South Haven holds off late Dowagiac rally
It may have been a preview of the Wolverine Conference championship game to be played March 3.
For host Dowagiac, it was a chance to knock off the best team in the league.
Unfortunately for the Chieftains, a stretch of approximately 12 minutes in the second half doomed their chances to pull out a victory.
South Haven (13-1) made just enough plays down the stretch to hold on for a 66-61 win over Dowagiac (11-3).
The Chieftains trailed the Rams 58-43 with four minutes left to the contest.
Dowagiac went on a tear, outscoring South Haven 20-3 to cut the Rams’ lead to 63-61 with 6.1 seconds remaining.
The Chieftains deflected the inbounds pass from South Haven, but it ended up in the hands of Jerome Mahone, who not only scored, but was fouled on the play and made the ensuing free throw.
“We played a solid four minutes,” Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt said. “That may have been the best four minutes we’ve played this year. But before the game I told them it had to be 100 percent maximum effort 100 percent of the time for 32 minutes. If that didn’t happen, it was going to be ugly. They wanted it more than we did. They got all the loose balls and they kicked our butts on the rebounds.”
The two teams played a break-neck speed for much of the night, which resulted in a sloppy game at times as South Haven and Dowagiac combined for 34 turnovers.
It was the Rams’ rebounding that helped them defeat the Chieftains as they held a 51-26 advantage on the boards.
Dashaan Palmer scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to led South Haven, which also got 11 points from Armani May, who finished with a game-high 16 rebounds.
Dowagiac was led by Keoante Blackamore’s 17 points and 14 rebounds. Leroy Lewis added 13 points and Brandon Winchester-Jones 10 points.
SOUTH HAVEN 66, DOWAGIAC 61
SOUTH HAVEN 66
James Hedges 0, Dashaan Palmer 22, Armani May 11, Spencer Adams 10, Jerome Mahone 8, Chris Herrera 0, Joe Wilkins 12, Vincent Jeffries 2, Jevonte Langford 0, Darion Gist 1, Jesse Morrison 0. TOTALS: 27 11-14 66.
Jamin Hunt 4, DeYonte Sullivan 3, Keoante Blackamore 17, Harry Reed 4, Brandon Winchester-Jones 10, Leroy Lewis 13, Adrien Bucha-Moore 10, Mack Charles 0. TOTALS: 24 7-14 61.
South Haven 19 37 52 66
Dowagiac 23 35 40 61
3-point baskets: South Haven 1 (Mahone 1), Dowagiac 6 (Bucha-Moore 2, Lewis 1, Winchester-Jones 1, Reed 1, Hunt 1). Total fouls (fouled out): South Haven 12 (none), Dowagiac 12 (none). Field goal shooting: South Haven 27-of- 64 (42 percent), Dowagiac 24-of- 58 (41 percent). Rebounding: South Haven 51 (May 16, Palmer 13), Dowagiac 26 (Blackamore 14). Turnovers: South Haven 21, Dowagiac 13. Varsity records: South Haven 13-1, Dowagiac 11-3. JV score: Dowagiac 70, South Haven 56.