Niles coach Todd Pawielski barks out orders to his team during the Vikings’ 53-38 victory over No.2-ranked Lakeshore Tuesday night. (Daily Star Photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Archived Story

Niles knocks off No. 2-ranked Lancers

Published 12:09am Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday night’s battle of unbeatens was more like a heavyweight fight instead of a high school basketball game.

Both teams took a few swings and missed, but in the end, Niles landed enough body shots to put No. 2-ranked (Class B) Lakeshore down 53-38.

The Vikings move into sole possession of first place in the Big 16 Conference West Division standings as they head to Kalamazoo Central Friday to face the two-time defending Class A state champions.

The two teams battled throughout the contest trying to get the upper hand on the other. Both team traded baskets, committed turnovers against solid defense and battle for control of the boards.

“I thought defensively both teams played real well, but we were off the charts,” Niles coach Todd Pawielski said. “We did a great job of what we call walling up and making Lakeshore shoot over us. We did a great job of not fouling their big guys inside.

“I think both defenses took the other team out of what they wanted to do. Both teams shoot a little better than they did tonight.

Despite a huge height advantage, Lakeshore was unable to take advantage of it as it settled for a season-high 16 3-point attempts and only outrebounded the much small Viking squad 39-38.

“We didn’t rebound very well, but we rebounded well when it mattered,” Pawielski said. “I think they had seven offensive rebounds in the first quarter and seven total after that.”

It was a switch in tempo in the third quarter that might have given Niles the final punch it needed to knock out the Lancers.

“We’re pretty good in transition,” Pawielski said. “We just kept encouraging our guys to don’t stop running. We just keep telling our kids do what we do. And that’s run the floor.”

After the Lancers grabbed a 9-6 lead in the first quarter, Niles was able to rally back and take a 22-21 lead at halftime as Taylor Campbell connected on a pair of free throws in the final 33 seconds of the second quarter.

The Vikings came out and pushed the ball up the court in the third quarter and as a result outscored the Lancers 15-9 to take a 37-30 advantage to the final frame.

Niles (8-0, 5-0 West) slowly began to pull away from Lakeshore (8-1, 4-1 West) in the final eight minutes and was able to seal the victory behind the efforts of Austin Parks and Taylor Campbell, who combined for 12 of the Vikings’ 16 points.

Lakeshore coach Sean Schroeder was a bit baffled as to why his team didn’t attack the inside more against the smaller Niles squad.

“Niles played a great game tonight,” he said. “They played harder than we did. Irby and Campbell, undersized post guys completely dominated our kids on the board. We’re bigger than they are and the rebounds were basically even.

“We kind of lost it because we’ve never been behind all year I guess. I’m really perplexed because we are not supposed to be a 3-point shooting team. We came out shooting the ball from the perimeter at the start of the game. We didn’t throw it inside and we continued on that. There were times we came out of a timeout and specifically said we want the ball inside and we shot a three. Those are things that need to change if we are going to be a good basketball team again.”

Parks, Irby and Matthew McLaughlin all scored 11 points for the Vikings, while Myles Busby added 10 and Campbell nine. Busby also had 15 rebounds. Irby finished with nine rebounds, including five on the offensive end.

“I thought Quintin Irby was a huge difference maker,” Pawielski said. “He is quietly having a spectacular season. You saw it tonight, how quick he is and how active he is.”

Lakeshore got 15 points from Alex Klunder and 10 points from Ryan Avery.

LAKESHORE 38

Jordan Avery 0 0-0 0; Alex Moneta 0 0-0 0; Ryan Avery 4 2-4 10; Michael Welch 0 0-0 0; Austin Kaiser 2 1-3 5; Loren Johnson 2 0-1 4; Harold Wiggins 1 0-0 2; Alex Klunder 6 1-2 15; Alex Blematl 0 0-0 0; Keith Bushwyler 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 16 4-10 38

NILES 53

Myles Busby 3 4-9 10; Matthew McLaughlin 4 2-4 11; Austin Parks 5 0-0 11; Logan Harpenau 0 0-0 0; Alec Brown 0 1-3 1; Aaron Pierce 0 0-0 0; Arias Williams 0 0-0 0; Taylor Campbell 3 3-4 9; Quintin Irby 4 3-7 11; Mitchell Dehn 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 13-27 53

Lakeshore 9 21 30 38

Niles 6 22 37 53

3-point baskets: Lakeshore 2 (Klunder), Niles 2 (McLaughlin, Parks). Total fouls (fouled out): Lakeshore 21 (none), Niles 16 (none). Varsity records: Lakeshore 8-1, 4-1 West; Niles 8-0, 5-0 West

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