Defense leads Chieftains to win over Rangers

Published 8:36 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

DOWAGIAC — Host Dowagiac held Cassopolis to nine first-half points as it improved to 2-0 on the season with a 43-27 victory over the Rangers Tuesday night.

The Chieftains jumped out to an 11-3 lead after one quarter, which they extended to 19-9 by halftime.

Dowagiac continued the second-half defensive effort as it held Cassopolis to just three points in the third quarter as it took a 26-12 lead headed into the final eight minutes of play.

The Rangers (0-1) were able to scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, but could not overcome the early deficit as the Chieftains tacked on 17 points to its total.

Dowagiac Coach Jason Turner said that his post players were able to finish at the rim the first night, but struggled a bit against Cassopolis.

“I told them that shooters shoot and they just need to continue to put the work in,” he said. “The shots will fall. Overall, our defense is really good right now. Our rotations are there and we are holding teams to 24.5 points per game. I am proud of our defensive effort.”

Maggie Weller led the Chieftains and all scorers with 18 points. Dowagiac also got five points each from Marlie Carpenter and Audrey Johnson. Alanah Flemming, Damia Brooks and Olivia Gadde all finished with four points.

Ryley Bowsher led Cassopolis with 15 points. She was the lone Ranger to reach double figures. Atyanna Alford added six points and Mackenzie Boyer four.

“At the end of the day it is about effort,” said Cassopolis Coach Stefon Luckey. “I think if we put a little more effort in. We kind of turned it up late third quarter into the fourth quarter. We had a lot of forced shots.”

Dowagiac is back on the court Dec, 14 when it hosts Benton Harbor in its Lakeland Conference opener. The Rangers return to action Thursday as well as they begin Southwest 10 Conference play by hosting Bangor.