Senior night brings out the best in all

Published 10:37 am Thursday, March 2, 2017

There is something special about senior night.

The thought of playing one last home game seems to elevate players year-after-year.

Tuesday night, Dowagiac honored its five seniors prior to the Chieftains’ make-up Wolverine Conference non-divisional boys basketball game against Otsego.

The Chieftains have five seniors on this year’s squad and all five started the game against the Bulldogs.

All had a hand in Dowagiac’s 73-54 win over Otsego, which lifted the Chieftains to 5-14 overall heading into tonight’s Wolverine Conference crossover with visiting Plainwell.

One player in particular rose above them all as Adrien Bucha-Moore poured in a game-high 30 points for the Chieftains.

Bucha-Moore used a combination of long-range 3-point shots, power moves and his trademark soft jumper to get Dowagiac off to a fast start and a big finish.

All senior nights are a bit melancholy for me.

I watch these kids grow into young adults and by their senior year you feel like you know them just a little bit.

Some you get to know more than others because you have interviewed them a few times and you get to talk to their parents and coaches, who have been gracious enough to let you into their world.

It has got to be worse for the coaches, who spend just about as much time with these athletes as their actual parents.

They help develop them into the best athlete they can be, but they also have a hand in helping mold them into the type of young adult that can go out and change the world.

Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt was beaming following Tuesday night’s game.

He not only was pleased with the great effort that his players put forth on the court, but he was excited to see his seniors go out on such a high note.

“The seniors had an awesome night tonight,” Hunt said. “I am proud of Adrien Bucha-Moore. He went out and played an awesome game in his senior exit.”

Hunt said that he has been telling Bucha-Moore that he is the leader of the Chieftains and if he goes out and gives a maximum effort his teammate will follow that lead.

“He went out and did that tonight,” Hunt said. “Once he got rolling everybody else got rolling. We were able to pull off a big win tonight.”

Bucha-Moore understands his role with this team and is more than happy to take that onto his shoulders.

“I knew I had to give it my all because it was my last home game,” he said. “In the locker room I told them this is senior night, so you have to go out and play hard. They look up to me as a leader, so when I get hot everybody else gets hot.”

Dowagiac will try to keep the momentum rolling against Plainwell tonight before setting its sights on Paw Paw in the opening round of the Class B district at Vicksburg Monday night.


Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at