Dowagiac thrashes Three Rivers, 84-49

Published 6:38 pm Sunday, February 13, 2011

Decisive basketball games were held Friday at Dowagiac as the boys won with a wild Wolverine Conference 84-49 conquest of the Wildcats of Three Rivers, but the local lady hoopsters were clawed by the fifth-ranked team in Class B with a 57-19 outcome.

Dowagiac (9-5, 9-3) had only six points at the 5:30 opening stanza start when junior Theron Kiser scored the first points on a layup for Three Rivers, which started the barrage of Chieftain points within five seconds when senior Christopher Craft found the range from behind the arc for a 9-2 advantage.

The play of the first quarter occurred when senior Darius Wilson tried to alley-oop sophomore Dontel Highsmith at the 3:20 mark, but the instincts of the star underclassman put the pass back to Wilson for a basket and free throw, which grew the lead to 15-6.

A two-touchdown 21-7 lead after the first eight minutes was trimmed to 31-23 when junior Dekion Holmes sank a jumper for Three Rivers with just over a minute left before halftime, but the double digit cushion stayed throughout ten seconds later on a basket by Highsmith.

At halftime, Dowagiac led 37-25 with Wilson leading the way by scoring 13 points on 4-5 shooting from the field and making all five charity line attempts, as Kiser matched Highsmith’s seven markers.

“We are focusing on getting the ball down in the post where the big guys can make some makeable baskets,” noted Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt. “We shoot a lot in practice and it is starting to come together.”

Craft converted a four-point play midway through the third quarter when he was fouled intentionally on a crafty layup to widen the score to 50-29, before classmate Tremail Butcher put together six points on a pair of baskets and free throws within a minute to give the Chiefs a commanding 56-31 advantage.

Wilson finished the third quarter on a pair of successful alley-oops in the final 30 seconds from Highsmith to give Dowagiac a 65-34 lead with eight minutes to play as he scored another baker’s dozen, with a trio of points coming on his first made shot beyond the stripe this year.

“We played some good defense to spark the offense, plus I like blocking shots the best,” said Wilson. “My first 3 of the year, but I can make them and have been working hard on my free throws in practice.”

The reserves played the entire fourth quarter and also distinguished themselves by outscoring the Wildcats by four points as all 11 players scored, but the crowd showed their appreciation for junior Eric Charles when a dunk attempt hit all sides of the rim without going through the net.

“I am proud of how the guys are working hard and the reserves played very well, because they will be key down the stretch when we need them,” explained Hunt. “We have a big game on Tuesday at home against Otsego, which solidify our second place in the conference with a win.”

Playing only three quarters, Wilson managed to score 26 points while grabbing eight rebounds with Butcher scoring a dozen in his limited time of play. Kiser finished with 13 points for Three Rivers.

“We have the chemistry on this team to go as far as we can and I guarantee we will win the district this year,” concluded Wilson.

Theron Kiser 6 1-2 13; Jack McIntee 33-4 9; Matt Jacobs 2 3-4 7; Colin Muehlberger 2 0-0 4; Dekion Holmes 1 2-2 4; Sam Shutes 1 2-3 4; CJ Shelton 1 0-0 3; Ghalen Allen 1 1-2 3; Quae Furlow 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 1812-17 49
Darius Wilson 10 5-5 26; Tremail Butcher 5 2-212; Christopher Craft 3 2-2 9; Dontel Highsmith 3 3-4 9; D.J. Hunt 1 4-4 6; Troy Butcher 2 1-4 5; Eric Charles 2 0-2 4; Craig Zebel 1 1-2 4; Brandon Murray 2 0-0 4; Brian Delong 1 0-0 3; Jason Turner 1 0-1 2. TOTALS: 31 18-26 84

Three Rivers 7 25 32 49
Dowagiac 21 37 65 84
3-point baskets: Three Rivers 1 (Shelton), Dowagiac 4 (Craft, Wilson, Delong, Zebel). Total fouls: Three Rivers 18, Dowagiac 12. Rebounding:Three Rivers 24 (Jacobs 6), Dowagiac 18 (Wilson 8); Turnovers: Three Rivers 27, Dowagiac 15. Shooting: Three Rivers 18-41, 1-1 3-point; Dowagiac 31-55, 4-16 3-point. Varsity records: Three Rivers 3-12, 2-11 Wolverine; Dowagiac 9-5, 9-3 Wolverine