Category Archives: Otsego Bulldogs

RECAP: Free Throws Fuel Otsego Boys, Marshall Girls Roll

The Otsego boys basketball team won at Marshall 80-60 and the Marshall girls earned a 54-24 victory Thursday.   The Bulldog boys were an outstanding 39-44 from the free throw line, allowing them to pull away in a foul-infested fourth quarter and give Marshall its first loss.   Meanwhile, the Redhawk girls were dominant throughout.

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Otsego huddles during a timeout.

Neither team had a decisive advantage in the first half, with the largest lead staying within two possessions.   The explosive Otsego offense, averaging 72.6 points per game coming in, had to find other scorers as they were without leading-scorer Zak Lukas.  Marshall held a 14-13 lead entering the second quarter and were ahead by five entering the final three minutes of the second.  However, the Bulldogs took a 31-28 lead into halftime, getting a three-pointer from Will Eldred in the closing seconds after the shot bounced high off the rim.

Otsego never surrendered the lead in the second half, although a tight third quarter only pushed the lead to 49-43.  Fouls picked up significantly in the fourth quarter, including four Marshall technical fouls.   The turning point came midway through the frame as a shooting foul on Jack Luciani also prompted technicals after the play from his brother Jeremy and Marshall head coach Doug Riegel.

Charles Woodhams would make all six free throw attempts, pushing the Bulldogs ahead by double-digits.  He would make four more on later technicals and finish with a 14-14 mark at the line, getting 23 total points.   Eldred was also flawless at the foul line, his 12-12 pushed him to 18 points.    Jack Luciani topped Marshall with 18.

Both boys squads move to 5-1 following the game.   It was the first time in their three late-December meetings that the road team was the victor.   The Bulldogs return to play on January 9 at Edwardsburg, while Marshall travels to Jackson Lumen Christi on January 5.

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Marshall led almost all of the girls game.  Otsego’s girls were also missing a key cog with an injury to Grace VerHage.   The Redhawks started with a 4-0 run, which Otsego matched.  From there, Marshall finished the first quarter with a 13-3 advantage and built up a 39-17 score by halftime.  Morgan Tatrow topped Marshall with 16 points.   Nine players scored for the Redhawks.   Mattison Rayman was Otsego’s top scorer with six.

The Marshall girls move to 3-4 with the win and drop Otsego to 5-3.   The Redhawks have now beaten the Bulldogs five times in three seasons.   Marshall travels to Jackson Lumen Christi on January 5 with Otsego hosting Edwardsburg on January 9.

Listen back to Thursday’s games below:




PREVIEW: Marshall Meets Otsego Thursday

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Listen live Thursday evening on the Slocum Sports Network to boys and girls varsity basketball between the Marshall Redhawks and Otsego Bulldogs.  The girls varsity is set for around 6 p.m. with the boys around 7:30 p.m.  It’s the third consecutive season that these schools will be meeting in late December.

In the boys contest, Marshall enters the boys game at 5-0, scoring 60 points per game and allowing 45.5.  Otsego sits at 4-1 with an impressive 72.6 points per game, while allowing 61.2 per contest.   Last season at Otsego, the Bulldog boys grabbed a 69-50 win.   Two seasons ago at Marshall, the Redhawks won 71-40.

The Otsego girls enter Thursday at 5-2, scoring 51.8 points per game and allowing 35.1.   Marshall is only 2-4, but they’ve had an incredibly strong schedule with a combined record at 34-3.  The Redhawks have scored 35.5 points per game and allowed 41.6 thus far.   Marshall is 4-0 against Otsego over the last two seasons, winning both regular season meetings and two Regional semifinal games.

Listen live to Thursday’s games online on the Slocum Sports Network.   The girls as set for around 6 p.m. with the boys around 7:30 p.m.

RECAP: Late PK Lifts Plainwell by Otsego, Gull Lake Hammers Harper Creek

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Plainwell coach Garry Sndyer talks to his squad prior to kickoff

The Plainwell Trojans and Gull Lake Blue Devils won their District 18 semifinal games Wednesday at Richland, pushing them into Saturday’s final.   Ninth-ranked Plainwell survived a late rally for a 3-2 win over the Otsego Bulldogs.   Gull Lake easily dispatched Harper Creek 5-1.

In the first game, Plainwell grabbed the lead in the fourth minute with Luke Morrell scoring off a Zakary Termeer throw in.   Termeer would score himself midway through the first and the Trojans carried a 2-0 lead into halftime.

