Rangers top White Pigeon in key Southwest 10 contest

Published 11:30 am Monday, February 5, 2024

CASSOPOLIS — It may have taken a few extra minutes, but Cassopolis moved into a share of the top spot in the Southwest 10 Conference girls basketball standings Friday.

The Rangers need overtime to knock off visiting White Pigeon 54-51. The Chiefs came into the game with an 8-0 record, while Cassopolis entered the contest with a 9-1 mark. Its only loss was a 52-47 decision against White Pigeon in December.

“White Pigeon win was one that our program needed,” said Cassopolis Coach Stefon Luckey. “We didn’t feel like we played our best the first meeting and the girls were determined to shake things up again for conference standings. We believe that we can compete at a high level for 32 minutes and we showed that on this night.”

With the win, Cassopolis and White Pigeon are tied with one loss each. The Rangers at this

point of the season have played two more league games than the Chiefs.

The game was close throughout.

Cassopolis (10-2) and White Pigeon (9-3) were deadlocked at 11-11. When the two teams headed to the locker room at the break, the Chiefs led 20-18.

White Pigeon continued to lead (36-33) as the teams headed into the fourth quarter. Cassopolis outscored the Chiefs 7-4 in the final eight minutes of regulation to force the four minutes of overtime.

In overtime, Mackenzie Boyer connected on a 3-point after Cassopolis won the tip to put the Rangers up 50-47. Ryley Bowsher followed that up with a steal and score with 2:5y remaining to make it 52-47.

White Pigeon cut the lead by one on a free throw with 2:37 to play and then connected on a 3-pointer to make it 52-51 with 2:06. The Chiefs’ triple came following an injury to Cassopolis’ Janayla Franklin, who had to be helped off the floor and taken out of the gym.

Luckey decided to run some clock before calling a time out with 55.8 remaining in overtime. Cassopolis ran off some more clock before calling another timeout with 39.8 to play.

The Rangers were able to seal the victory with a pair of Bowsher free throws with 17.1 ticks left on the clock.

Bowsher led the Rangers with 17 points, while Atyanna Alford added 15 points. Boyer and Ella Smith both finished the night with eight points.

Sadie McDaniel had 13 points to lead White Pigeon.

The Rangers were right back to work Saturday as they hosted Berrien Springs in a non-conference contest.

The Shamrocks jumped out to an 18-15 advantage after one quarter, but were outscored 55-37 the rest of the way to post a 70-55 victory.

Smith paced the Rangers with 20 points, while Bowsher added 18 points and Alford 17.

Aubreona Smith had a game-high 23 points for Berrien Springs.

Cassopolis continues its busy schedule with a Southwest 10 Conference game against visiting Bloomingdale Tuesday.