Roundup: Bobcats pick up pair of wins; Chieftains, Eddies, Niles fall

Published 9:09 am Monday, February 13, 2023

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DOWAGIAC — As the girls basketball season begins to wind down, area squads are trying to get on a roll as they head toward the postseason.

Friday night provided mixed results for Brandywine, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg and Niles.

At Dowagiac, the visiting Bobcats, for the second time this season, had to rally in the fourth quarter to defeat the Chieftains in Lakeland Conference action, while in Wolverine Conference play, the Eddies and Vikings both suffered setbacks.


Brandywine at Dowagiac

Dowagiac took Brandywine to the limit the first time as the Bobcats played without All-State point guard Ellie Knapp as she was still recovering from knee surgery.

The Chieftains did it again Friday night, this time with Knapp in the lineup.

Dowagiac took a seven-point advantage, 22-15, into the fourth quarter but could not hold on to the lead once again.

Behind Knapp’s seven points, Brandywine outscored the Chieftains 15-3 in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.

“We got to see a snippet of Ellie Knapp can do there in the fourth,” said Brandywine Coach Josh Hood. “She’s lost the brace here the last couple of days. She said it made her slow, so she got rid of it. That’s the mentality right there. It should not take us down seven, but I was really proud of her. When you sit out the game you love for six months and all you can do is watch, to come back and jump right back into the mix, it is really hard.”

Dowagiac (8-9, 1-6 Lakeland) led from the opening tip into the third quarter. The Chieftains grabbed a 14-8 advantage after one quarter and led 16-12 at halftime.

Although disappointed, Dowagiac Coach Jason Turner knows that a game like his team played Friday night could go a long way to preparing the Chieftains for the postseason.

“We outplayed them for sure,” he said. “I told my girls not to hang their heads for one second. That is the Dowagiac girls basketball I have been looking for the last two games. I told them, I don’t care what happens the last five games of the regular season. If we play like that, we will be ready for districts.”

Hood was also impressed with Dowagiac’s effort.

“I feel awful for Jason Turner and the Lady Chieftains,” he said. “They kicked our butts twice. They have outplayed us physically and they have outcoached us. For some reason, we are really lucky to come out on top.”

Knapp finished with a game-high 13 points and was the only player in the contest to reach double figures. Adeline Gill and Kadence Brumitt both added four points.

Alanah Smith led Dowagiac with eight points, while Josie Lock added seven and Maggie Weller five.

The win improved Brandywine’s overall record to 14-2 and its Lakeland Conference mark to 5-2.


Edwardsburg at Otsego

The host Bulldogs avenged an earlier 51-36 loss to the Eddies with a 45-30 victory Friday night.

Edwardsburg (11-6, 6-4 Wolverine) led 9-5 after one quarter, but ended up in an 18-18 tie at halftime of its Wolverine Conference contest.

Otsego (10-7, 6-4 Wolverine) outscored the Eddies 27-12 in the second half, including 12-3 in the fourth quarter, to pull away to the victory.

Averie Markel led Edwardsburg with 15 points, while Kourtney Zarycki and Chloe Baker both added five points.

Aly Audrich and Haley Guerrant both finished with nine points to lead the Bulldogs.


Niles at Sturgis

Visiting Niles kept things close in the opening quarter and rallied in the closing moments of the fourth quarter, but was unable to overcome the deficit it found itself in the middle two quarters of its 57-50 loss to Sturgis Friday night.

The Trojans led 14-10 after one quarter, but were able to open up a 42-31 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play by outscoring the Vikings 28-21 in the second and third quarters to create the double-digit deficit.

Niles made one last run at Sturgis in the final two minutes of the contest, but could not get any closer than the final score.

The loss dropped the Vikings to 0-17 on the season and 0-11 in Wolverine Conference games. Sturgis improved to 3-15 and 2-8 in league games.

Elly Matlock and Amirah Lee both scored 10 points to lead Niles, which also got eight points from Kenzie Lakes.

Kennedy Finnerman led the Trojans with 16 points. Huri Villafeurta added 11 and Emily Schuller 10.


Bronson at Brandywine

On Saturday, the Bobcats held visiting Bronson to seven first-half points en route to an easy 62-31 victory in a battle of Division 3 honorable mention squads.

Brandywine, playing its second game in 24 hours, jumped out to an 18-4 first-quarter lead, extending to 32-7 by the intermission. The Bobcats (15-3) led 48-22 heading to the fourth quarter.

Knapp finished with a game-high 23 points, while Gill and Cortney Bates both finished with nine points.

Haylie Wilson had 11 points for the Vikings, who dropped to 15-2 on the year.