Plainwell dominated possession for the first 55 minutes, but Otsego goalkeeper Jayden Dentler made numerous great saves to keep Plainwell at two.   He unofficially had 19 saves for the match.    In the 59th minute, Josh Loll was able to tip the ball into the goal for Otsego and about five minutes later, Jace Engels did the same to tie the game at 2-2.

They traded chances the rest of the way.  In the final minute, a wild sequence led to a controversial penalty kick call for Plainwell with 34 seconds remaining.   Dentler had come out to make an initial save, but found himself out of the net trying to track the ball down.   Plainwell’s rebound shot was blocked by a defender at the goal line, followed by a Trojan down with a brief injury.  Following the injury stoppage, the penalty kick was awarded and Morrell put it by Dentler for the game winning goal.   It’s unclear if the violation was a foul or handling to prompt the PK.

Listen back to the final moments of the game below:

Plainwell moves to 17-3-3 with Otsego finishing the season at 11-8-0.  In the second game, Gull Lake dominated throughout, taking a 4-0 lead into halftime.   Two goals came from Miles Renwick, one from Zach Reed, and another off a deflection by someone on a Jack Hirzel corner kick.  JD Schroeder had Gull Lake’s second half goal with Harper Creek’s score coming on a Archie Hantz penalty kick.

Harper Creek finishes the season at 3-13-3 with Gull Lake improving to 10-8-1 overall and 8-2-1 on their home turf.   The Blue Devils host Plainwell in the District 18 final Saturday at 5 p.m.     Listen back to the full broadcasts from Wednesday below:



PREVIEW: District 18 Semifinals at Gull Lake

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Listen live online Wednesday evening on the Slocum Sports Network to the District 18 boys soccer semifinals from Gull Lake High School.   The first game, set for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff, features Wolverine Conference rivals Plainwell and Otsego.   The second game to follow around 7:30ish has the host Gull Lake against Harper Creek.

The Plainwell Trojans are the district favorite by overall record (16-3-3) and are ranked ninth in the final Coaches Association Division 2 poll.  The Trojans have claimed the district title in three consecutive seasons and defeated Otsego 3-0 in last year’s district final.   The Trojans opened district play Monday with a 3-1 victory against Hastings.

The Otsego Bulldogs are 10-7-0 and defeated Battle Creek Central 2-0 in their first round match.   Otsego is 6-2-0 in their last eight matches, including a tight 1-0 loss at Plainwell in their regular season finale Thursday.   They will have to slay a nemesis, as this class of seniors at Otsego has never defeated Plainwell in soccer.

In the second match, the hosting Gull Lake Blue Devils are 9-8-1 overall and hold a 7-2-1 mark on their home turf.   Gull Lake defeated Allegan 3-0 in their first round match and are on a three-game winning streak, including a victory over Division 4 #4 Hackett Catholic.

Harper Creek sits at 3-12-3 overall.   The Beavers have already pulled off one upset, defeating Pennfield (who finished 10-8-1)  Monday 3-2, despite having fallen to the Panthers twice in the regular season.   Harper Creek and Gull Lake have not met this season.

Listen live to both semifinal matches online via the Slocum Sports Network Wednesday.   Plainwell vs Otsego is set for 5:30 p.m. with Gull Lake and Harper Creek to follow from Richland.

RECAP/AUDIO: #10 Vicksburg Takes Baseball District #47

The Vicksburg High School baseball team topped Otsego and Three Rivers Saturday to win District 47 at Three Rivers.  Vicksburg had a 2-1 walk-off win over the Wildcats in the semifinal, then downed Otsego in the final, 8-0.  Otsego made it through after a 7-1 victory over Plainwell earlier.

Strong pitching and defense was key in both wins for the 10th-ranked Bulldogs.   Against Otsego, only the pitch count rule prevented Ryan Morgan from completing a shutout.  He finished with five hits and two walks allowed over 6.2 innings with ten strikeouts.   Vicksburg jumped ahead immediately with four hits and an error leading to four runs in the first inning.

“To have that time off (between games) and then come right back and out of the gate, put four up in the first inning, says a lot about our guys having that focus of getting that next win,” said Vicksburg coach Brian Deal.

They added three more in the fifth and one in the sixth, getting 11 hits total.  Otsego starting pitcher Jayden Dentler lasted four innings, allowing six runs, three earned, and seven hits.  Otsego ends the season at 20-16-1.

