The Marshall Redhawks girls basketball team defeated the Otsego Bulldogs 47-25 Thursday evening in the Regional 9 final from Three Rivers. The defending Class B state champions led the entire way thanks to a quick start. They began the game on a 12-2 run and took a 20-6 lead into the first quarter break. They extended it to 29-11 by halftime. Otsego played even with the Redhawks in the second half and even outscored them 9-6 in the third quarter, but they could never get closer than 14 points away.
“I thought the first half was outstanding,” said Marshall coach Sal Konkle. “The second half was probably not our best performance. I feel like we kind of played that way in the districts too. Once we got a big lead, we didn’t really finish the second half like we played the first half, but a lot of that has to do with Otsego. They played very physical and very hard.”
Nikki Tucker led Marshall with 13 points, closely followed by younger sister Natalie with 11.
“We got some looks, especially early on, that were great looks and looks that we’ll knock down a decent amount of the time,” said Otsego coach Tony Koshar. “Tonight, they didn’t fall for us. You can’t spot a team like that an 18-point lead.”
Otsego finishes 20-4 and was led by senior Erica Drobny, scoring 13 in her final varsity game. The Bulldogs have reason for optimism though, as Drobny and Cayla Koshar are the only graduating seniors from the lineup.
“Drobny was phenomenal tonight,” said coach Koshar. “My daughter played hard. They’ve left a nice legacy for us. We’re not going away.”
The Redhawks move to 22-2 on the year with their 2017 postseason run mirroring their 2016 run, defeating the same first four opponents. They have a chance to make it five-for-five in Tuesday’s quarterfinal, facing 4th-ranked Grand Rapids Catholic Central at 7 p.m. in Otsego. They knocked off GRCC 41-30 last season, but lost to them earlier this season 42-34 in the East Grand Rapids Showcase back on January 28.
“We didn’t have as much time to prepare for them as I would’ve liked,” said Konkle of their January meeting. “We had a big league game (against Coldwater) the night before. They played very, very well and we didn’t play very well. And a lot of it was them dictating how we played.”
You can listen to the quarterfinal Tuesday at 7 p.m. live on Michigan Sports Radio. You can listen back to Marshall vs Otsego below