Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

Otsego upends Plainwell on hardwood

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor

OTSEGO—How will we respond?
That’s the question Otsego girls basketball coach Tony Koshar was asking himself heading into the rivalry game against Plainwell on Friday, Jan. 14, as team was coming off its first loss of the season, a 20-point setback against Edwardsburg.
As it turned out, the Bulldogs couldn’t have responded much better.
Otsego jumped out to a 10-2 lead after one quarter and never looked back in securing the 50-28 victory.
“I’m so proud of the way my girls came out and played with intensity and focus right from the opening tip,” Koshar said. “(The Edwardsburg game) was tough, but I think it’s one of those things that could end up motivating us and keeping us hungry.”
Kaitlyn Payseno spearheaded Otsego’s offensive efforts, accounting for nearly half of her team’s point production with 24. Twelve of those points came on in the second quarter, helping stake Otsego to a 25-13 lead.
“Kaitlyn was awesome,” Koshar said. “She’s such a smart player and is always going to give you everything she has.”
Hannah Fitzpatrick added 14 points in the win, while Cali Miller had 12 to give the Bulldogs three double-digit scorers.
“That’s kind of been our style all season,” Koshar said. “We have several girls who can score, which makes us tricky to defend at times.”
For Plainwell, Lauren Vanderstelt had 10 points, followed by six from Ellery Troff, five from Grace Pettit and four from Maya Johnson.
“Otsego came to win,” Plainwell coach Mark Stephenson said. “We didn’t show up with the same attitude and they beat us in every aspect of the game right from the tip.
“We talked to the girls about that after the game. We learned a lot about ourselves and we will be better for the experience, both as coaches and players.”

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