Jeff DowtHIM mines Grand Rapids Gold

If Jeff Dowtin is Jeff DowtHIM, then who is he? One who can mine the Grand Rapids Gold.

Christian Koloko’s tweet said it all. 

In a tight game that came right down to the wire, Jeff Dowtin became Jeff DowtHIM.

In the first half, both teams were neck-and-neck, the biggest lead being seven points.

Dowtin had six points in the first half, but became electric in the second. He hit two threes in the third quarter, the first being a catch-and-shoot set shot from the wing. Splash. Then, he buried a catch-and-shoot corner three after former Hamilton (now Brampton) Honey Badger Trevon Duval left him wide open. A competitive fire was lit, with Dowtin clapping right in Duval’s face.

An infectious energy was flowing throughout the 905 in the third. Joe Wieskamp was taking the ball right to the tin — most notably, he had a beautiful straight-line drive from the top of the arc. Darryl Morsell seemed to be just about everywhere. 

In a scrappy offensive play, Jeremiah Tilmon got his hands on a loose ball, and tipped it over to Morsell for a flush to make it a five-point game. That inspired the the 905 on the defensive end. After Morsell denied the pass, Sterling Brown got his hands on the ball, and after a missed shot attempt, Morsell hit a triple from the top of the arc with the shot clock winding down. Though I haven’t watched every 905 game, when things click for Morsell, everything starts to click, and he shows his versatility on both ends of the floor.

In the fourth quarter, the 905 increased the lead to 12 points, but the Grand Rapids Gold never went away. Duval’s finger roll with less than 10 seconds left tied the game at 119 apiece.

But it was Dowtin who kissed the ball off the plexiglass ever so softly to win the game. He continued to display his fourth quarter heroics, putting on a clinic of circus shots. He hit a tough runner, then finished a nice herky-jerky move to put his team up 106-97. He then hit another circus shot to put the team up 108-99, and had a tough mid-range pull-up with less than three minutes left. 

It was an exciting second half, and throughout the game, there were thirteen lead changes, and there were twelve ties.

The 905 are currently on track to enter the playoffs, and as the old adage goes, winning is the best basketball development. How Eric Khoury will utilize new additions to the team, and how far he can take this 905 team will be coaching challenge that will help Khoury and his bench develop.

What happens with the parent team remains a question mark, but the minds on the Raptors bench can continue to get better regardless of personnel.

The 905 face the Gold again at Van Andel Arena at 7 pm tonight.

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