Defense, big second half keeps Dowagiac undefeated

Published 11:26 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

DOWAGIAC — A big second half lifted host Dowagiac to a 47-23 victory over Benton Harbor in its Lakeland Conference girls basketball opener Thursday night.

The Chieftains 3-0, 1-0 Lakeland) grabbed an 11-3 first-quarter advantage, but struggled offensively in the second quarter, which allowed the Tigers to rally and cut the lead to 17-14 by halftime.

Dowagiac outscored Benton Harbor 40-9 in the second-half to earn the conference victory.

The Chieftains played without starting guard Faith Green, which forced Dowagiac to make some changes to its lineup and rotation.

“Without Faith tonight, we had a lot of big minutes from a lot of other players,” said Dowagiac Coach Jason Turner. “Once again, we had seven players score at least four points for us. That is pretty cool. Defensively they tried to box and one Maggie [Weller], which gave us some fits until the rest of the team calmed down and played the type of basketball they know how to play.”

Weller finished the night with 10 points, as did Marlie Carpenter. Damia Brooks added seven points with Rebecca Guernsey and Olivia Gadde both finishing with six points.

Turner was happy with his team’s effort at the defensive end all night.

“Our defensive energy was great led by Audrey [Johnson] at the top. We had a little lull in the second quarter but fixed that at halftime and came out with some great energy.”

Dowagiac returns to the court Friday night as it faced Thornton High School (Illinois) at the Southwestern Michigan College Tri-State Holiday Classic.