For the first time since January 16, 2015, the Paw Paw boys basketball team defeated South Haven, winning on their home court Friday over the Rams 53-48. In a very tight contest, free throw shooting played a key role. Paw Paw finished 20-29 at the line to a 10-21 mark for South Haven.
The Rams had the lead initially and didn’t fall behind until about halfway through the first quarter. Paw Paw never lost the lead from there, although the lead never got to double-digits. They took a 30-21 lead into halftime and while South Haven got back within one on multiple occasions, the Rams never could get ahead. Luke Toliver led the way with 27 points for Paw Paw, including a 10-13 mark at the free throw line. Nathan Smetana added 15. South Haven was topped by DaShaan Palmer’s 13 points and numerous blocked shots.
The Paw Paw boys now sit at 11-3 overall and 4-2 in the Wolverine Conference North Division. South Haven remains on top in the North at 5-1 and 11-5 overall.
Meanwhile, Paw Paw’s girls continued their dominance over South Haven, winning 77-50 in a game that was never in doubt. Brooklyn Walker led all plays with 15 from Paw Paw. Mackenzie Newell added 12. South Haven got 10 from Frances Lyons. Paw Paw improves to 8-7 overall and 3-3 in the North Division, while South Haven is 4-13 and 0-7 in league play.
Both Paw Paw teams play Three Rivers Tuesday with the girls staying home and the boys traveling. The South Haven boys play at Vicksburg Tuesday with the girls hosting Vicksburg.
Listen back to Friday’s games below:
Listen live Friday on the Slocum Sports Network as Paw Paw High School plays host to the South Haven Rams Friday in boys and girls varsity basketball. The boys game in particular is highly anticipated with both squads looking to extend a five-game winning streak.
The Paw Paw boys sit at 10-3 overall, with their most recent loss coming in their first meeting with South Haven, 59-53, back on January 6. Paw Paw since has topped the likes of Sturgis (11-2), Otsego (8-6) and Plainwell (7-6). Scoring 64.3 per game and allowing 53.1 per game, Paw Paw is second in the Wolverine Conference North Division at 3-2.
South Haven sits at the top of the division at 5-0 and holds an 11-4 overall record. They haven’t lost since dropping a quadruple overtime contest at Edwardsburg (71-65) on January 13. The Rams have also beaten Otsego and Plainwell in their current five-game winning streak and additionally have a win over a 6-4 Buchanan squad. The South Haven boys hold a four-game winning streak over Paw Paw, who last defeated the Rams on January 16, 2015. The Rams are scoring 58.6 per game while allowing 52.1.
In the earlier boys contest, the Rams saw a strong performance from senior post DaShaan Palmer, who led the team with 22 points. Teammate Luke Toliver added 14. Paw Paw was led by Trey Brennan’s 20.
In the girls meeting that same night, Paw Paw pulled off a 55-35 victory off a 15-point effort by Brooklyn Walker. Frances Lyons was the lone Ram to reach double-digits with 10. Entering the rematch, Paw Paw is 7-7 overall and 2-3 against the North division. South Haven is 4-12, trying to snap a six-game losing streak. They’re 0-6 against the North and have lost at least 12 consecutive meetings with Paw Paw. (The MHSAA’s records online end at the 2008-09 season).
Listen to both boys and girls action Friday on the Slocum Sports Network. The girls varsity is scheduled for 6 p.m. with the boys after, tentatively at 7:15.