Dunkfest highlights Dowagiac win over ColomaPublished 8:40am Saturday, January 26, 2013
The Dowagiac Chieftains split a Friday night high school basketball doubleheader with visiting Coloma.
Coach Danum Hunt’s boys team turned up its defensive intensity during the third quarter en route to a 70-51 victory, while coach Floyd Foston’s girls squad remained winless on the season in a 41-29 setback at the hands of the Lady Comets.
Ranked No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press Class B poll, the Chieftains parlayed stifling defensive pressure in the third quarter into high-octane offense to separate themselves from the Comets.
Coloma battled Dowagiac (10-1) to a near standoff during the first half, trailing 32-31 at the intermission.
After committing nine turnovers through the first 16 minutes of the contest, Dowagiac did not turn the ball over once during the third quarter. Defensively, the Chieftains forced Coloma into nine third-quarter miscues and limited the Comets to just six points. Dowagiac scored half of its 20 points in the third quarter following a Coloma turnover.
“At halftime, we went in and started talking about turning it up on defense,” Hunt said. “All the guys committed to it and we were able to get it done. We try now to focus on playing harder on defense in the second half than we do in the first. The last few games we’ve had success turning up the heat.”
Senior Dontel Highsmith put on an aerial clinic with six thunderous slam dunks en route to a game-high 30 points. Junior Davion Highsmith added three dunks and 11 points, and senior D.J. Hunt also added 11 points that included a pair of 3-point baskets.
“We like to play the up-tempo game, get out, run the floor and get the easy buckets. We work on that every day. When you work on those things and you work hard at them you are able to do it during game-time. We like to give the fans something to yell and cheer about and make the game exciting. (The Highsmith brothers) were able to give them something extra tonight.”
Dowagiac shot 45 percent from the field (27 of 60), finished with just 11 turnovers and tallied 33 points following Coloma mistakes.
The Comets got 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds from sophomore Jason Walter, while junior Johnny Cole and sophomore Auston Rushing added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Dowagiac jumped out to a quick 11-2 lead, but the Chieftains had no answer in the second quarter for Coloma sophomore Jenna Faultersack.
Faultersack knifed through the Dowagiac defense and scored nine of her game-high 19 points during the pivotal quarter that started the Comets on an 18-2 scoring run that extended into the third frame.
The two teams traded the lead three times during the waning stages of the first quarter, with a basket from close range by junior Crieona Rogers staking Dowagiac to its final lead at 17-16.
Coloma scored the first 11 points of the third quarter and the Chieftains missed six shots and committed seven of their 23 turnovers during the first 6:26 of the stanza.
“We are a work in progress,” Foston said. “We are building from the ground up and we have to learn how to win. The game is played over four quarters. We played well the first two, the second two we didn’t. We have to put 32 minutes together and see if we can’t get a win.”
Rogers scored a team-high 13 points for Dowagiac, while sophomore Ciera Smith dominated the glass and collected a game-high 12 rebounds.
Dowagiac shot 36.8 percent from the field (14 of 38) and outrebounded Coloma by a 29-20 margin.
The Comets shot 40 percent afield (18 of 45) and committed just 13 turnovers.
Andrew Steinhoff 1, Matt Greco 2, Austin Rushing 10, Johnny Cole 12, Jason Walter 14, Tyler Fischer 8, Nate Caldwell 4. TOTALS: 20 9-13 51
Dontel Highsmith 30, Kyle Solloway 7, Joey Pasternak 7, D.J. Hunt 11, Tyler Clark 4, Davion Highsmith 11, Bryce Dodd 0, Todd McIntyre 0, Zachary Williams 0, Trace Hatcher 0. TOTALS: 27 12-17 70
Coloma 18 31 37 51
Dowagiac 21 32 52 70
3-point field goals: Coloma 2 (Rushing, Cole), Dowagiac 4 (Do. Highsmith, Pasternak, Hunt 2). Team fouls (fouled out): Coloma16 (Caldwell), Dowagiac 14 (None). Technical fouls: Clark (Dowagiac). Varsity record: Dowagiac 10-1
Lexee Summers 5, Ray Hart-Wilson 4, Emily Najacht 7, Jenna Faultersack 19, Michelle Graffenius 2, Katie Scheuer 4. TOTALS: 18 4-7 41
Crieona Rogers 13, Kristyn Turner 2, Jessica Herthoge 2, Rayven Brown 4, Ciera Smith 6, Brianna McCuddy 0, Amanda Craft 2, Jenesis Green 0, Kyle Williams 0, Alex Carey 0. TOTALS: 14 1-3 29
Coloma 2 18 31 41
Dowagiac 9 17 23 29
3-point field goals: Coloma 1 (Summers). Team fouls (fouled out): Coloma 6 (None), Dowagiac 10 (None). Technical fouls: None