Tigers pounce on Vikes

Published 3:10 am Wednesday, September 29, 2004

By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
They knew it was going to happen, they just didn't know when.
Tuesday night Niles' girls basketball team lost its first game of the season, a 61-51 setback against Benton Harbor at home.
Against the Tigers, Niles suffered from poor shooting, something that has bothered the team all year. Normally, the Vikings defense is able to make up for a slow offense, but Benton Harbor was too fast.
Niles hit 18-of-53 shots from the field, less than 34 percent. The Vikings shot particularly poorly in the second half, hitting 11-of-34.
The game was tight the first three quarters, with neither team taking a lead of more than two points.
With about two minutes to play in the third period, Benton Harbor converted two key steals into baskets to open up a six-point lead. Though the Vikings closed the gap to two at the end of the quarter, the Tigers took control to start the fourth and hand Niles its first loss.
Playing from behind was a new experience for the Vikings. In each of their seven victories, they never trailed after the first quarter and won by double-digits. Although they'd never been down that late in the game, Arnold said it was not a case of his players not knowing how to handle the situation.
Though Niles wasn't hitting shots, Arnold said Benton Harbor's high-pressure defense had a lot to do with it. The Tigers forced Niles into committing a season-high 32 turnovers.
In the second half, the Tigers' offense found a way to break through Niles' press and get to the basket. They hit 16-of-27 shots in the half.
Freshman guard Courtney Webb was nearly unstoppable for Benton Harbor in the third and fourth quarters. After hitting just 1-of-5 shots in the first half, Webb was all over the court in the second, hitting 9-of-12 for 19 points to finish with 21.
Harvey said knocking off sixth-ranked Niles was a huge win for his team, calling it the biggest victory the school has had in 10 to 12 years.
He was quick to admit, however, that the game would have been much different if Brandie Radde had played for Niles. Radde, the Vikings' second-leading scorer and best 3-point shooter, sat out her second straight game with an ankle injury.
Radde had an MRI on her ankle Tuesday. Arnold said he expects to hear back from the doctor soon to find out what the injury is and how long Radde must rest.
Niles' leading scorer was Sarah Dreher, who had 17 points.
Benton Harbor….61
BH (61) - Charonne Coleman 6 5-13 17, Shante Clark 4 1-2 9, Courtney Webb 10 0-0 21, Tashayla Jackson 5 0-0 10, Ashley Hampton 0 0-0 0, Timisha Napier 0 0-0 0, Trinka Boatright 1 2-3 4. Totals: 26 9-19 61
NHS (53) - Amber Peters 4 4-8 12, Ashley Pingel 0 0-0 0, Megan Scameheorn 1 5-6 7, Leigh Tyler 0 0-0 0, Sarah Dreher 6 5-7 17, Jessica Shinsky 1 0-0 2, Kate Whittaker 3 0-0 6, Melissa Olsen 4 1-2 9, Amanda Pingle 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 15-21 51.