Dowagiac fails to maintain lead in loss to Huskies

Published 4:34 am Wednesday, February 4, 2004

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Niles Daily Star
DOWAGIAC -- Andrew Holms hit three out of four free throws in the final 26.5 seconds Tuesday night to lift the visiting Portage Northern Huskies to a 56-53 victory over Dowagiac in a Big 16 Conference non-divisional contest.
Dowagiac trailed 53-49 with a minute to play when Jeff Cooper came up with a steal and scored with 50.3 showing in the clock to make it a 53-51 contest.
Holms was fouled and made the second of his two free throw opportunities to give the Huskies a three-point advantage.
After a Chieftain miss, Holms, who is ranked as one of the Top 50 juniors by the Detroit Free Press, was fouled again with seven seconds remaining.
This time Holms hit both free throws to extend Portage Northern's leading to 56-51.
Dowagiac did manage to score the final basket, but missed on several wide open looks in the final half minute which could have turned the tide.
Despite being close at the end, Dowagiac coach Greg Blomgren felt his squad lost the game in the first half.
Dowagiac was up eight points early in the second quarter before allowing Portage Northern to seize control of the contest. As a result the Chieftains were outscored 16-8 in the period and ended up trailing by four, 32-28.
Dowagiac did claw its way back into the contest in the third quarter and hung around in the fourth quarter, making one last run at the Huskies in the final minutes.
But according to Blomgren, Dowagiac still has a lot to learn about managing a game.
The Chieftains got off to a fast start thanks to senior Richie Burling who continued his hot shooting from Friday night. Burling hit three of his first four three-point attempts as he scored 12 of his 17 points in the opening quarter.
Dowagiac (5-8) led 20-16 after one period of play and then stretched that lead to eight points before Portage Northern took control.
Cooper led all scorers with 31 points. Burling added 17 and senior Davey Moran five. No other Dowagiac player scored.
Holms led Portage Northern (4-6) with 19 points, including seven in the fourth quarter.
Brad Hamlyn finished with nine points.
Portage Northern….56
Portage Northern: Zach Hurd 1 1-3 4; Brad Hamlyn 3 0-0 9; Brandon Jones 3 0-0 8; Andrew Holms 6 7-11 19; Chris Lewis 2 0-1 5; Matt Andrews 1 0-0 2; Riley Johnson 3 1-3 7; Ryan Franks 1 0-2 2. Totals: 20 9-20 56
Dowagiac: Jamere Bacon 0 0-0 0; Duane Davis 0 0-0 0; Davey Moran 1 2-4 5; Dustin Shaffer 0 0-1 0; Jeff Cooper 10 8-9 31; Richie Burling 6 1-1 17, Landon Reed 0 0-0 0; Chris Primley 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 11-15 53
Portage 16 16 7 17--56
Dowagiac 20 8 12 13--53
Three-point shooting: Portage Northern 7 (Hurd, Hamlyn 3, Jones 2, Lewis), Dowagiac 8 (Moran, Cooper 3, Burling 4). Team fouls (fouled out): Portage Northern 17 (Franks), Dowagiac 19 (Shaffer). Team records: Portage Northern 4-6, Dowagiac 5-8