No. 2 Lakeshore edges No. 3 DowagiacPublished 11:54pm Monday, March 4, 2013
BERRIEN SPRINGS — In the end, it came down to rebounding and free throws.
Regardless of how the fans saw the final play of the game when Lakeshore’s Keith Brushwyler went the length of the court and scored the game-winner at the buzzer, the result was still the same — Lakeshore 78, Dowagiac 76.
Dowagiac fans and its coaching staff felt that it had drawn a charging foul on Brushwyler, who finished with game with 28 points. But the reality of it was there was no call and the defending Class B district champions at Berrien Springs High School eliminated the Chieftains Monday night.
The No. 2-ranked Lancers (21-0) will now face host Berrien Springs in the semifinals Wednesday night.
The other semifinal pits Benton Harbor against Buchanan. The Tigers defeated Coloma 68-52 in the first game Monday night.
The game between two of the top three teams in Class B lived up to its hype.
The two teams traded spectacular shots and made run against each other, but were never able to get out to a comfortable margin.
After the Chieftains (18-3) grabbed a 7-0 advantage to start the contest, Lakeshore responded with an 11-1 run to take 13-8 lead late in the opening quarter.
The Lancers, who played in the Class B state title game last season, led 18-10 after one period.
Dowagiac spent the entire second quarter chasing Lakeshore and was able to close the gap to 29-28 on a basket by Tyler Clark with 1:35 remaining in the opening half.
But with 1:10 showing on the clock, Dontel Highsmith picked up his third personal foul.
The Chieftains would go into the locker room at halftime down 31-29.
Fro the second straight quarter, Dowagiac outscored Lakeshore, this time 23-21 to tie the game at 52-52 heading into the final frame.
It was the Lancers doing the chasing for much of the third quarter as they trailed 40-35 with 6:10 to play in the period following a 3-pointer by Kyle Solloway.
Brushwyler gave the lead back to Lakeshore with a basket with 3:52 to go in the quarter and the Lancers led by six points with 2:45 to play when Harold Wiggins slashed to the basket.
Dowagiac got a old fashioned three-point play from Highsmith with 1:07 showing in the clock and brother Davion Highsmith connected on a 3-pointer with half a minute to play to knot the score at 52-52.
The game would swing back and forth during the final eight minutes of the contest, but a controversial foul on Dontel Highsmith with 7:02 to play eventually may have cost the Chieftains.
It had appeared that Davion Highsmith had fouled Wiggins going to the basket, but instead the officials signaled Dontel Highsmith’s fourth foul.
The game would be tied three times over the next three minutes before Lakeshore took a 63-62 lead on a 3-pointer by Michael Welch with 4:01 to play.
The Lancers would hold Dowagiac at bay for the next three minutes, but in the final 20 seconds of the contest Davion Highsmith would single-handedly keep the Chieftains alive after Dontel Highsmith had fouled out with 39.6 seconds remaining.
Davion Highsmith’s first triple cut the Lakeshore lead to 74-73. After a pair of free throws by Mitchell Myer made it 76-73, Davion Highsmith’s second 3-pointer tied the game with 8.7 ticks left on the clock.
It was then up to Brushwyler, who made like Danny Ainge against Notre Dame in 1981 and dribbled the length of the court and scored the winning basket.
“Our downfall was at the free throw line, on loose balls and on long rebounds that we didn’t get to,” Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt said. “A lot of rebounds got away from us and lot of loose balls.
“But that has been the story for us all year. We lost the rebound battle most of the game that we played. But we have been able to pick that up in other places such as keeping our turnovers down. We don’t turn the ball over a lot. When you are beating us on rebounds we are still going to get those shot attempts up by keeping our turnovers down.”
Dowagiac’s all-time leading scorer Dontel Highsmith did everything he could to keep the Chieftains’ season alive. He scored a game-high 38 points before fouling out.
Dowagiac also got 17 points each from Davion Highsmith and Solloway.
Besides Brushwyler, the Lancers got 23 points from Wiggins and 10 points each from Meyer and Welch.
Elliot Lemon 5, Mikey Rivette 0, James Gathright 2, Mitchell Meyer 10, Harold Wiggins 23, Michael Welch 10, Alex Biematl 0, Keith Brushwyler 28. TOTALS: 32 15-18 78
Dontel Highsmith 38, Davion Highsmith 17, Bryce Dodd 0, Kyle Solloway 17, Joey Pasternak 0, D.J. Hunt 2, Tyler Clark 2. TOTALS: 27 15-21
Lakeshore 18 31 52 78
Dowagiac 10 29 52 76
3-point goals: Lakeshore 3 (Lemon, Welch 2), Dowagiac 7 (Do. Highsmith, Da. Highsmith 4, Solloway 2). Total fouls (fouled out): Lakeshore 21 (Wiggins), Dowagiac 16 (Do. Highsmith). Varsity records: Lakeshore 21-0, Dowagiac 18-3