Dowagiac doubles up Allegan
Published 4:15 pm Sunday, January 30, 2011
Winning Wolverine Conference games Friday were both the boys and girls teams from Dowagiac as they hosted Allegan.
The Chieftain boys’ team was a 69-49 victor, while the girls had to go into overtime to overcome its opponent by a single digit 32-31 outcome.
The lid was still on the basket for Allegan in the first quarter of the nightcap as Dowagiac jumped, shot and blocked its way to a 17-5 advantage with sophomore Dontel Highsmith outscoring the entire visiting team by two points.
“We dug to big of a hole in the first quarter, which has been our problem this year,” said Allegan coach Travis Spaman “We play hard and compete, but continue to hurt ourselves with the same mistakes.”
Allegan (1-10, 1-9) senior Anton Jackson scored 10 of his team’s 15 points in the second stanza as the Tigers matched Dowagiac’s point total.
A total of 10 Chieftain (7-3, 7-2) shots were behind the arc with only Highsmith and senior Troy Butcher finding the bottom of the net as the hosts held a 32-20 intermission advantage.
“The guys are playing well, except for a few defensive letdowns and not good outside shooting,” remarked Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt, who matched last year’s win total with the seventh victory. “The second half we stressed going inside more, which opened up the outside shots, which is how we want to shoot them.”
Dowagiac senior Darius Wilson asserted himself and an alley-oop from Highsmith doubled the Dowagiac advantage to 40-20 after two minutes of the third quarter as each team traded points the rest of the game.
“That is a phenomenal combo (Wilson and Highsmith). Not too many have as a duo in high school like that and all their other kids can hurt you also,” stated Spaman. “Dowagiac has a very good team and we would have to play our best to beat them.”
An Allegan player that played his all-time best was Jackson with a career-high 27 points to lead all scorers as Steven Rasmussen connected on three 3-pointers for nine markers.
“Allegan goes hard and never stops with (Anton) Jackson making it happen for them,” explained Hunt, as he was already looking forward to the rematch next Friday at league-leading Gull Lake. “We are understanding how to play as a team, which is good as we practice to play the game inside-out to get more balance with our shot selection.”
Highsmith almost achieved a triple-double as he scored 19 points with nine assists and seven rebounds. Wilson scored a consistent six points in each half and was one rebound short of double figures, but matched his effort from a week earlier with five block shots.
Anton Jackson 9 6-7 27; Steven Rasmussen 3 0-0 9; Shaquille Hill 3 1-4 7; Spencer Vasquez 1 0-0 3; Trey Clifford 1 0-0 2; Julian Hornback 0 1-2 1; Tanner Boysen 0 0-3 0. TOTALS; 17 8-16 49
Dontel Highsmith 8 0-1 19; Darius Wilson 4 4-4 12; Troy Butcher 2 3-4 8; Tremail Butcher 3 0-1 7; Christopher Craft 2 1-4 6; Brendon Murray 1 2-2 5; D.J. Hunt 2 0-0 4; Jason Turner 1 0-0 3; Tyler Clark 1 0-0 3; Eric Charles 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 25 10-16 69
Allegan 5 20 33 49
Dowagiac 17 32 49 69
3-point baskets: Dowagiac 9 (Highsmith 3, Troy Butcher, Tremail Butcher, Craft, Murray, Turner, Clark), Allegan 7 (Jackson 3, Rasmussen 3, Vasquez). Total fouls: Dowagiac 20, Allegan 14. Fouled out: None. Varsity records: Allegan 1-10, 1-9 Wolverine; Dowagiac 7-3, 7-2 Wolverine
Scoring was precious in the opener as Allegan held a slim 12-11 advantage with Dowagiac junior Regina Kennedy (4 points) being the only player with more than one made basket from the field. Senior Haley Pegan did haul in seven missed shots to lead everybody in rebounding in the first half.
“Both our bigs (Pegan and Kennedy) played well with Kennedy playing more than what she is use to, because Haley fouled out and she continued to work hard,” noted Dowagiac coach Emily McLoughlin, who is now 4-7 overall and 4-6 in the conference in her initial season.
Allegan (2-11, 2-9) failed to convert on any of the 16 shots in the third quarter, but a 21-15 Dowagiac lead was erased in the fourth quarter.
“Our shooting percentage is higher than last year by quite a bit and this is by far our worse shooting game of the year,” stated Allegan coach Corby Callaway. “Our effort was there so we just need to finish with made baskets, but I am proud of the girls how they played great defense and had the shots we wanted.”
The Chieftains led 25-19 with 3:07 left on the scoreboard when Pegan committed her fifth foul.
The Tigers outscored Dowagiac 7-1 in the final three minutes and had a chance to win the game, but a buzzer-beating five-foot open shot hit the front rim, sending the game into overtime at 26 points apiece.
“We ran the play perfectly and executed it well, but it was the theme of the night with a missed shot,” commented Callaway. “A four-year player for us, Hope Thompson, was injured last week and two girls were sick all week so we hope to be full strength again pretty soon.”
Kennedy opened the scoring 16 seconds into the extra session and dominated both sides to grab errant shots, which keep Allegan from leading.
Junior Kelsie Primley sealed the victory with 8.6 seconds on a free throw for a 32-28 lead before the Tigers made a 3-pointer to close the scoring.
“It was entertaining and we did what we needed to get a win,” concluded a relieved McLoughlin.
Cori Steinman 3 7-10 13; Jasmine Wright 2 0-0 4; Christin Drozd 1 1-2 4; Kailey Kent 1 0-0 3; Kristin Pennock 0 2-2 2; Deidre Smith 0 2-2 2; Corrie Wolthuis 1 0-5 2; Blair Arthur 0 1-3 1; Melissa Jennings 0 0-1 0. TOTALS: 8 13-25 31
Regina Kennedy 3 2-7 8; Kelsie Primley 3 2-6 8; Kaisha Martin 1 3-6 5; Katie Lorenz 1 2-2 5; Haley Pegan 0 3-4 3; Carly Polomcak 1 1-2 3. TOTALS: 9 13-27 32.
Allegan 6 12 15 26 31
Dowagiac 9 11 21 26 32
3-point baskets: Dowagiac (Lorenz), Allegan 2 (Drozd, Kent). Total fouls: Dowagiac 21, Allegan 25. Fouled out: Pegan (D), Jennings (A), Wright (A), Pennock )A). Varsity records: Allegan 2-11, 2-9 Wolverine; Dowagiac 4-7, 4-6 Wolverine