Niles starts slow, overcomes 11-point deficit to beat Benton Harbor

Published 6:50 am Wednesday, November 3, 2004

By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
Niles' girls' basketball team exacted some revenge at Benton Harbor Tuesday night, winning 51-46, but had to overcome an 11-point deficit to do so.
The Tigers handed Niles its first loss of the season on Sept. 28, a 61-51 set back in which the Vikings came out flat and trailed from the start.
Tuesday looked like a repeat of that loss for Niles, as Benton Harbor jumped out to a 19-8 lead in the first quarter. The Vikings responded by reeling off 11 straight points to tie the game and eventually take the lead.
Niles outscored Benton Harbor 14-6 in the second quarter to take the lead, but went into halftime down by a point. Arnold credited his team's half-court defense to limiting the Tigers' scorers in the second period.
The third quarter also belonged to Niles, who took a six-point lead heading into the fourth thanks to an 18-11 advantage in the third period.
After a Tiger charge in the fourth, the Vikings lead narrowed to three points, 49-46, with 28 seconds remaining in the game. Key free throws from Sarah Dreher and Amber Peters, however, gave Niles its final 51-46 advantage.
Arnold said free throws were a key for the Vikings all night. Niles hit 14-of-20 from the line, while Benton Harbor hit just 5-of-13. Dreher alone shot and made more free throws than the entire Tiger team, going 11-of-15.
The difference in the game may have been the play of Niles' guard Brandie Radde. In the Vikings' earlier loss to Benton Harbor, Radde was sidelined with an ankle injury.
Tuesday, she scored 13 points. She was one of two Vikings in double-figures. Dreher led Niles with 21 points. No other Viking scored more than five points.
Dreher and Radde also led Niles in rebounding, each grabbing eight.
In the first matchup of the season, Tigers' freshman guard Courtney Webb burned Niles for 21 points. Tuesday the Vikings were able to keep her in check, limiting her to six points.
With the victory, Niles moves to 14-2 overall and 5-1 in the SMAC West Division. The Vikings also take a one-point lead in the division.
If Niles wins its next two division games against Lakeshore and St. Joseph, two teams the Vikings have beaten once this season, it wins the division.