Spartan runs bury Vikings

Published 6:38 am Wednesday, February 25, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- After withstanding and recovering from a 16-2 run late in the first quarter and early in the second, the Niles varsity basketball team didn't have enough to come back from a similar run later in the game and dropped a 68-55 decision to Battle Creek Lakeview Tuesday night.
The loss dropped Niles to 4-13 while Lakeview improved to 8-10.
The Spartans went ahead by 13 points with six minutes remaining in the first half only to have the Vikings cut the lead to five two minutes into the second half.
Lakeview went on another run, however, outscoring Niles 15-2 at the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth.
The Vikings never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Lakeview held off a late surge by Niles with 6-of-8 shooting from the free throw line down the stretch.
The Spartans used strong guard play and a patient offense to work through Niles' defensive pressure for good shots, and made six 3-pointers in the process.
Niles tried to stop Lakeview's Davan Kline and Carl Mulder with a triangle-and-two defense. The Vikings held Kline to six points in the first half and Mulder to two. The Spartans, however, found other ways to score and led 32-23 at halftime.
Despite his disappointment, Parks pointed to a few players who deserved praise--starting center John Kessick, starting guard Marcus Lawshea and reserve forward Dane Ford.
Another bright spot for Niles was the offensive production of sophomore reserve guard Kelby Jemison who scored a career-high 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers near the end of the third quarter.
Lawshea led the Vikings with 14 points and four steals. Kessick scored 13 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
Ford chipped in eight points and five rebounds.
Kline led Lakeview with 17 points.
The Niles junior varsity team beat Lakeview 61-42. Lavette Walker paced the Vikings with 16 points. Tom Robson added 10.
The Niles freshmen team beat Lakeview 67-44. Tony Horston led the Vikings with 13 points and Davius Jennings added 10.