Senior Night Win Caps Undefeated Week for Lady Dutch Basketball, Districts Next

By: Seth Kinker,

The Manchester Lady Dutch basketball team, 14-5 (9-4), defeated the Napoleon Pirates, 4-13 (4-9), on senior night on Feb. 28 by a score of 71-28 to cap off a perfect 3-0 week heading into districts next week. 

It was a week of upsets when the Lady Dutch needed it most. After their second set of back to back losses this season with the most recent coming on Feb. 15 against Grass Lake, the Lady Dutch needed to right the ship before the postseason. 

That righting of the ship came this week as they defeated two top ranked division three teams in fellow Cascades member Michigan Center, 56-41, on Feb. 25 and Adrian Madison, 30-26, on Feb. 26. 

Michigan Center is ranked second in the Cascades conference and defeated the Lady Dutch by 32 points in their fits meeting. Adrian Madison was 19-0 heading into the game as the Lady Dutch held on for a four-point victory to give Adrian Madison their first loss. 

After trailing 11-7 after the first quarter the Lady Dutch offense got going, outscoring Michigan Center 20-12 in the second to take a 27-23 halftime lead. In the second half, the Lady Dutch defense held Michigan Center to single digit quarters as and scored in double digits themselves to come away with the 56-41 lead.

Lady Dutch head coach Corey Fether attributed the win to doing the things they got away from during their back to back losses. 

“Our energy level,” said Fether on the Michigan Center game. “We played with a lot more confidence, we were hitting shots, attacking the basket, and getting to the free throw line.”

Lady Dutch senior guard Avery Collins had 21 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals against Michigan Center. Lady Dutch senior guard Mackenzie Pietrzyk had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, Lady Dutch senior forward Jayden Humphrey had 5 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, and Lady Dutch junior forward Megan Mann 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists

After a physical contest against Michigan Center, Fether said the team had no legs against Adrian Madison, resulting in a slower paced game. In addition to games on consecutive nights, Fether credited an effective zone defense from Adrian Madison. 

In the fourth quarter, the Lady Dutch won the game outscoring Adrian Madison 11-3 on the way to the 30-26 win. 

“We backed it up to a 3-2 zone to rest and they stood at the top for three and a half minutes and dribbled,” said Fether. “I said ‘thank you coach, and we’ll take our rest.’ Turned it on with two and a half minutes left and beat them.”

On Feb. 28 the Lady Dutch capped off the week with a win on senior night against the Pirates. They jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the first quarter and led 20-11 after the first. 

The second quarter was the decisive quarter, as different zone looks from the Lady Dutch defense resulted in a 13-2 run to open up a 33-13 lead. After the quarter ended the Lady Dutch had a 21-point 37-16 halftime lead. 

A 7-0 run to start the second half put the game out of reach as they outscored the Pirates 19-7 in the second half for the 71-28 win. 

Every player on the roster scored as they were led by Collins with 18, Humphrey with 13, Bargardi with 10, and Pietrzyk and Mann with 8 each. Humphrey added 7 steals, 5 assists and 5 rebounds while Collins added six steals. 

Lady Dutch junior guard Taryn Fether had 5 points, junior forward Mary Bradshaw had a point, freshman forward Mia Steele had 4 points, and senior forward Gillian Bross and junior forward Delaney Bross had two each.

Before the game the seniors were honored for their contributions to the program. 

“They’ve been huge,” said Fether on the impact of the senior class. “A lot of classes, class sizes ahead of them didn’t have numbers. This class sustained the program for us even at the JV level coming through.” 

With the much-needed confidence boosting wins and Districts right around the corner, with their first game on Mar. 4 at Napoleon against East Jackson, Fether was happy with his team’s performance.

“Hopefully, we’re peaking at the right time,” Fether said with a smile. 

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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