STEVENSVILLE — Lakeshore put itself in a hole with turnovers early in Tuesday’s boys basketball game against Dowagiac.
The Lancers were able to rally for a 53-41 victory, however, in large part due to Dowagiac’s turnovers.
Lakeshore finished with 18 turnovers, and the Chieftains had 19 giveaways in a sloppy game as both teams played for the first time in the new year.
“That was just an ugly basketball game,” Lakeshore coach Sean Schroeder said. “Dowagiac, give them credit, they played really hard. I thought they had a really good game plan, they executed pretty well. They were a lot more patient on offense than they had been on film.
“We’ve got to be better. We can’t have unforced turnovers.”
Lakeshore (4-0) turned the ball over on its first three possessions, allowing Dowagiac (2-4) to get ahead 6-0. The Lancers didn’t lead until Dylan Clem scored in the final minute of the first half to make it 19-17 at the break.
Lakeshore threatened to pull away at times in the second half, but DJ Lanier kept Dowagiac close. Lanier finished with a game-high 24 points, including four 3-pointers.
“DJ had a great game offensively, but that’s the expectation,” Dowagiac coach Danum Hunt said. “DJ is a four-year varsity player, he’s been around here a while. We look to him to lead us in scoring, and tonight was the night that he just happened to step up and do that.”
Lanier’s final 3-pointer of the game brought the Chieftains to within four at 42-38, but Dowagiac then turned the ball over on its next four possessions, leading to a 10-0 Lakeshore run.
“We just made too many turnovers down at the end,” Hunt said. “Too many mistakes, too many blown defensive assignments at the end, and that kind of cost us the game.
“Early on we got them to play our game, it was up-tempo and we were able to have some success. Once they settled down, they were able to slow tempo down a bit and got into their game. It turned a tough contest, and we didn’t take care of the ball enough.”
JJ Bushu hit six free throws down the stretch to secure the Lakeshore win. He finished 9-for-9 at the line and scored 13 points.
Clem led the Lancers with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. Ben Brower scored 13. Ja’Kobe Young had six points and 11 boards, helping Lakeshore to a 30-17 rebounding advantage.
“Dylan Clem was tremendous,” Schroeder said. “I thought JJ Bushu played a pretty good second half. Ja’Kobe had a spurt in the second half where he just owned the boards, played really well. (Brower) made some shots. We found a way to get it done, but we have to play better.”
Just three players scored for Dowagiac. In addition to Lanier, Dashawn Brooks scored 14 points and Henry Weller added three.
Lakeshore 53, Dowagiac 41
DJ Lanier 8 4-7 24, Cailyn Murphy 0 0-0, Stewart Smith 0 0-0 0, Dashawn Brooks 5 0-0 14, Henry Weller 1 0-0 3. Totals: 14 4-7 41.
Ben Brower 5 2-3 13, Ja’Kobe Young 2 2-6 6, Dylan Clem 4 7-8 15, Grant Ruddell 2 0-0 4, JJ Bushu 2 9-9 13, Ben Anderson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 20-26 53.
Dowagiac 11 6 13 11 — 41
Lakeshore 8 11 13 21 — 53
3-point goals — Dowagiac 9 (Lanier 4, Brooks 4, Weller), Lakeshore 1 (Brower). Total fouls — Dowagiac 20, Lakeshore 13. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — Dowagiac 17 (Murphy 5), Lakeshore 30 (Young 11, Brower 6, Clem 5). Assists — Clem (L) 5, Bushu (L) 4.
Records — Dowagiac 2-4, Lakeshore 4-0.
Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders