Great effort comes up short for VikesPublished 12:05am Wednesday, January 18, 2012
A monumental effort by the Niles girls basketball team came up a bit short Tuesday night as Lakeshore held on for a 43-40 Big 16 Conference West Division victory.
The Vikings despite numerous turnovers and no points from leading scorer Maureen Craig was able to battle the Lancers throughout the contest before falling.
In a first half in which Niles (3-7, 1-4 West) had 18 turnovers, the Vikings were able to take a 23-19 lead at halftime.
Thanks to the play of guard Taylor Brandstatter, who scored all but two of her game-high 12 points in the opening half.
Brandstatter got the Vikings off to a great start as she had seven points in the opening quarter to help Niles erase a 9-2 Lakeshore lead in the opening minutes of the game.
Her first basket tied the game at 2-2 and then she completed a three-point play to cut the Lancers’ lead to 9-5.
Her seventh point of the quarter made it a 9-7 contest with 3:28 left in the quarter.
Lakeshore would eventually take a 15-11 advantage to the second.
A pair of 3-pointers, one by Brandstatter and one by Alexis Arnold kept the Vikings close.
Arnold’s basket with 4:16 to play in the first half gave Niles its first lead. The Vikings would extend their advantage to 23-17 on a basket by Anna Sikkink.
Lakeshore would cut the lead to 23-19 heading to the locker room.
The Lancers (8-2, 3-2 West) outscored Niles 10-4 in the opening four minutes of the second half to take a 29-27 lead. But Lakeshore was never able to shake the Vikings.
Niles trailed 37-31 heading to the fourth quarter.
Lakeshore despite a couple of late 3-pointers from Jackie Grooms was able to hold on for the victory.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the effort they put out there tonight,” Niles coach Patrick Touhey said. “Our biggest challenge before the game started was I asked the kids to step up and not be afraid of the physicality and the aggressiveness and the pressure that Lakeshore was going to bring to us. That has been a challenge for us all year. And the one thing we didn’t do tonight more than anything was we didn’t back down with our physicality.
“So as a result, I just felt the that although we lost the game, but for us it’s such a big step forward.”
Niles also got 10 points from Alexis Arnold and Michelle Briand.
Lakeshore was led by Cameron Tyler’s 11 points.
Kaitlin Cornwell 3 2-2 9; Rachael Armstrong 0 0-0 0; Alex Forsythe 0 0-0 0; Lauren Clem 3 0-2 6; Cameron Tyler 5 0-1 11; McKenzie Clem 2 0-0 4; Megan Hiler 4 0-3 8; Samantha Randall 0 0-0 0; Colleen Carlson 1 3-4 5. TOTALS: 18 5-12 43
Taylor Brandstatter 5 1-3 12; Alexis Arnold 4 0-0 10; Kylee Myer 0 0-0 0; Maureen Craig 0 0-0 0; Eva Nemeth 0 0-0 0; Anna Sikkink 1 0-0 2; Lashonda Greene 0 0-2 0; Michelle Briand 5 0-0 10; Jackie Grooms 2 0-0 6. TOTALS: 17 1-5 40
Lakeshore 15 19 37 43
Niles 11 23 31 40
3-point baskets: Lakeshore 2 (Cornwell, Tyler), Niles 5 (Brandstatter, Arnold 2, Grooms 2). Total fouls (fouled out): Lakeshore 9 (none), Niles 16 (none).