Vicksburg won the opening game in a 2-1 pitching duel over the host Three Rivers.   Both teams scored their first run in the fifth inning.   Three Rivers led off the seventh with a hit, but the runner was caught stealing.   After a strikeout, the Wildcats doubled, but Brenden Lovell got a ground out to get out of the jam.   In the bottom of the frame, Garrett Ketelaar drew a lead-off walk for Vicksburg.   After an error, walk, and strikeout, Josh Povlock brought in Ketelaar for the winning run.

Povlock had both Vicksburg RBI.  Lovell finished with a complete game win, allowing five hits, one earned run, and two walks with eight strikeouts.  Alex Minger went 6.1 innings for Three Rivers, allowing three hits, two runs, one earned, with four walks and three strikeouts.  The senior-heavy Wildcats finish at 18-14.

“It was a grind right from the start,” said Deal.   “I can’t say enough about that Minger kid, he did a great job.”

Vicksburg advances to Regional 12 at Edwardsburg next Saturday and will meet seventh-ranked Stevensville Lakeshore at 10 a.m.   At 12:30 p.m., Edwardsburg, who split the Wolverine Conference crown with Vicksburg, plays Harper Creek.   The winners face off for a trip to the quarterfinals.   Vicksburg now sits at 29-10 and will see the Lancers for the second time, having lost to Lakeshore 9-4 back in a tournament game on May 13.

“They’re very well coached,” said Deal.  “They will push you; they bunt, they run, they play the game really well.”

“We saw a couple of their better pitchers, they didn’t see our better pitchers, so maybe that gives us a little bit of an advantage going in.   Those two guys (Lovell and Morgan) are two of the best guys in the area as far as I’m concerned.   We run those guys out there and we feel like we’ve got a chance against most teams.   Starting pitching and quality defense certainly keeps you in games.”

In Saturday’s second district game, Otsego beat Plainwell 7-1 on a strong outing from Derek Slocum, who gave up one earned run, three hits, and five walks over six innings.  Will Eldred scored three runs.   Plainwell’s Hunter Nielsen got all but one out, allowing seven runs, two earned, with six hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.   Plainwell ends the year at 11-14.

Meanwhile, the fourth-ranked Vicksburg softball team topped the same two squads to claim their district, taking a 17-7 final over Otsego in the championship.   They’ll also go to Edwardsburg for Regional play and also play Lakeshore, with their game set for Saturday at noon.

Listen back to Friday’s district baseball games below:




PREVIEW: District 47 Baseball Tournament

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Listen live online Saturday via Michigan Sports Radio and the Slocum Sports Network to the MHSAA District 47 baseball tournament from Three Rivers High School.  The district features four Wolverine Conference rivals with the winner advancing to next weekend’s Regional tournament at Edwardsburg.   Saturday’s play begins at 10 a.m. with tenth-ranked Vicksburg against the hosting Three Rivers Wildcats.   At noon, Otsego faces Plainwell and the winners play in the district final around 2 p.m.

The district started Tuesday with Three Rivers blanking Sturgis 2-0 on a complete game shutout from Alex Minger.   Now at 18-13, the Wildcats will likely pitch Minger against 27-10 Vicksburg, who earned Wolverine Conference co-champion honors during the season.   The Bulldogs hosted and swept Three Rivers back on April 13, 4-0 and 8-1.  In those games, Brenden Lovell pitched a one-hitter, then Ryan Morgan held them to one run over six innings.

Game two sees 17-15-1 Otsego against 11-13 Plainwell.  They split their regular season games at Otsego on April 25, with a 3-2 Trojan win and a 7-6 Bulldog win.    Last year’s district title went to Sturgis, who was eliminated Tuesday.

Listen live online Saturday via Michigan Sports Radio and the Slocum Sports Network with coverage starting just before first pitch at 10 a.m.

RECAP: #5 Vicksburg, Otsego Split Wolverine Conference Doubleheader

In Friday’s battle of the Bulldogs at Vicksburg High School, Otsego was able to split with Division 2 fifth-ranked Vicksburg.   Vicksburg took the first game 3-0, followed by a 9-6 Otsego game two win.

In game one, Vicksburg scored one in the fourth inning and two in the sixth.  Otsego had opportunities, including bases loaded in the sixth, but ended up stranding ten runners.   Adam Henderson pitched six shutout innings with nine strikeouts, allowing five hits and two walks.  Matt Holman earned the save.   Otsego starter Jayden Dentler went 5.2 innings, allowing five hits, three runs, two earned, with two walks and two strikeouts.

