Niles improves to 3-0 with win over DowagiacPublished 10:12pm Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The goal for visiting Niles coming into Tuesday night’s contest with Dowagiac was to take care of business.
A pair of runs, one to open the game and one to start the second quarter, allowed the Vikings to remain undefeated with a 53-13 win over the Chieftains.
Niles (3-0) opened the game on a 9-1 run and led 16-5 after the opening quarter.
The Vikings outscored Dowagiac 13-0 to start the second half to increase their advantage to 29-5. Niles ended the first half leading 35-7.
Dowagiac (1-2) lost leading scorer and rebounder Ciera Smith early in the second quarter when she went down for a second time in the game with an apparent knee injury. She also had to leave the floor and the gym in the first quarter after injuring her knee.
The scoring slowed down in the second half, aided partially by a running clock in the fourth quarter.
Niles scored 12 points in the third quarter, while holding Dowagiac to just four points defensive to take a 47-11 advantage into the final eight minutes of play.
“I felt like we were a little bit flat, but the pressure that we put on they (Dowagiac) had a difficult time with,” Niles coach Patrick Touhey said. “We come in here and do we make it a game or do we come in here, take care of business and get this thing over in the first half so we can all go home,” Touhey said. “We did that. Did we do that the best way? Maybe not, but they sure did do it and for these kids, that’s improvement.”
Dowagiac’s game plan was to work the ball inside to Smith, but when the guard had a hard time getting the basketball up the floor against the Niles pressure and Smith went down with injury, that plan went out the window.
“Niles is quick and very athletic, they play hard and they are well coached,” Dowagiac coach Floyd Foston said. “They have made leaps and bounds from last year. We worked on it (the press), but it is hard to assimilate that quickness in practice. They get after you defensively.
“We tried to get it inside to her (Smith), but it’s hard when the pressure is so good outside on the perimeter to get some entries into the post. We had planned to run our offense. We scored off of shuffle and we scored on a screen. We are not fundamentally sound handling the ball and making good passes, so that’s what you get.”
Elyse Zimmerman led the Vikings for the second straight night as she scored 17 points to lead all scorers. Niles also got eight points from Jazmin Brann and seven points apiece from Jaiden Rolan and Libby Moody.
Mara Nelson and Rayven Brown both scored four points for the Chieftains.
Khalilah Abdullah 0, Jaiden Rolan 7, Antonia Palmer 2, Elyse Zimmerman 17, Maya Brookins 0, Tatyanna Goodson 4, Emily Gaines 6, Kylee Myer 2, Alcia Prescott 0, Jazmin Brann 8, Libby Moody 7. TOTALS: 21 7-15 53
Crieona Rodgers 3, Taylor Hulett 0, Angel Parker 0, Jenesis Green 0, Alyssa Allen 0, Mara Nelson 4, Rayven Brown 4, Riley Daly 2, Zaccyah Bacon 0, Ciera Smith 2, Dorisha McNeal 2. TOTALS: 4 4-13 13
Niles 16 35 47 53
Dowagiac 5 7 11 13
3-point baskets: Niles 4 (Zimmerman, Rolan, Gaines, Moody), Dowagiac 1 (Brown). Total fouls (fouled out): Niles 13 (None), Dowagiac 11 (None). Varsity records: Niles 3-0, Dowagiac 1-2. JV score: Niles 38 (Michelle Crouch (16), Dowagiac 6