Vikings look for eighth straight district title

Published 8:21 am Friday, November 19, 2004

By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
Niles' girls' basketball team has a chance tonight to do what few other teams have.
The Vikings face St. Joseph in their Class B district championship game at Dowagiac. Should Niles win, it will claim its eighth straight district title, dating back to 1997.
Based on the previous two matchups between the schools this season, both Niles victories, the Vikings have a good shot at the district championship. Head coach Jim Arnold, however, said his team remains cautious of a dangerous Bears team.
The key, Arnold said, is stopping St. Joseph early. That hasn't been a problem this postseason for Niles. In their first two games, the Vikings have limited their opponents to an average of five points in the first quarter.
Niles has limited its first two opponents, Berrien Springs and Lakeshore, to an average 24 total points. The average margin of victory for the Vikings in the playoffs has been 40.5 points.
In the first game between the Vikings and Bears, Sept. 14 at St. Joe, Niles won 55-37 behind 22 points from Brandie Radde. In the second game between SMAC West Division foes, Niles won 54-34 Nov. 9 at home.
Sarah Dreher led the Vikings in the second game with 22 points, including nine in the fourth quarter.
The Bears are coming off a big victory over Coloma Wednesday night to propel them into tonight's championship game. They beat the Comets 46-27 with a big fourth quarter.
St. Joseph beat Dowagiac 45-38 Monday in its first district game. In that contest, the Bears shot 29 3-pointers and hit just eight of them.
Tonight's game tips off at 7:30 p.m. The winner moves on to Monday's regionals at Battle Creek Harper Creek.
The winning team will face the champion of the district tournament at Marshall at 6 p.m.