Watervliet rallies to edge Dowagiac 43-37

Published 8:44 am Wednesday, November 30, 2022

DOWAGIAC — Visiting Watervliet overcame a seven-point second-half deficit to edge Dowagiac 43-37 in non-conference girls basketball Tuesday night.

The Panthers, who were playing without all-stater Sam Dietz due to injury, trailed the Chieftains 30-23 heading into the final quarter of the season opener for both teams.

Watervliet (1-0) outscored Dowagiac (0-1) 20-7 in the final eight minutes to pick up the victory.

“We played a solid 28 minutes tonight,” said Dowagiac Coach Jason Turner. “The last four minutes didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but we can learn from that. We need to try and play a full 32 minutes Thursday. The girls need to remember that it’s the first game of the year and that there were a lot of good things that came out of the game. That loss stings, but we need to come back to practice tomorrow ready to go hard.”

Things do not get any easier for the Chieftains Thursday as they host Buchanan in the Lakeland Conference opener for both schools.

Watervliet led 9-6 after one quarter and 17-15 at halftime. Dowagiac outscored the Panthers 15-6 in the third quarter to open up the seven-point advantage.

Alanah Smith led Dowagiac with 14 points, while Maggie Weller finished with 12 points and Josie Lock six.

Ellie Golden scored a game-high 15 points for the Panthers, who also got 14 points from Grace Chisek and 10 points from Madison Flowers.

Turner said he was happy to get the season under way.

“It was great to get back on the court tonight,” he said. “There were a lot of good things and a lot of things that we can improve on. The physicality of tonight’s game was a bit of eye opening for some of our girls. We need to get ready for that type of physicality the rest of the year.”