said.
Kyli Bushee and Christina Mendoza finished with four points each for Fennville, while Madisynn Jefferson added three points to round out the scoring.
The Blackhawks fell to 3-8.