By Jason Wesseldyk
SAUGATUCK—Through its first 13 games of the season, the Saugatuck boys basketball team secured three wins.
But the Trailblazers seem to be peaking at the right time.
Saugatuck won for the fourth time in its last five games as it beat Delton Kellogg 50-43 in a SAC Crossover game on Friday, Feb. 25.
The game also served as Senior Night. And Saugatuck coach Brian Ward thinks that might have factored into his team’s slow start.
The Trailblazers fell behind 14-0 to start the game and trailed 14-2 after one quarter.
“The emotion of Senior Night must have sucked the energy out of the gym because we started out extremely cold and slow,” Ward said.
Things got better the rest of the way, however, as the Trailblazers outscored the Panthers 17-10 in the second quarter to narrow the deficit to five at 24-19 at the intermission.
Sophomore Russell VandePoel led the second-quarter charge with seven of his game-best 21 points. Junior Will Ayers added a pair of 3-pointers in the stanza en route to eight points, which matched senior John Hartgerink for second-best on the team.
Saugatuck knotted the score at 32-32 heading to the fourth quarter and found itself up by a point with a minute left to play. A defensive stop on the next Delton possession and a strong showing at the charity stripe sealed the victory.
“During the second half, we just continued to chip away, getting defensive stops and forcing turnovers,” Ward said. “On the offensive end, Delton’s 2-3 zone made sure no shot was easy, but slowly we closed the gap.”
Senior John Roberts knocked down four fourth-quarter free throws as part of his seven-point performance.