Dowagiac puts up a fight in loss to Lady Trojans

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, January 20, 2009

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Dowagiac Daily News
It will go down as another loss in the record book, but for the Dowagiac varsity basketball team it just might be a victory.
Another strong Wolverine Conference girls' basketball team sent Dowagiac down to defeat on Monday night in a make up game, but the Chieftains didn't go down without a fight.
Once-beaten Plainwell left town with a 61-49 victory over Dowagiac and improved to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in conference play.
The Chieftains fell to 2-6 and 2-5 in the league, but played its strongest game of the season in terms of desire.
Dowagiac could have folded on several occasions against the high-powered Lady Trojans' offense.
But instead, the Chieftains came back time-after-time and perhaps showed themselves a thing or two along the way.
"We need to be this consistent with our play as far as wanting to win, wanting to play to win," Dowagiac coach Dick O'Day said. "I was very proud of the way the kids played tonight. I told the girls I would rather lose games like this and gain respect. The Plainwell coach was very complimentary of our girls."
After grabbing a 2-0 lead on a bucket by Torie Lowe just 20 seconds into the contest, Dowagiac found itself down 8-3 with just over three minutes remaining in the period.
The Chieftains outscored the Lady Trojans 7-3 over the final three minutes to cut the lead to 11-10 heading into the second quarter.
A free throw by Lowe 10 seconds into the second period knotted the contest at 11-11.
Plainwell went on an 8-0 run over the next 1:46 to make it a 19-12 contest before another Lowe free throw with 5:06 on the first half clock stopped the bleeding.
Dowagiac would cut the lead to five points on another basket by Lowe (19-14), but the Lady Trojans finished the half on a 17-7 run to take a 36-21 lead into the locker room at the half.
Anyone who thought the Chieftains were going to come out and lay down for Plainwell in the second half were wrong.
Dowagiac cut the lead to 44-34 on a bucket by Kayleigh Hutchings with 2:15 left in the period, but wound up down 48-36 heading into the fourth quarter.
Lowe and Kaisha Martin kept the Chieftains in the game throughout the final period.
Lowe netted nine points and Martin cut to the hoop for a pair of baskets.
Lowe's basket with 3:30 to play made it a nine-point contest (45-54), while Martin got the lead down to seven points with 2:56 to play.
Seven points would be as close as the Chieftains would get as Megan Harmon, Allison Hultquist and Grace Howrigon scored all 13 points for the Lady Trojans in the fourth.
Plainwell spread the floor in the final four minutes of the contest and let Howrigon drive the lane when she got the chance and dished off to either Hultquist underneath or Harmon on the wing.
Lowe finished with a game-high 26 points, while Martin finished with eight points and Tasia Diaz six.
Howrigon led the Lady Trojans with 24 points. Harmon finished with 13 points and Jennifer Lofts eight. Hultquist chipped in with six points.
The Chieftains were 17-of-55 from the field and turned the ball over 23 times against Plainwell's 2-2-1 press.
According to the Dowagiac statistics, the Lady Trojans were 22-of-68 from the floor and had nine miscues.
Allison Hultquist 3 0-2 6; Taylor Mann 0 0-0 0; Nicole Keith 0 2-4 2; Megan Harman 5 3-6 13; Ashley Hafer 2 2-3 7; Grace Howrigon 9 5-6 24; Kaitlyn Horton 0 1-2 1; Stephanie DeYoung 0 0-0 0; Jennifer Lofts 3 2-2 8. TOTALS: 22 15-25 61
Tasia Diaz 2 2-2 6; Katie Wood 0 0-0 0; Torie Lowe 8 9-11 26; Kaisha Martin 4 0-0 8; Andrea Bradshaw 0 2-4 2; Brittany Gnatz 0 0-0 0; Britnee Allerton 1 0-0 2; Kayleigh Hutchings 2 1-2 5; Cassie Stone 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 17 14-19 49
Plainwell 11 36 48 61
Dowagiac 10 21 36 49
3-point goals: Plainwell 2 (Hafer, Howrigon), Dowagiac 1 (Lowe). Total fouls (fouled out): Plainwell 15, Dowagiac 21. Varsity records: Plainwell 7-1, 5-1 Wolverine; Dowagiac 2-6, 2-5 Wolverine