Dowagiac wins third straight

NILES — The streaks continued for the Dowagiac and Niles varsity basketball teams.

Visiting Dowagiac extended its winning streak to three games with a 59-48 victory over the Vikings, who dropped their fourth consecutive contest.

The Chieftains (6-3) were able to use their athleticism and physical style of play to dominate Niles (3-5) inside, especially in the final 16 minutes of the non-conference boys basketball game.

Dowagiac pours in 21 points in the first quarter and led 31-22 at halftime after both teams scored 10 points in the second quarter.

Niles was able to keep the game close throughout, but never seemed to be able to get that key basket to get the lead back under double digits.

The Chieftains seemed to maintain a 10- to 13-point lead throughout the contest and had an answer for the Vikings every time they made a run.

“We had to be stronger with the ball offensively,” Niles coach Todd Pawielski said. “It was a very physical game. Dowagiac did a great job of pressing and trapping us all over the floor. We did not respond to the physical nature of the game.”

Pawielski, who was very vocal with his team during a first-half time out, said that the defensive effort must improve before Niles will snap its current losing streak.

“Right now, defensively, we are very selfish,” he said. “We refuse to leave our own man to stop the ball. There are moments of good things from our kids and I am glad we kept playing. In the third quarter, there it could have gotten out of hand.”

Dowagiac’s lead reached 20 points in the third quarter before the Vikings cut it back down to 13 points, where it seemed to stay the remainder of the contest.

A comeback effort by Niles was hindered by the loss of sophomore Nate Goins, who suffered a broken wrist when crashing to the floor in the fourth quarter.

Goins had a team-high 13 points when he was injured.

Pawielski said that his team is going to have to get tougher and stronger in order to compete with the teams remaining on their schedule and in the state tournament.

“We need to be smarter with the ball and defensively we need to be willing to do our job when we lose contain,” he said.

Dowagiac forced Niles into 29 turnovers, which led to easy baskets.

The Chieftains also turned the ball over, but the Vikings were unable to take advantage of most of them.

“We had a better effort tonight,” Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt said. “We had some highs and lows. There were some bright spots where we looked really good, and then there were other times where we looked stagnant. We turn the ball over unforced and we need to work on that.”

Hunt said that he was pleased with the effort overall.

“The intensity and energy was there,” he said. “The guys worked together and we were able to get the W.”

Dowagiac also had a balanced scoring attack, led by Caleb Murphy’s 15 points. The Chieftains also got 14 points each from Shaquan Stanback and Jamin Hunt, who returned to the lineup after missing one game with illness and a sore foot.

Besides Goins’ scoring, the Vikings got 11 points from Austin Brookins, along with 10 points and 10 rebounds from Robert Brown.

Niles will host rival Lakeshore in a SMAC West contest at approximately 7 p.m. Friday.

Dowagiac heads back into Wolverine Conference action after playing its final non-conference game of the year.

The Chieftains host Three Rivers Friday.

“We wanted to take tonight’s game and build some momentum,” Hunt said. “Hopefully this gives us that momentum moving forward because we want to stay on top of the conference. We will go back and work hard. A conference championship is our focus and goal.”

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

Cass County

Cass County votes to engage Kalamazoo studio for Cass County Historic Courthouse services

Berrien County

Buchanan graduate now Berrien County prosecuting attorney

Cass County

Cass County Veterans Affairs Office welcomes new leadership


Edwardsburg Chamber of Commerce hosting monthly giveaways

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 770,822 cases, 16,731 deaths


No danger found following lockdown at DUHS


Berrien County Public Defender’s Office to increase staff

Berrien County

Buchanan man named 911 Telecommunicator of the Year


Dowagiac man arrested for possession of meth


Niles teacher accused of assault pleads not guilty


Dowagiac Police Log: April 7-13

Berrien County

LMC to host virtual career, program expo for prospective students


Dowagiac woman to compete in ‘Jeopardy!’ 2021 Tournament of Champions


Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon-tying ceremonies for two new businesses


Four arrested in Dowagiac drug search

Berrien County

Niles city, DART consider south county expansion

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 764,519 cases, 16,619 deaths

Cass County

Cass County Fair Food Drive-Thru event returns April 23-25


City of Dowagiac purchases former Lincoln School for redevelopment, blight removal


Apple Festival Spring Market prepares for May event


UPDATE: Police respond to bomb threat at Edwardsburg factory


Eat Drink Niles to revitalize Third Thursdays


Decatur resident injured in Wayne Township crash

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 756,564 cases, 16,586 deaths