Chieftains fall to Colts

Published 10:35 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2008

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Dowagiac Daily News
It's been a frustrating start to the 2008-09 season for the Dowagiac varsity basketball team.
The frustration continued Monday night as the Chieftains dropped 72-65 Wolverine Conference contest to visiting Comstock, their third straight loss.
Dowagiac (0-3, 0-2 Wolverine) were in the game from beginning to end, although just like it did on Friday night in South Haven, the Chieftains fell behind by double digits in the second half only to rally.
Comstock led 15-14 after one period of play and opened up a 42-36 advantage at halftime despite trailing Dowagiac 32-26 with 3:52 remaining in the opening half.
The Colts outscored Dowagiac 16-4 over the final three and a half minutes to take control of the contest.
Comstock came out and opened up a 10-point lead in the first minute and a half of the third quarter and stretched its to 61-46 in the closing seconds of the period.
Dowagiac connected on a basket with no time remaining on the clock to trail by 13 points heading into the fourth quarter.
The Chieftains were able to shave the lead down to 10 points early in the final stanza, but could not overtake the Colts, who continually broke through the Dowagiac defense for easy buckets.
The Chieftains got the lead down to six points on a free throw by Jalen Nickens with 48.3 remaining on the clock and had a shot at cutting it to four points when Brandon Douglas snared the missed second free throw attempt, but the put-back failed.
Comstock came up with the ball and the Chieftains were forced to foul Tre'Bian Garrett, who sank one of two free throws to push the lead up to seven points where it stayed for the final 45 seconds.
Dowagiac coach Greg Blomgren said that because of his team's struggle on offense in the first two games, he tried a different approach Monday night.
"We were willing to gamble tonight to try and gain some offensive rhythm and get some open looks tonight and we did that," he said. "But on the flip side of it, we gave up too many on the defensive end. So I told the kids that there has to be a happy medium.
"Right now 32 minutes of press is not successful, we have proven that now twice, once against Lakeshore and again tonight. We got the offense going a little bit, but we still came up seven points short. We were able to get the offense going, but in the end we gave up too much on defense. There has got to be a middle ground and that's what we have to work on the next two days before Three Rivers," he added.
Romero Reed found his shooting stroke Monday night after struggling the first two games of the season. Reed finished with a game-high 17 points to lead the Chieftains.
Dowagiac also got 14 points from Shaun Bruens and 11 points from Nickens. Mike Filley and Damone Huff scored seven and six points respectively for the Chieftains.
Comstock placed four players in double figures, led by Ryan Vrooman and Curtis Murray, both of whom netted 14 points.
Garrett and Kameron Kampen added 12 and 11 points for the Colts.
Dowagiac will entertain Three Rivers on Thursday night in another Wolverine Conference contest. Tip-off is slated for 7:15 p.m.
Ryan Vrooman 4 5-5 14; Savon Dobbins 3 0-0 6; Tre'Bian Garrett 2 7-9 12; Kameron Kampen 4 0-1 11; Ryan Militzer 0 0-0 0; Curtis Murray 5 4-6 14; Broc Buiwitt 2 0-0 4; Eric Neiderhoed 1 0-0 2; Allie Buchanan 3 3-3 9. TOTALS: 24 19-24 72
Jalen Nickens 4 1-2 11; Troy Butcher 1 2-4 4; Romero Reed 7 1-2 17; Shaun Bruens 5 2-2 14; Mike Filley 2 2-2 7; Greg Nelson 2 0-2 4; Damone Huff 3 0-0 6; Brandon Douglas 0 2-4 2. TOTALS: 24 10-18 65
Comstock 15 42 61 72
Dowagiac 14 36 48 65
3-point goals: Comstock 5 (Vrooman, Garrett, Kampen 3), Dowagiac 7 (Nickens 2, Reed 2, Bruens 2, Filley). Total fouls (fouled out): Comstock 18, Dowagiac 19. Varsity record: Dowagiac 0-3, 0-2 Wolverine