Roundup: Dowagiac, Brandywine sweep SMAC opponents

Published 2:47 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023

DOWAGIAC — With the state high school girls basketball tournament set to begin Monday, area teams are getting in their final tune-ups before the postseason gets under way.

Tuesday night, Lakeland Conference squads from Dowagiac and Brandywine defeated SMAC West Division teams in non-conference contests.

At Dowagiac, the Chieftains’ Alanah Smith sank a pair of free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining to give Dowagiac a 36-35 win over Lakeshore.

At St. Joseph, visiting Brandywine got a season-high 34 points from All-State point guard Ellie Knapp as the Bobcats defeated St. Joseph 69-30.


Lakeshore at Dowagiac

The Lancers (14-6) led for much of the contest, but could not get away from the Chieftains, who used defensive pressure to force turnovers, which they turned into baskets, especially in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 35-34 and having just turned the ball over in the final 10 seconds, Smith picked off a Lakeshore pass near midcourt and drove to the basket, getting fouled with 0.9 seconds on the clock.

After making the first free throw to tie the game, there was a delay as officials discussed an issue about the number of fouls. While they talked at the top of the key, Dowagiac Coach Jason Turner called Smith away from the free throw line to help keep her relaxed.

The move worked as Smith stepped back to the line and hit nothing but net on her second free throw to give Dowagiac a one-point advantage.

“For our girls to lock them down and to get that steal with five seconds left, and for Alanah to hit both free throws with 0.9 seconds on the clock was awesome,” Turner said.

Out of time out, Lakeshore never got the ball across half-court, nor did it get a shot off.

Turner knows that heading into the Division 2 District at Edwardsburg next week, his team will have to continue to give the type of performances it has against Brandywine and Lakeshore.

“Tonight was such a great win against a really good team,” he said. “We played great defensively the entire night and made some good adjustments offensively throughout the night. The girls did great with all of it. It was nice to finally close out one of these close games. I am very proud of my two seniors [Smith and Josie Lock] and the work they have put in over the years. It was great to get a win for their final home game of their careers. Hopefully it is a game they will always remember.”

Maggie Weller led Dowagiac (10-10) with 16 points, while Smith finished with 15 points.

Paige Lies had 13 points for the Lancers, who also got 11 points from Emily Lockman.

Brandywine at St. Joseph

Knapp scored 25 of her 34 points in the first half as the Bobcats (19-2) opened up a 36-11 halftime advantage.

Knapp had six of Brandywine’s 13 3-pointers in the contest.

Leading 17-10 after the opening quarter, Knapp exploded with five 3-pointers and 17 of Brandywine’s 19 points in the second quarter.

The Bobcats had a 50-24 lead as they went to the fourth quarter.

Besides Knapp, Brandywine got nine points from Adelyn Drotoz and eight from Kadence Brumitt.

Jaslynn Ward scored 10 points for the Bears, who fall to 8-13 overall.

Brandywine will wrap up the regular season Thursday night against visiting River Valley.