Indians too much for VikingsPublished 11:17pm Saturday, December 3, 2011
Youth and inexperience and will produce nights like Saturday for the Niles High School girls’ basketball team.
The Vikings, who lost four starters from last year’s Class A district title squad, fell to South Bend St. Joseph’s, 48-26, to drop to 1-1 on the season.
The Indians, who improved to 2-3, got a 3-pointer from Alex Kubsch as time expired in the first quarter to take a 10-4 lead and the Vikings would face greater deficits the rest of the game.
“(St. Joseph’s) plays a very pressure-based, up tempo game and we got into, probably, too much of a pace that were not going to be able to be successful with based on our lack of inexperience,” said Niles coach Pat Touhey. “Our kids were pushing and forcing passes. We had (17) turnovers in the first half and that just can’t happen. We weren’t taking care of the basketball. It was a learning experience for our inexperienced kids against a very tough basketball team.”
Steals turned into easy baskets for St. Joseph’s in the first half as Madeline Raster and Nicole Francoeur combined to score six points off of thefts and lay-ups over the first 16 minutes. The Indians went into halftime with a 28-12 lead. St. Joseph’s shot 75-percent (9-of-12) from the field in the second quarter.
“We never got into a great offensive rhythm, but points ended up on the board,” said St. Joseph’s coach Ric Mauch. “Our defense ended up building (the offense).”
Raster scored 15 points to lead the Indians. Michelle Weaver and Kubsch each added nine. Weaver and Kubsch also grabbed five rebounds apiece. Francoeur came off the bench to pull down seven rebounds to go with her six points.
“(Raster) had a whale of a game,” Mauch said.
Lack of size benefited St. Joseph’s.
“We had a mismatch problem,” Touhey said. “They had four guards and four perimeter players and we had a hard time matching up. They exposed that with us a little bit.”
Niles shot only 23-percent from the field and turned the ball over 24 times. Niles went from the 7:10 mark of the first quarter to the 5:22 mark of the second quarter without a field goal. All three of the Vikings’ field goals in the first half came on 3-pointers from Maureen Craig, who is the lone returning starter off of last year’s team. Craig led Niles with 11 points, which were all scored in the first half. Alexis Arnold made two 3-pointers in the second half.
“I told the girls (after the game) is all I can ask is how did we play from an energy level perspective and did you give everything you had out there,” Touhey said. “I think our girls played hard. This is a process for us as a team to learn how to play in varsity level competition against very, very good competition.
“We are going through a phase where we don’t know how to score yet. Kids don’t realize when they’re open for shots. We had opportunities where we got to the basket and we didn’t finish shots. We weren’t going up strong enough and that’s the physical part of the game that our kids need to get a better understanding of.”
ST. JOSEPH’S 48
Madeline Raster 6 1-2 15, Michelle Weaver 3 3-5 9, Alex Kubsch 4 0-0 9, Kelsey Majcher 1 0-0 2, Nicole Przybyslawski 2 0-2 4, Nicole Francoeur 3 0-0 6, Jordan Wawrzyniak 0 0-0 0, Emily Ferro 0 3-4 3. TOTALS: 19 7-13 48
Maureen Craig 3 2-3 11, Lashonda Greene 1 0-0 2, Michelle Briand 1 0-0 2, Alexis Arnold 2 0-0 6, Taylor Brandstatter 2 1-2 5, Brooke Wilson 0 0-1 0, Kylee Myer 0 0-2 0, Anna Sikkink 0 0-0 0, Sarah Smith 0 0-0 0, Sarah Cramer 0 0-0 0, Jacquelyn Grooms 0 0-0 0, Karon Nichols 0 0-2 0, Eva Nemeth 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 9 3-10 26
St. Joseph’s 10 28 43 48
Niles 4 12 21 26
3-point goals: St. Joseph’s 3 (Raster 2, Kubsch), Niles 5 (Craig 3, Arnold 2). Total fouls (fouled out): St. Joseph’s 15 (none), Niles 13 (none). Shooting: St. Joseph’s 19-of-47 for 40-percent, Niles 9-of-39 for 23-percent. Rebounding: St. Joseph’s 25 (Francoeur 7), Niles 24 (Briand 6). Turnovers: St. Joseph’s 15, Niles 24. Varsity records: St. Joseph’s 2-3, Niles 1-1. JV score: St. Joseph’s 39, Niles 31