Balanced Wildcats handle Rams’ pressure in 61-54 victory
SOUTH HAVEN — South Haven’s gymnasium has been a difficult place to play for the Three Rivers Wildcats over the last few years.
Brian Burg’s Wildcats seemed to feel right at home there in Tuesday’s 61-54 Wolverine Conference win.
Three Rivers’ ability to handle South Haven’s pressure from start to finish and the Cats’ dominance on the defensive boards were two critical factors in the victory.
Three Rivers raced out to a 22-12 lead over South Haven after the first quarter and led its hosts 39-28 entering halftime.
“We knew we needed to handle South Haven’s pressure,” Burg said. “Right from the start we did a great job of handling their pressure. Our early lead forced them to back off in their full-court pressure.”
During the second quarter, Three Rivers’ 6-foot-4 junior center Tirrell Hausmanis picked up his third foul.
“Max Chapman and Eric Johnson did a great job of stepping in and helping our team by rebounding the ball, getting out in transition and finishing around the rim in that span,” Burg said.
Three Rivers’ head coach reiterated to his ballclub at halftime the importance of handling South Haven’s pressure.
“I reminded the kids at halftime that we still had 16 minutes left to finish the game out,” Burg said. “Tirrell did a great job of stepping up and getting us going in the third quarter with three straight baskets to push the lead to double digits.”
Please see Tuesday's Commercial-News print or e-edition for the full article.