Vikings’ losing streak snapped

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- When Cortney Jennings launched a last-second shot from half-court, Niles varsity basketball coach Denny Parks was completely at ease.
Not just because he figured the shot was not likely to fall, but because his team had nothing to lose.
The Vikings were 1-9 heading into Friday's game and riding an eight-game losing streak. But that drought came to an end when Jennings' shot missed and Niles earned the 64-61 victory.
The Vikings last won on Friday, Dec. 19, at Battle Creek Harper Creek. The win lifted Niles' season record to 2-9 while Kalamazoo Central dropped to 4-7.
One of the reasons the Maroon Giants may have lacked some intensity was Niles' decision to slow the game down with a zone defense, which keyed in on Kalamazoo's All-State Candidate Jennings, a 6-3 forward.
As it turns out, Niles committed just 13 turnovers and preserved a halftime lead for only the second time this season. The Vikings outscored Kalamazoo Central 31-20 in the first half.
The Giants cut Niles' lead to two points near the end of the third quarter and then challenged the Vikings for the final three minutes when the Vikings' lead was never more than eight points.
Brian Ketchum paced Niles with 16 points and eight rebounds. Marcus Lawshea added 11 points and Nate Parks scored 10. Scott Quaye also grabbed eight rebounds.
The Niles junior varsity basketball team beat Kalamazoo Central 69-56. Tom Robson paced the Vikings with 12 points and Nate Orr added 11.
The Niles freshmen team completed the sweep with a 67-53 win over Kalamazoo Central. Dan Rodts led the Vikings with 17 points. Jake Messner added 16 and Jonathan Smith helped out with 11.
Niles………………………64
Kalamazoo Central….61
Niles: Karyce Pulliam 0 0-0 0, Scott Quaye 2 0-1 4, Marcus Lawshea 2 6-8 11, Dane Ford 1 0-0 2, Ivery Cross 0 0-2 0, Kelby Jemison 1 2-2 5, Nate Parks 2 5-8 10, Paul Wreggelsworth 0 2-2 2, Lonnie Jones 1 2-2 4, Nick Etzcorn 2 4-6 8, Brian Ketchum 6 4-7 16. Totals: 17 25-38 64
Kalamazoo Central: James Abbot 2 1-1 6, Sebastian Jackson 4 0-0 11, LaRue Briggs 1 1-2 3, Jahmal Robinson 4 0-1 8, DeKeith Frazier 0 0-0 0, Glyn Hawkins 2 0-2 4, James Babiasz 2 0-0 4, Cortney Jennings 6 4-10 17, Recarte Lockhart 0 1-2 1, D.J. Young 2 3-8 7. Totals: 23 10-26 61
Niles 15 16 13 20--64
K. Central 8 12 20 21--61
3-point shooting: Niles 3 (Lawshea, Jemison, Parks), Kalamazoo Central 5 (Jackson 3, Abbot, Jennings). Team fouls (fouled out): Niles 19 (none), Kalamazoo Central 28 (Abbot). Team records: Niles 2-9, Kalamazoo Central 4-7

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