Second-half sloppiness

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- What appeared to be an evenly-matched basketball game turned out to be a 17-point rout Tuesday night at Niles High School.
The host Vikings led by four points at halftime but were outscored 34-13 in the second half by St. Joseph and suffered a 57-40 Big 16 West Division loss.
Neither team played exceptionally well in the first half, combining for 24 turnovers, but St. Joseph (4-2, 2-1) shook off the early jitters and turned the ball over just six times in the second half while holding Niles (1-4, 0-2) to only 13 points.
Niles forced the Bears to commit 14 turnovers in the first half and the Vikings shot 50 percent (12-of-24) in the first half and outscored St. Joseph 16-12 in the second quarter.
Things changed quickly in the second half, however, as the Bears took their first lead of the game on an inside basket by Alan Robinson with 1:11 left in the third quarter. St. Joseph never trailed again, outscoring the Vikings 22-7 the rest of the way.
Alan Robinson led the second-half scoring charge for the Bears with 12 of his team-high 17 points. Senior point guard Kyle Etter, in his first game of the season after recovering from an elbow injury, also scored nine of his 11 points after halftime.
Niles, which started out controlling the game with its defense, turned the ball over 17 times Tuesday night. While that number is down from the Vikings' two losses last week, head coach Denny Parks was still unhappy.
Niles' shooting percentage slipped to 38 percent with a 6-of-23 performance in the second half.
Marcus Lawshea led Niles with nine points and four assists. Ivery Cross led the defensive effort with six steals.
Sophomore forward Nick Etzcorn cracked the starting lineup for the first time this season. The change of rotation was evidence of an ongoing search by Parks to find the right combination of players.
The Niles junior varsity team slipped to 1-2 on the season with a 52-32 loss to St. Joseph. Tom Robson led the Vikings with 11 points.
The Niles freshmen basketball team also suffered a loss, its first of the season. St. Joseph made a 3-pointer at the final buzzer to edge the Vikings, 68-65. Jake Messner led the Vikings with 17 points. Jonathan Smith added 15, Paul DePoy scored 13 and Danny Rodts added 12.
Niles travels to Benton Harbor Friday night.
St. Joseph….57
Niles…………40
St. Joseph: Kyle Etter 5 0-1 11, Kyle Hammond 0 0-0 0, Nick Sherrill 1 0-0 2, Alan Robinson 6 5-5 17, Zach Krieger 1 0-0 2, David Clore 3 2-3 8, Derek Lane 0 0-0 0, David Allen 2 3-4 7, Ben Knuth 3 0-0 8, Matt Lubbers 1 0-0 2, Joe Cleveland 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 10-13 57
Niles: Karyce Pulliam 1 0-1 2, Scott Quaye 2 0-0 4, Marcus Lawshea 4 0-0 9, Dane Ford 2 0-0 4, Ivery Cross 0 0-0 0, Stacy Caskey 1 0-1 2, Nate Parks 2 1-2 6, Paul Wreggelsworth 0 0-0 0, Adrian Davis 1 0-0 2, Lonnie Jones 1 0-0 2, Jason Rutkowske 0 0-0 0, Andrew Foster 0 0-0 0, Nick Etzcorn 3 1-2 7, John Kessick 0 0-2 0, Brian Ketchum 1 0-2 2. Totals: 18 2-10 40
St. Joseph 11 12 14 20--57
Niles 11 16 8 5--40
3-point shooting: St. Joseph 3 (Knuth 2, Etter), Niles 2 (Parks, Lawshea). Team fouls (fouled out): St. Joseph 9 (none), Niles 15 (none). Team records: St. Joseph 4-2 (2-1 Big 16 West), Niles 1-4 (0-2)

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