Four is fine for Dowagiac

NILES — It took nearly 90 minutes to decide the Division 3 District soccer champion at Brandywine High School Thursday night.

The three-time defending champion Dowagiac Chieftains and former Wolverine Conference foe South Haven were deadlocked in a scoreless tie.

With 8:46 remaining in the second overtime, senior Gustavo Cruz became the first Dowagiac player to win four straight district championships as he beat South Haven’s keeper to give the Chieftains the 1-0 victory.

The win advances Dowagiac to the Division 3 Regional semifinals, which are being hosted by Grand Rapids South Christian, on Tuesday.

The Chieftains will face Hillsdale, a 3-0 winner over Olivet in the Comstock District. The match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

Dowagiac was far from sharp throughout much of the match, but it was able to keep the pressure on the Rams.

“We were playing nervous, playing scared, and not playing our game at all,” said veteran Dowagiac coach Mike Williams. “Like I said before, all we needed to do was to keep doing what we had been doing. Nope. Everything we could have done wrong at the beginning, we did it.”

Part of the problem, according to Williams, was that his team did not swing the ball like had been doing all season.

“Our swinging line did not exist most of the game,” he said. “We were hitting the ball from one side to the other instead of swing, swing, swing and feeding that gap to give us some time to get more pressure up. We just weren’t doing it.”

Williams gave credit to South Haven for playing hard the entire match.

When asked if he felt like his team could hold onto the lead once Cruz scored, the answer was simple.

“No,” he said. “I know how we play when we get up and start to panic. You could hear me screaming for them to get in the right spots to drop and center and mark the right people. Everybody just starts to get frazzled.”

Business

Niles restaurant week to showcase 18 restaurants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 583,964 cases, 15,405 deaths

Cass County

Cass County GOP censures Congressman Fred Upton for vote against Marjorie Taylor Greene

Cass County

Cass County Veterans Affairs provides update to community

Business

Market Van Buren, MEDC announce formal partnership

Cassopolis

Cassopolis woman arrested for Dowagiac car theft

News

Niles Restaurant Week to host photo contest

Dowagiac

SMC plans to host in-person, outdoor graduation ceremonies

News

Niles PD to get body-worn cameras for each officer

Cass County

Cass County COA to reopen fitness center, select programs March 1

Berrien County

MSP Niles troopers arrest man who set own residence on fire

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Cass counties reports new COVID-19 deaths

Buchanan

YMCA of Greater Michiana to host second annual Day of Giving

Buchanan

Buchanan selects new city treasurer

News

Niles City Council approves expansion of local provisioning center to include grow, processing

Dowagiac

Dowagiac awarded $75,000 in NEP grants

Dowagiac

SMC Guarantee aims to provide financial support to students of all ages

Berrien County

BCF awarded $60,000 grant to combat drug overdose epidemic

Berrien County

During virtual learning, students experiencing homelessness can fall through the cracks

Cass County

Children injured in Howard Township crash

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department postpones COVID-19 vaccine appointments Tuesday due to nationwide shipment delays

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 581,403 cases, 15,362 deaths

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Area FCU provides remote financial literacy learning resources to local schools

Dowagiac

Newly-minted DUS board trustee Brent Brewer ready to serve district