Second half rally comes up short for Dowagiac

Published 10:49 pm Thursday, December 2, 2021

DOWAGIAC —It was a tale of two halves for the Dowagiac girls basketball team against visiting Paw Paw Thursday night.

In their Wolverine Conference opener, the Chieftains could not get the ball in the basket in the first half and struggled against Paw Paw’s pressure defense. In the second half, Dowagiac relaxed and became more aggressive, which led to a comeback that came up short in the end.

The Red Wolves (1-1) outscored Dowagiac 25-7 in the first half, but were outscored 27-19 in the final 12 minutes of play in their 44-34 win.

“We definitely need to find a way to play like we did in the second half for a full 32 minutes,” said Dowagiac Coach Jason Turner. “We looked like a totally different team in the second half. The girls battled tonight, with only seven girls dressing. We had a lot of really big minutes tonight from a lot of girls.”

The Chieftains (0-2) trailed 8-2 after one quarter and 25-7 at halftime, thanks mainly to Paw Paw sophomore Katelyn Baney, who scored 12 of her game-high 21 points in the first half.

In the third quarter, Dowagiac came out of the locker room a new team and began to whittle away at the Red Wolves’ first-half advantage.

The Chieftains trailed 35-17 entering the fourth quarter and cut the Paw Paw lead to nine points in the waning moments, but could not overcome the early deficit.

Fouls plagued both teams as the two teams went to the free throw line a combined 47 times. Paw Paw was 12-of-21, while Dowagiac was 10-of-26.

“Dealing with foul trouble, our two post players — Alanah [Smith] and Audrey [Johnson] — had to play a lot of minutes, and they did so really nicely,” Turner said. “I love to see our team laying out and diving on the floor for loose balls. We need to continue to play with that energy from this point on.”

The Chieftains are back on the court Tuesday as they host Lawton in a non-conference contest scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.



At Dowagiac


Grace Mitchell 11, Hannah Conway 1, Sophia Griffin 2, Leah Wilder 0, Sammi Jurgensen 0, Avery Vogel 2, Addison Roy 5, Katelyn Baney 21, Taylor Rickli 0, Molly McNitt 2, Jackie Villanueva 0. TOTALS: 14 12-21 44


Josie Lock 8, Calley Ruff 5, Makayla Hill 0, Maggie Weller 2, Damia Brooks 0, Audrey Johnson 2, Alanah Smith 17. TOTALS: 11 10-26 34


Paw Paw        8         25       35       44

Dowagiac       2         7         17       34

3-point baskets: Paw Paw 4 (Mitchell, Baney 3), Dowagiac 2 (Lock, Ruff). Total fouls (fouled out): Paw Paw 22 (none), Dowagiac 18 (Ruff). Varsity records: Paw Paw 1-1, Dowagiac 0-2