Chieftain comeback falls shortPublished 1:24am Monday, December 19, 2011
The Dowagiac girls’ basketball team flirted with its first win of the season Friday night only to fall to Michigan Lutheran 40-36.
The Chieftains (0-4) took a 33-32 lead on the Titans with 5:31 remaining in the contest.
Michigan Lutheran (4-1) would outscore Dowagiac 6-0 over the next minute and a half to reclaim the lead 36-33.
The Chieftains rallied one more time, tying the score at 36-36 on Kelsie Primley’s only point of the night as she connected on the second of two free throws with 20.7 seconds left in the contest.
The Titans scored the final four points of the game, including two free throws with 6.1 seconds left by Liz Witkowski to hold off Dowagiac.
The game was close most of the way with the Titans leading much of it.
After grabbing an 11-7 advantage following one quarter, Michigan Lutheran would increase that advantage to 23-15 by halftime.
Dowagiac, which scored nearly as many points in the third quarter as it did in the entire first half (15-13), began to mount a comeback.
Correshia Rodgers, despite being injured in the first half, led the way with eight of the Chieftains’ 13 points. But it was Regina Kennedy’s bucket with 50 seconds left in the period that pulled Dowagiac to within a score, 30-28.
The Titans got the first points of the fourth quarter, but Dowagiac kept the pressure on. Kristyn Turner’s free throw cut the lead to 32-31 in the early moments of the final quarter and then Rodgers gave Dowagiac the lead back for the first time since it was 7-4 in the opening period.
Free throws and rebounding were a problem for the Chieftains in the contest.
Dowagiac was handled on the boards by the taller Titans, while they only were 6-of-10 from the charity stripe compared to 10-of-14 for Michigan Lutheran.
“Rebounding, we missed some easy lay-ups and a couple of defensive lapses,” Dowagiac coach Emily McLoughlin about the loss. “Defensively we played okay, but we had a couple of lapses. We have been stressing all year boxing out, boxing out because look at our height. We have been doing well, but tonight we gave them more than one opportunity several times. Too many times we gave them more than one opportunity.”
Rodgers led all scorers as the Chieftain point guard netted 14 points. Kylie Williams added six and Turner five.
Janna Green was the lone Titan in double figures as she scored a team-high 11 points.
Dowagiac returns to action Tuesday night as it travels to Coloma for another non-conference contest.
MICHIGAN LUTHERAN 40
Hailey Maas 6, Kaitlin Weber 6, Jenna Green 11, Cassie Frank 3, Elizabeth Witkowski 4, Bekah Bartz 2, Olivia Gallagher 2, Colette McCalvin 2, Rachael Amor 4. TOTALS: 20 4-10 40
Correshia Rodgers 14, Kristyn Turner 5, Kelsie Primley 1, Jessica Herthoge 2, Kylie Williams 6, Carly Polomcak 4, Regina Kennedy 4. TOTALS: 16 6-10 36
Michigan Lutheran 11 23 30 40
Dowagiac 7 15 28 36
3-point baskets: Dowagiac 2 (Williams), Michigan Lutheran 4 (Maas 2, Green, Frank). Total fouls (fouled out): Michigan Lutheran 14 (none), Dowagiac 13 (Rodgers). Varsity records: Michigan Lutheran 4-1, Dowagiac 0-4