Roundup: Bucks top Chieftains, Cass remains unbeaten in Southwest 10

Published 12:25 pm Monday, February 27, 2023

DOWAGIAC — A big second-half helped visiting Buchanan knock off Dowagiac 60-46 in Lakeland Conference boys basketball action Friday night.

Leading 29-28 at halftime, the short-handed Bucks outscored the Chieftains 31-18 in the second half to improve to 11-9 overall and 2-6 in league games. The loss dropped Dowagiac to 2-18 overall and 0-8 in the Lakeland Conference.

In other action Friday night, host Cassopolis defeated Hartford 53-38 to remain undefeated in the Southwest 10 Confeence. The Rangers are now 15-4 overall and 13-0 in conference contests. The Huskies fall to 8-10 overall and 7-6 in the Southwest 10 standings.


Buchanan at Dowagiac

The Bucks were without players due to illness against the Chieftains, but they were able to able to pull away from Dowagiac in the final 16 minutes.

Buchanan led 14-13 after one quarter and 29-28 at halftime. The Bucks outscored Dowagiac 18-12 in the third quarter to increase their advantage to 47-40.

“We were a little short-handed tonight and had to have some kids step up and I thought they did a good job of doing that for us,” said Buchanan Coach Reid McBeth. “We have had a sickness going around and tonight we had another one show up sick, so I am just happy to get out of here with a win. Hopefully, this next weekend we can get people better again.”

The second-half surge by the Bucks was spearheaded by Thomas VanOverberghe, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the final 16 minutes.

“The thing with Thomas, is he has to realize when he is not aggressive, we struggle a bit,” McBeth said. “Sometime he will be too passive. We talked it at halftime that he needed to be more aggressive. I was glad he was able to go out and do that. He wants to be a good teammate, but sometimes that means you have to be more aggressive.”

Dowagiac Coach Danum Hunt said he continues to see improvement with his young squad. He hopes the Chieftains can finish strong and take that into next season.

“We came out with a lot of energy and played tough,” he said. “I think we had them on their heels because he [McBeth] probably expected us to come out and played zone because we have been playing zone most of the season. We have gotten to the point now where we are no long thinking about now, but where are trying to go. So, we came out and played man.”

VanOverberghe was one of three Buchanan players in double fitures Friday night. The Bucks also got 16 points from Cade Preissing and 11 points from Karmine Brown.

Dowagiac was led by Joshua Winchester-Jones, Isaiah Fitchett, Christian Wheaton and Gianni Villalobos, all of whom scored eight points.

The Bucks finish up the regular season with road games at Vicksburg Tuesday and Bridgman on Thursday.

Dowagiac is supposed to have a pair of home games to wrap up the regular season. The Chieftains host Niles Tuesday, but Friday night’s game with Cassopolis is currently in limbo as Dowagiac’s girls basketball team may be playing in the Division 2 District championship game. A decision will be made following Wednesday’s semifinal game against Niles.


Hartford at Cassopolis

Davion Goins scored a game-high 24 points to lead Cassopolis to a victory over Hartford Friday night.

The Rangers, who will host Centreville in a Southwest 10 Conference contest Tuesday, trailed Hartford 23-18 after one quarter, but rallied to take a 29-28 halftime lead. Cassopolis increased its advantage to 50-42 heading into the final quarter.

Beside Goins, the Rangers got 15 points from Logan Pflug and 11 points from Jadyn Baucom.

Austin Reyna had 20 points to lead Hartford. Brody Johnson added 12 points.