Chieftains winners of six of their last eight games

EDWARDSBURG — Despite not having being able to practice or play most of the week, visiting Dowagiac shook off some early rust to pick up a 49-39 win over Edwardsburg in Wolverine Conference South Division play Friday night.

The win was key for many reasons for the Chieftains.

Most importantly, it moved them to 5-2 in the South Division and keeps them in at least a tie for first place with Sturgis (3-2) and Edwardsburg (3-2).

Shaquan Stanback

The win also kept the momentum building for a Dowagiac team that started the season 1-5. The Chieftains have now won six out of their last eight games, including back-to-back contests.

“We had a slow start due to the long layoff,” said veteran Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt. “We were able to slowly get it going in the second half.”

Edwardsburg grabbed a 12-4 first quarter lead, which it stretched to 23-13 by halftime.

The Chieftains outscored the Eddies 21-9 in the pivotal third quarter to take a 34-32 lead into the final eight minutes of play.

Dowagiac slowly increased its lead in the fourth to pull out the victory.

Shaquan Stanback and D.J. Lanier both had 12 points for the Chieftains, who also got nine points from Trae Brookins and eight from Dashawn Brooks.

Mac Gaideski led the Eddies with 12 points. Chase Sager finished with nine.

Despite the win, Hunt knows that his team has a lot of work to do with just five games remaining in the regular season.

The Chieftains would love to hold on and gain at least a share Hunt’s of the South Division championship, but preparing for the postseason is also on mind.

“We’ve got to shake off the rust and create and sustain momentum going into the home stretch,” he said. “We’ve yet to play to our full potential.”

Dowagiac slipped past Paw Paw 53-51 on Saturday afternoon for its third consecutive victory.

Complete results were unavailable at press time.

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