Vikings send Lakeshore packing

Published 1:53 pm Saturday, January 7, 2006

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Big rebounding and tough defense helped earn Niles' varsity basketball team a SMAC West Division victory Friday evening against visiting Lakeshore
The Vikings had a lead after every period before posting the final 54-46 win, improving their record to 4-3 on the season.
A strong first half performance, which included 13 points from Nick Etzcorn and 26 team rebounds, gave the Lancers problems. After the first period, Niles had a 17-13 lead, and a 28-21 lead at halftime.
But the big story came in the second half.
Niles' lead was cut to two points in the third period after scoring only one point the entire quarter.
Brandon Thomas went 1-for-2 on the free throw line with 4:04 on the clock. Lakeshore added only six points in the period, bringing the score to 29-27.
Fortunately, the Vikings were able to comeback from the third quarter slump and score 25 points before claiming the win, although it wasn't as easy as it seemed.
Lakeshore put up a battle in the fourth and came within one point of the lead, 45-44, with 1:59 showing on the clock, but baskets from Etzcorn, Ben Hansen, Thomas and Tom Robson helped seal the victory for Niles as time expired.
Etzcorn led the Vikes with 17 points, while Thomas added 13 points and brought down 15 rebounds.
Tim Frakes and Shaine Tierney both had 11 points for Lakeshore, while Joe Welsh added 10.
The Vikings will return to action tonight when they host South Bend Clay. The JV is set to begin at 5:45 with varsity starting at 7:30.