Vikings nearly knock off Lakeshore

Published 7:50 am Tuesday, March 9, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
COLOMA -- John Kessick's 20th point gave the Niles varsity basketball team a 48-43 lead with 3:19 left in the first game of the Class B District Tournament Monday night at Coloma High School.
The Vikings, however, scored just two more points as Lakeshore went on a 14-2 run to end the game with a 57-50 victory.
Kessick, who led Niles with 20 points, scored seven straight points, including a 3-pointer, in a stretch of 1:20 to help erase a seven-point Lakeshore lead and give the Vikings just their second lead of the game.
Tierney, a sophomore, scored four of his game-high 22 points in the final 1:16. Senior forward Nick Freer scored four of his six points in the final three minutes and seniors Jon Mierau, Steve Hicks and Rimas Varanauskas each scored to aid the Lakeshore comeback.
Niles committed a turnover following Mierau's game-tying 3-pointer and Varanauskas converted a short jump shot at the other end to give Lakeshore a 50-48 lead.
Kessick missed a shot with less than a minute to go that would have tied the game or cut the lead to one.
Niles started the game with a barrage of scoring, racing out to a 7-2 lead in the first two minutes.
Lakeshore, behind the offensive play of Tierney, battled back to tie the game at 11 apiece before pulling ahead for a 19-17 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was as even as the first. Niles tied the game at 21 apiece on a Kessick field goal but Lakeshore pulled ahead 25-21 before the Vikings managed another tie. The Lancers eventually took a 31-28 lead at halftime.
Kessick scored 12 points in the first half and finished the game with eight rebounds.
Lonnie Jones came off the bench to score seven points for the Vikings. Marcus Lawshea and Ivery Cross each had three steals while Brian Ketchum came up with three blocked shots.
Varanauskas scored 13 points for Lakeshore.