In the second game, after a run in the second, Otsego scored four thanks to five hits and two errors in the third inning.   They added two more in the fourth, getting ten hits and seven runs, six earned, against Vicksburg starting pitcher Garrett Ketelaar.   Vicksburg made things interesting with a five-run fifth inning, chasing freshman Mason Ingold from the mound after 4.2 innings, allowing six hits, five runs, three earned, with three walks.   Another freshman, Derek Ward, pitched the rest of the way for Otsego, only allowing a run in the seventh.  Otsego added two more in the top of the seventh for extra cushion.   Ingold got the victory and had two hits, two runs, and two RBI offensively.

Vicksburg sits at 21-6 overall and 12-2, still leading the Wolverine Conference.  They get right back at it Saturday at the Lakeshore tournament.   They then play Dowagiac at Notre Dame Monday, followed by a doubleheader at Plainwell Friday, which can be heard on the Slocum Sports Network.

Otsego sits at 14-8-1 overall and 8-4 in the Wolverine Conference.   They return to action at home Tuesday against Three Rivers, then host Sturgis Friday.

Listen back to Friday’s games below:


PREVIEW: Conference, District Rivals Meet as #5 Vicksburg Hosts Otsego

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Listen live Friday on the Slocum Sports Network to the battle of the Bulldogs with Vicksburg hosting Otsego in high school baseball.  Both teams are sitting in the top-half of the Wolverine Conference and could meet again in the District 47 tournament hosted by Three Rivers.   Their last meeting was a 5-1 Vicksburg win in last season’s district tournament.

Vicksburg is ranked 5th in the Division 2 Coaches Poll at 19-4 overall and leads the Wolverine Conference at 11-1, taking the lead after sweeping 6th-ranked Edwardsburg (now 8-2) Tuesday.   Otsego is third in the conference standings at 7-3 and holds an 13-7-1 overall mark, fresh off a Tuesday sweep over South Haven.

Listen live to Friday’s games on the Slocum Sports Network with the doubleheader scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.

RECAP: Marshall Downs Otsego 47-25, Sets Up Quarterfinal Rematch with #4 GRCC

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

RECAP: Marshall, Otsego Set For Regional Final Rematch

The Marshall Redhawks and Otsgeo Bulldogs girls basketball teams will be meeting again for the Regional 9 championship, advancing to Thursday’s final with semifinal wins Tuesday.   Marshall downed Lakeshore 71-44 with Otsego defeating Three Rivers 49-38.

Lakeshore had the game’s first basket against sixth-ranked Marshall, but their lead was very short lived.  The Redhawks roared to a 26-12 lead after the first quarter and a 44-16 advantage by halftime.   Nikki Tucker finished with 23 points for Marshall, followed by her younger sister Natalie with 10.   Sarah Dubbert topped the Lancers with 13 points, followed by 11 from Cassie Pallett and 10 from Taylor Wagner.  Lakeshore finishes the year at 18-7 while Marshall improves to 21-2.

In the second game, Three Rivers started ahead, but like Lakeshore, had the lead for a short time.   Otsego led 12-6 after the first quarter, 25-12 at halftime, and 39-24 after three.   The Wildcats made it back within nine points in the fourth quarter, but no closer.   Three Rivers freshman Hadley Miller led all players with 18 points, her team finishes 10-14.   Otsego’s top scorer was Grace VerHage, who had 12 of her 14 in the first half.   Mattison Rayman added 13 and Jaycie Callaway scored 12, all in the second half.   The Bulldogs move to 20-3 for their second consecutive 20-win season.

“On their home court, we didn’t want to fall down early,” said Otsego coach Tony Koshar.  “Early in the second half, Callaway was really good for us.  And then down the stretch, Matti really took over from the high post.”

The Regional Final rematch is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Three Rivers and can be heard live on Michigan Sports Radio.   Marshall won last year’s meeting 57-37 en route to their state championship.  They also met this season, with the Redhawks grabbing a road win 61-36 on December 29.

“Obviously, they’re going to be favored,” said coach Koshar of Marshall.  “We’ve got to rebound the basketball, we’ve got to take care of the basketball.  If you do those two things, you have an opportunity to be in the game.”

Listen back to Tuesday’s games below: