Vikings fall to Mishawaka in OTPublished 6:29am Saturday, January 5, 2013
In a matter of seconds, the Niles boys basketball team saw its late lead in overtime Friday evaporate against Mishawaka.
Aided by two Viking turnovers in the final 40 seconds, the Cavemen scored the final seven points in overtime and stunned Niles, 80-78.
“Just the two turnovers over the final 40 seconds is kind of sickening and heartbreaking at the same time,” said Niles coach Todd Pawielski, whose team fell to 1-5. “This is a game that we probably should have won. We just did so many things right until the last 40 seconds.”
Chris Mitchell’s basket for Mishawaka after a Niles turnover pulled the Cavemen within 78-77 with :23 left. Mishawaka quickly forced another Viking turnover and took an 80-78 lead after getting a 3-pointer from Don Mitchell with :16 remaining.
“It was certainly nothing I did,” said Mishawaka coach Ryan Watson, whose team improved to 6-2. “We were in our normal press and T.J. Hursey made a really good read and Mike Buchanan had a steal as well. That was all the kids and their effort. Don Mitchell struggled a little bit from the floor, but he hit the shot that counted.”
Niles called a timeout with :10 remaining. Alex Brown attempted an off-balance 3-pointer from the left baseline with :02 left that went only a few feet in the air.
“Tonight, we were fortunate enough that our best defensive possession was the final possession when we ran a guy up the 3-point line against the guy who had hit eight or nine 3′s throughout the game,” Watson said.
“We wanted a layup or a 3-pointer,” Pawielski said about his team’s strategy at the end of the overtime. “We ran it inside to Mitch (Dehn) and we just wanted him to make a good decision. He got to the rim. I don’t know if he had a layup or not. Mitch is a senior and a great kid and we trust him to make a play. It just wasn’t there at the end.”
It was a great shooting night for both teams with Brown leading the way as an individual standout. Brown finished with a career-high 31 points, including seven 3-pointers. Brown missed only five shots from beyond the arc and as a team, Niles shot 58-percent (14-of-24) from beyond the arc. The Vikings shot 54-percent (25-of-46) from the field, while the Cavemen shot a blistering 60-percent (33-of-55) from the field.
“Niles did a terrific job,” Watson said. “They’re very well coached. They shot it tremendously tonight.”
Niles had not played in two weeks and the time off helped Niles sharpen up its play.
“We had a nice couple of weeks over Christmas break of practice,” Pawielski said. “The kids did a lot of good things in the gym and I think we saw a lot of that tonight. Obviously, we shot the ball really well. Alex Brown was tremendous.”
Tate Brawley scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers, for Niles. Anthony Bice added 11 with 10 of those points coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. His basket tied the game at 71 with :03 left in regulation. Bice’s 3-pointer gave Niles a 74-71 lead with 2:44 left in overtime. Brown’s two free throws gave the Vikings a 78-73 lead with 1:05 remaining.
“(Bice) was real solid,” Pawielski said.
There were 12 lead changes in the game with the biggest lead being eight points which Niles owned at 44-36 with 5:20 left in the third quarter.
Chris Mitchell scored 22 points to lead Mishawaka. Cody Childress added 17, while Don Mitchell had 15 and Buchanan totaled 14.
“It’s just hard to believe that we lost this game with as well as so many kids played,” Pawielski said.
Jacob Schmatz 0, Caleb Gabler 0, Cody Childress 17, Don Mitchell 15, Mike Buchanan 14, Chris Mitchell 22, Peyton Staples 6, T.J. Hursey 6. TOTALS: 33 9-13 80
Tate Brawley 16, Matt Miller 3, Mitchell Dehn 4, Alex Brown 31, Anthony Bice 11, Jesse Jordan 7, Gevanta Nichols 0, Cole Clemens 5, Jeremy Wortham 0, Conner Glick 1. 25 14-22 78
Mishawaka 13 31 51 71 80
Niles 12 36 49 71 78
3-point goals: Mishawaka 5 (D. Mitchell 3, Hursey 2), Niles 14 (Brown 7, Brawley 3, Bice 2, Jordan, Clemens). Total fouls (fouled out): Mishawaka 14 (none), Niles 15 (none). Shooting: Mishawaka 33-of-55 for 60-percent, Niles 25-of-46 for 54-percent. Rebounding: Mishawaka 20 (C. Mitchell 6), Niles 21 (Dehn 6). Turnovers: Mishawaka 11, Niles 16