Chieftains fall, while Eddies, Bucks advance

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, February 27, 2019

DOWAGIAC — Unforced errors and poor shooting spelled doom for Dowagiac in its 69-66 loss to visiting Three Rivers in the Division 2 boys district basketball tournament opener for both teams Monday night.

The Chieftains (11-10) has just 10 turnovers, but them came at inopportune times against the Wildcats, who went into a second-half zone defense and forced Dowagiac to try and score from the perimeter.

Three Rivers was also able to dominate the rebounding, which left the Chieftains usually with just one shot each trip down the court.

“In the second half, we relied too much on our outside shooting against their zone,” said Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt. “And we didn’t do what we needed to do on the boards. We had too many one-and-dones.”

Edwardsburg’s Zach Strycker goes up for two against Vicksburg Monday night. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

The Chieftains were 25-of-52 from the field (48 percent) and were outrebounded by the Wildcats 33-22.

“At tournament time, you have to play flawlessly, and we had a lot of unforced errors,” Hunt said. “They came back to bite on the backside.”

Dowagiac was able to overcome a 14-point first-half deficit to tie the score at 35-35 as the two teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime.

Three Rivers led 26-14 after one quarter, but a 19-3 run by Dowagiac in the second quarter got the Chieftains back into the contest.

But in the second half, with the switch to the zone defense, the Chieftains were unable to penetrate against the Wildcats and settled for long-rang jump shots that were often off mark.

And with Three Rivers gobbling up every defensive rebound, Dowagiac was unable to create multiple offensive chances for itself.

Trae Brookins had another big night for Dowagiac as he finished with 22 points, including six 3-pointers. Brookins had 31 points and seven 3-pointers against South Haven in the previous game for the Chieftains.

Dowagiac also got 20 points from Shaquan Stanback, which included five 3-pointers.

Cailyn Murphy, who sustained an ankle injury in the regular season finale against South Haven, finished with 10 points.

Bryce Morlan tied Brookins for game-high honors with 22 points to lead the Wildcats, who also got 13 points from Parker Ellifritz.

Eddies vs. Bulldogs

Having already defeated Vicksburg twice during the regular season, Edwardsburg was looking to complete the sweep of the Bulldogs in the opening round of the Division 2 boys district tournament Monday night.

The Eddies (9-11) rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to defeat the Bulldogs (8-13) 46-44 to advance to tonight semifinal against Paw Paw.

Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.

Edwardsburg struggled to shoot the ball in the first half, going 4-of-19, which results in Vicksburg opening up a 23-15 halftime advantage.

In the second half, the shots began to fall for the Eddies, who erased the halftime deficit by outscoring Vicksburg 9-5 to take a 34-28 lead into the final eight minutes of play.

“Some shots finally went in,” said Edwardsburg coach Steve Wright about the difference in the second half. “I thought we played hard in the first half. We had some good looks that didn’t go in. We’re to the point now that we just have to make plays and make some shots. There’s more than we can do.”

Colby Sidenbender played a key role in the second-half comeback as he scored nine of his 10 points in the pivotal third quarter.

The Eddies hit just enough free throws down the stretch to hold off the Bulldogs.

“Sidenbender hit a couple of big ones (shots) for us to kind of get us going and then Mac (Gaideski) hit a big one in the fourth quarter,” Wright said. “We talked at halftime that look, it is one half, we have another half, let’s clean it up on offense.”

Edwardsburg finished the night 16-of-26 from the free throw line.

Besides Sidenbender, Edwardsburg got 14 points from Zach Strycker and seven points from Anthony Castelluci and Gaideski.

Kyle Rose had 15 points for Vicksburg.

Buchanan vs. Berrien

STEVENSVILLE — The Bucks outscored Berrien Springs 12-8 in overtime to pull out a 63-59 win in the opening round of the Division 2 district tournament at Lakeshore High School Monday night.

The Shamrocks (10-11) led at each break through the first three quarters, including 36-33 entering the final quarter, but were outscored 8-6 by the Bucks, who forced the 51-51 deadlock at the end of regulation.

Chris Young scored a game-high 24 points to lead Buchanan (10-10) into the semifinals tonight against defending Division 2 state champion Benton Harbor.

The Bucks also got 14points from Brad VanOvergerghe and nine points from Logan Carson.

Evan Hoge scored 21 points for the Shamrocks in a losing effort.