Chiefs nearly sink Vikings

Published 6:10 am Wednesday, October 27, 2004

By Staff
DOWAGIAC - In the first half of Tuesday's girls basketball game, it looked as though Dowagiac was going to bury Niles with 3-pointers.
The Vikings, however, overcame the Chieftains' hot shooting and came back from a seven-point third quarter deficit to win 42-37 at Dowagiac.
It was the Chieftains' Brittney Reist in particular who scorched Niles in the first half. Reist nailed three 3-pointers in the first quarter and totaled 13 points in the half. Dowagiac hit 5-of-8 3s in the first half and 10-of-18 shots from the floor.
Meanwhile, Dowagiac's zone defense kept Niles' bigger forwards out of the lane, forcing the Vikings to shoot from the perimeter. Niles hit 8-of-23 shots in the opening half and went into the lockerroom down 27-20.
Chieftain coach Joe Spitale said forcing the Vikings to shoot outside was a gamble, especially since they had sharpshooting Brandie Radde back. The gamble paid off, though, in the second half, he said.
Arnold emphasized to his team at halftime that it needed to picked up its defensive pressure, the Vikings' forte this season. The players responded in the second half by limiting Dowagiac to 4-of-12 shooting.
Though their defense was tight, the Vikings still struggled offensively in the third quarter. Niles' Sarah Dreher hit two straight shots to start the second half, pulling the Vikings within three points. Niles went on to hit one of their next 10, going 4-of-14 in the period.
The Vikings' defense, however, limited Dowagiac to 2-of-7 shooting and five points in the quarter. Heading into the fourth period, Niles was within 32-30. Dreher again hit two straight shots to open the fourth, giving the Vikings a 34-32 lead.
Reist tied the game at 34 a minute later, but Radde's steal and drive to the basket with five minutes remaining gave Niles the lead for good.
The Chieftains had a chance to take the lead when they got the ball trailing 38-37 with 54 seconds remaining. But a bad pass and a steal by Niles' Melissa Olsen iced the game for the Vikings.
Arnold said, after playing poorly for three and half quarters, Niles did what it had to do to pull out the victory in the end.
Reist finished with 18 points and four 3-pointers. Katy Stuppy was also in double-figures for Dowagiac with 10 points.
Dreher totaled 12 points to lead Niles, followed by Kate Whittaker's 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Radde saw her most extensive playing time since returning from an ankle injury three games ago. Arnold said she is still trying to find her stroke and it showed. Radde finished with nine points, but shot 3-of-13 from the field. The school's all-time leader in 3-pointers made also hit just 1-of-6 from behind the arc.
Arnold said Radde still needs to build back her endurance from not playing for three weeks with the injury.
Tuesday was the second time Dowagiac has lost to Niles this season. The Vikings beat the Chieftains 50-18 on Sept. 30.
The Vikings have a week off before facing Benton Harbor on the road Nov. 2. Dowagiac plays Thursday at home against Edwardsburg.
Niles (42) - Ashley Pingel 1 0-0 3, Amber Peters 1 4-4 6, Meghan Scameheorn 0 0-0 0, Leigh Tyler 0 0-0 0, Brandie Radde 3 2-2 9, Sarah Dreher 6 0-0 12, Stephanee Schrader 0 0-0 0, Jessica Shinsky 0 0-0 0, Kate Whittaker 4 2-3 10, Becca Teske 0 0-0 0, Melissa Olsen 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 8-9 42.
Dowagiac (37) - Holly Lowe 1 0-0 3, Amy Wood 0 0-0 0, Brittney Reist 7 0-0 18, Kim Luthringer 2 0-0 4, Sarah Ostyn 0 0-0 0, Jolynn Hawkins 0 0-0 0, Katy Stuppy 3 2-2 10, Valerie Johnson 1 0-0 2, Maureen Pickar 0 0-0 0, Rebecca Cleveland 0 0-0 0, Brittany Watkins 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 2-2 37.
Niles 10 20 30 42 - 42
Dow 15 27 32 37 - 37
Halftime score - Dow 32, NHS 30
3-point shooting - Niles 2 (Ashley Pingle, Radde); Dowagiac 7 (Reist 4, Stuppy 2, Lowe). Fouls (fouled out) - Niles 10 (none); Dowagiac 12 (none). Records - Niles 13-2; Dowagiac 4-11.