Second half slump continues for DowagiacPublished 11:13pm Thursday, February 21, 2013
Thursday night’s 48-35 Wolverine Conference crossover loss at the hands of visiting Comstock was a microcosm of a forgettable season for the Dowagiac girls basketball team.
The young Chieftains competed early, but withered during the second half due to missed shots and costly turnovers.
But despite his team’s 20th straight loss, first-year Dowagiac head coach Floyd Foston saw positives in his team’s overall performance.
“Our mistakes hurt us; they’ve plagued us all year,” Foston said. “That’s been our M.O. for the year, but my hat’s off to these girls.
“They battled, they played hard and gave an effort. As a coach, that’s all I can ask. I told them to go out and compete, and they did that.”
The Chieftains jump-started their offense in the first quarter on the strength of 3-pointers by seniors Jessica Herthoge and Kristyn Turner, while the Dowagiac defense aggressively held Comstock in-check by forcing 11 missed shots in 14 total attempts.
Comstock reeled off a 14-2 scoring spurt to open the second quarter, but the Chieftains pulled to within five points, 21-16, by halftime thanks to a long triple by senior Kylee Williams.
Through two quarters, the Chieftains turned the ball over just 11 times and grabbed 20 rebounds to stay within striking distance of the Lady Colts.
And then the roof caved in.
A 3-point basket by junior Crieona Rodgers tied the game at 21-21 just over one minute into the third quarter, but the Chieftains misfired on their next six shots and watched Comstock regain command with a run of six straight points.
Dowagiac cut the lead to four points on two occasions, but trailed 38-30 heading into the final eight minutes.
The Chieftains turned the ball over five times and missed three straight shots prior to the midway point of the fourth quarter, while another 6-0 scoring run by the Lady Colts effectively sealed Dowagiac’s fate.
Still, Foston was generally pleased with his team’s effort.
“We’ve been in some ballgames for the first half, but we come out flat in that second half and we just kind of hit that wall,” Foston said. “We haven’t been as intense, or shown as much enthusiasm in the second half. It’s been a struggle for us to put four quarters together, but they did that tonight.
“It was one of our best nights, tonight. Senior Night always helps to provide motivation. They played hard and they played like they wanted to win tonight. I can live with that.”
Sophomore Ciera Smith led Dowagiac with a team-high eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Herthoge, Turner and sophomore Rayven Brown each chipped in with seven points. Dowagiac shot 25 percent from the field (12-of-48) and finished with 26 turnovers.
In addition to Turner, Herthoge and Williams, senior Alex Carey also played her final high school home game.
Freshman Katie Leaders led all scorers with 15 points for Comstock. Senior Amanda Clapper added 10 points, and the Lady Colts shot 35 percent afield (21 of 60).
Katie Leaders 15, Morgan Baker 3, Morgan Day 6, Amanda Clapper 10, Mistie McMakin 0, Ari Stewart 8, Danissa Woods 6, Panthararee Witchotribhop 0. TOTALS: 21 4-11 48
Crieona Rogers 3, Kristyn Turner 7, Jessica Herthoge 7, Rayven Brown 7, Ciera Smith 8, Brianna McCuddy 0, Amanda Craft 0, Jenesis Green 0, Kylee Williams 3, Alex Carey 0, Angel Parker 0. TOTALS: 12 6-11 35
Comstock 7 21 38 48
Dowagiac 11 16 30 35
3-point goals: Comstock 2 (Stewart 2), Dowagiac 5 (Turner, Herthoge, Rodgers, Williams, Brown). Team fouls (fouled out): Comstock 14 (Day), Dowagiac 13 (None). Technical fouls: None. Rebounds: Comstock 41, Dowagiac 41. Turnovers: Comstock 19, Dowagiac 26. Dowagiac record: 0-20