Chieftains knock off division leader
DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac boys basketball team put itself back into the hunt for the Wolverine Conference South Division title by knocking off leading Sturgis 56-47 Friday night.
The Chieftains are now 3-2 in the South Division, while the Trojans suffered their first loss in division play and are 3-1.
Dowagiac still has key division games upcoming at Edwardsburg Friday night, at Vicksburg Feb. 8 and at home against Three Rivers Feb. 15.
“We have to run the table from here if we going to have a shot at playing for the conference championship,” said Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt. “We cannot make any mistakes. There is no room for error.”
Edwardsburg also stands at 3-1 after its 48-39 win over Three Rivers. Dowagiac is a game behind the Trojans and Eddies and a game ahead of Vicksburg (1-3) and two games up on Three Rivers (1-4).
The Chieftains (6-7) got off to a fast start, but then struggled in the third quarter.
Dowagiac led 13-7 after one and 30-22 at halftime only to have Sturgis rally to cut the lead to 42-39 heading into the final quarter.
The Chieftains regrouped and were able to hang on for the victory.
“The first half we played well,” Hunt said. “We were really solid. We kind of fell into a little bit of a lull there in the third quarter and they came back and took the lead, but we got it back together. We started pressuring the ball and came away with the ‘W.’”
D.J. Lanier returned to the line-up after missing a couple of games and scored a game-high 21 points. Dowagiac also got 11 points from Dashawn Brooks, 10 points from Shaquan Stanback and eight points from Trae Brookins.
The Chieftain girls basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 36-33 decision to visiting Sturgis Friday night.
Allie Conner scored nine points for the Chieftains, who also got eight points each from Kellyn Daly and Amiyah Smith.
Brooke Bodi had a game-high 13 points to lead Sturgis.
Dowagiac plays host to Paw Paw tonight in a makeup game.