No let down as Chieftains bury PlainwellPublished 11:22pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt was a bit concerned about how his team would play against visiting Plainwell Tuesday night.
After all, the No. 4-ranked Chieftains were coming off a huge emotional win over Edwardsburg Friday night and according to Hunt, his team has a track record of coming out flat after a big game.
There was no need for concern as the Chieftains rolled off the first 12 points of the contest and went on to beat the Trojans 72-27 in a Wolverine Conference non-divisional contest.
A Dontel Highsmith basket and a D.J. Hunt 3-point quickly gave Dowagiac a five point lead less than two minutes into the contest. A steal and a dunk by Highsmith and four more points from Hunt before suffering what his father Danum Hunt called a high ankle sprain, and the Chieftains were off and running.
Dowagiac (8-1) poured in 19 opening quarter points while it continued to play much improved defense, holding the Trojans to just a bucket by Carter Yaw with 2:55 showing on the first quarter clock.
Things didn’t get any better for Plainwell (3-6) in the second quarter as the Chieftains continued to score at will and to play the same type of defense that helped them rally for a win over Edwardsburg in its previous contest.
Just as it did against the Eddies, Dowagiac came roaring out of the locker room at halftime and pumped in 24 points to push the lead past 40 points and start a running clock that would last the remainder of the game.
Davion Highsmith, who finished with five assists, and his brother Dontel Highsmith, who had six assists and six rebounds, combined for 14 of Dowagiac’s 24 points.
“Davion was huge tonight,” Danum Hunt said. “In fact, he was overdue. We’ve talked about him stepping up on the defensive end as well as the offensive end.
“He’s been struggling some with his shot, so I told him, hey, just go to the basket a little more. He finished tonight. One high-rising dunk looked good, but he was finishing tonight and I think that is going to help his confidence going into the next few games.”
Dontel Highsmith finished with 23 points to lead all scorers. Davion Highsmith added 15 and Joey Pasternak came off the bench and scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds.
Grant Pell, Yaw and E.J. Finch all had five points for Plainwell.
“Our two big men, Tyler White (ankle) and J.D. Nord (illness) were out and then we lost our point guard early,” said former Cassopolis girls coach Larry Ash, who filled in for head coach Dan Klein, who is having surgery in Chicago today. “We rely on them two guys tremendously. And Tyler is averaging like 18, 19 points per game. So it hurt.
“But take nothing away from Dowagiac, they are good.”
Grant Pell 5; Riley Milar 3; Jason McCauslin 1; Carter Yaw 4; Bert Murgitroyd 5; Cody Howigron 2; A.J. Davis 2; E.J. Finch 5; Aaron Ringo 0; Damien Bowser 0. TOTALS: 10 4-7 27
Dontel Highsmith 23; Davion Highsmith 16; Trace Hatcher 2; Bryce Dodd 5; Kyle Solloway 8; Joey Pasternak 9; Zach Williams 0; Todd McIntyre 0; D.J. Hunt 7; Tyler Clark 2. TOTALS: 31 4-9 72
Plainwell 2 10 20 27
Dowagiac 19 39 63 72
3-point goals: Plainwell 3 (Pell, Milar, Murgitroyd), Dowagiac 6 (Do. Highsmith 2, Da. Highsmith 1, Dodd, Pasternak, Hunt). Total fouls (fouled out): Plainwell 10 (none), Dowagiac 11 (none). Varsity records: Plainwell 3-6, Dowagiac 8-1. JV score: Dowagiac 63 (Brandon Winchester-Jones 22, Keonte Blackamore 22), Plainwell 39