Dowagiac advances to Class B regional finals

COLOMA — It was as close to a perfect defensive game as any team can get.

Never allowing its opponent on the free throw line, Dowagiac moved into the Class B Regional finals with a 63-47 win over Wayland Monday night in Coloma.

Dowagiac ended with nine team fouls, but they never occurred on a shot and never put the Bobcats in a 1-and-1 position.

That is a very rare statistic in basketball. To date, it’s never happened in the NBA, and since the inception of the game in 1891, the NCAA only has a handful of games that document a no free-throw game, according to a CBS Sports article from 2017.

It’s safe to say it is probably something Chieftain coach Danum Hunt may never see again.

“We came after them defensively, even after a slow and sluggish start on defense,” he said. “We made a few adjustments for the second half, but overall our defense was there and it was phenomenal.”

Part of Dowagiac’s plan, according to Hunt, was to play up-tempo and make it harder for Wayland’s “bigs” to stay in the game.

By “bigs,” Hunt refers to the Bobcat tower players of Carter Nyp, who stands at 6-foot-9, Cory Ainstworth at 6-foot-8 and George Yanakiev at 6-foot-5. All three dominant forces for Wayland were shut down by the Chieftain defense.

The first quarter ended in favor of Wayland, 12-9, but the Chieftains walked into halftime with a 28-26 lead and never let the Bobcats take control again. After the third, Dowagiac led 42-35.

Nyp’s ankle injury early in the first quarter kept him out of the game for most of the first half, which worked in favor of Dowagiac.

“We knew he (Nyp) was one of the bigs to go after and we prepared our guys for him, but he’s still taller than our guys and is a great all-around player,” Hunt said. “Him not being present helped us because he’s a guy who can play all over the court.”

Nyp ended with the game-high 21 points.

For Dowagiac, Jamin Hunt had 20 points, including four threes and seven assists. Caleb Murphy had 15 and D.J. Lanier ended with 11. J.J. Smith added an impressive 22 turnovers for the Chiefs.

Dowagiac will face Benton Harbor at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Coloma for the regional title game. The Tigers beat Unity Christian 67-52 Monday night to advance.

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Cass counties report one new COVID-19 death each

Cass County

Overdose fatality linked to ‘purple heroin’ in Van Buren County

Buchanan

Three new projects on the horizon for Buchanan

Business

New yoga studio opens in downtown Niles

Dowagiac

Dowagiac clerk shares answers to voter FAQs

Buchanan

Expansion underway at Niles-Buchanan YMCA location

Berrien County

Third annual writers conference goes virtual Saturday

News

Fire contained at former National Standard building

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports three new COVID-19 deaths

Dowagiac

Patrick Hamilton Elementary School closes for three days due to COVID-19

Dowagiac

Don, Joan Lyons donate $28,000 to Dowagiac Union Schools

Buchanan

Registration open for YMCA’s 39th annual Thanksgiving Day Run

Dowagiac

Dowagiac schools receive positive audit

News

Niles Township passes sewage increase

Business

Four Flags Antique Mall acquires new owners

Dowagiac

14th annual Sandhill Crane All Trail Race draws record numbers

Cass County

Woman in stable condition following Sunday shooting

Cass County

Suspect pleads guilty in Dowagiac murder case

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: COVID-19 cases continue to rise in southwest Michigan

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD Parents as Teachers program receives national recognition

Dowagiac

Sister Lakes Brewing Company hosts Dewey Lake Monster conference

Giving

Chili cook-off benefited displaced veterans through chow, competition and charity

Cass County

Cass County seeks volunteers for boards, committees

Berrien County

Operation Safe Stop runs this week