Lakeshore edged Dowagiac for district title

Published 8:19 am Monday, March 14, 2016

Dowagiac senior Leroy Lewis drives to the basket against Lakeshore in the Class B district championship game Friday night. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Dowagiac senior Leroy Lewis drives to the basket against Lakeshore in the Class B district championship game Friday night. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

BUCHANAN — Friday night’s Class B district championship game between rivals Dowagiac and Lakeshore was not for the faint of heart.

The Chieftains and Lancers battled down to the final buzzer with Lakeshore coming away with a 50-49 victory.

In a game that was close throughout, the final minute of the title game was as dramatic as one could ask for.

Dowagiac took a 49-48 lead with 18.6 seconds remaining on a pair of DeYonte Sullivan free throws.

Following a Lancer time out, Lakeshore went inside to 6-11 center Braden Burke, who delivered with a basket with 7.0 left to give the Lancers’ the one-point lead.

Following Dowagiac’s time out, the Chieftains pushed the ball up the floor and got it to their center, Keoante Blackamore, who went reverse against Burke as time expired.

Blackamore’s shot did not fall and Lakeshore escaped with the trophy and the right to play in the Battle Creek Harper Creek regional against Marshall tonight.

“My guys are resilient,” Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt said. “They always find a way, especially when you’ve got a group of seniors out there. They were fighting, they were scrappy, they were determined to stay in it and give themselves an opportunity to win the game.

“We had a final shot, we had an opportunity, it just didn’t go down. “Burke did what he did. We expected his impact, but we had the final shot and it just didn’t go down. Sometimes, the ball just doesn’t bounce your way.”

The Chieftains got off to a quick start against the Lancers, outscoring them 20-12, which included a 9-0 run.

Lakeshore (16-7) made a run of its own in the closing minutes of the first half to cut the Dowagiac advantage to 24-23 at the break.

The Lancers were able to control much of the third quarter behind the play of Burke and led 36-32 heading into the final eight minutes.

The Chieftains (18-4) were not about to go away.

Dowagiac finally caught the Lancers as Blackamore tied the game at 42-42 with a mid-range jumper.

Lakeshore would retake the lead, 48-45, before Sullivan hit four straight free throws to give the Chieftains their final lead.

Dowagiac was forced to play the final two-plus minutes without leading scorer Brandon Winchester-Jones, who fouled out.

Harry Reed led the Chieftains with 14 points, while Winchester-Jones finished with 13. Blackamore, who scored 22 in the semifinals, was held to just six points.

Burke led all scorers with 20 points, Colin Brushwyler scored 10 points off the bench.



At Buchanan


Harry Reed 14, DeYonte Sullivan 6, Brandon Winchester-Jones 13, Leroy Lewis 6, Keoante Blackamore 6, Adrien Bucha-Moore 4. Totals: 18 6-8 49.


Logan Steffes 8, Gibson Archer 3, Shane Clapp 3, Jake Bushu 2, Max Gaishin 4, Colin Brushwyler 10, Braden Burke 20. Totals: 19 8-13 50.


Dowagiac        15       24       32       49

Lakeshore      12       23       36       50

3-point baskets: Dowagiac 7 (Reed 3, Winchester-Jones 3, Lewis), Lakeshore 4 (Steffes 2, Archer, Clapp). Total fouls (fouled out): Dowagiac 14 (Winchester-Jones), Lakeshore 11 (none). Varsity records: Dowagiac 18-4, Lakeshore 16-7.