Missed opportunities costly for Vikings

Published 5:48 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2007

By By TOM NYHUIS / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Missed opportunities in the final 1:44 of Tuesday night's Niles Vikings varsity boys' basketball game resulted in an undefeated Marshall Red Hawks team keeping their slate clean and go home with a 52-47 win.
"We always talk about effort and execution," Niles coach Todd Pawielski said following the game. "We were pleased with the effort, but our execution needs to get better on both sides of the ball and it's not going to happen when your not in the right spot. We played with a great deal of energy and passion and we got in the right spot and that was a good combination."
Marshall had built a 14-point lead in the first half going up 38-24 with 44 seconds to play in the first half on Jeff Lough's third 3-pointer of the half.
Lough scored 13 of his game high 19 points in the opening half. Marshall knocked down five from long range to keep the lead in double digits through out the first half. It was a fast pace second quarter with the Red Hawks outscoring the Vikings 24 to 17.
The big difference was the Vikings five turnovers in the quarter while Marshall didn't turn the ball over once. Michael Dodd came off the bench and scored six points in the second quarter to keep what looked to be a glimmer of hope to stay in the game.
Niles began chipping away at the lead in the third quarter beginning with a 5-0 run at the start. Andre Thompson cut the lead to eight with just under four minutes to play in the third. With under a minute to play in the quarter Jordan Parks buried a trey to cut the lead to six, the margin that the Red Hawks held at the end of the first quarter. Lough hit a basket with two ticks remaining and give his team a 45-37 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Niles cut the lead to three with an 8-3 run. Paul Dreher came down with two of his biggest rebounds of the game off the offensive glass.
The second came after Parks picked the ball away at mid court and drove to the hoop. The ball rolled off the rim but Dreher was there to clean up after Parks and bring the Viking to within three. With Niles trailing 47-50 and 1:44 remaining on the clock the Viking had four opportunities to tie our cut the lead but couldn't cash in on their chances.
"I thought we got a little careless with the basketball with the game on the line. We had three turnovers in the last minute forty that just should not have happen however a lot of the factors that decided the game where the easy baskets that we gave up in the first two and a half quarters," Pawielski said. "They had five or six uncontested baskets you know right down to the wire and those certainly add up in the end."
Marshall left the door open missing the front end of their one and one free throws twice. In the final 18 seconds, the Red Hawks did manage to hit 2-of-4 from the line to but the game away and preserve undefeated season.
B.J. Konkle 1 1-2 4, Bobby Feight 3 0-2 7, Jeff Lough 8 0-3 19, Joe Jeffereys 0 2-2 2, James Hinske 2 1-2 5, Matt Roberts 2 4-5 8, Jake Fox 2 1-2 5, Jon Brown 0 2-4 2. Totals 18 11-22 52.
Jordan Parks 4 0-0 9, Michael Dodd 3 1-2 7, David Garner 2 1-2 5, Andre Thompson 4 0-1 8, Demetrius Phillips 1 0-0 2, Paul Dreher 4 2-4 10, Zachary Pearson 1 0-0 2, Kyle Williams 2 0-0 4. Totals 21 4-9 47
Marshall 14 38 45 – 52
Niles 8 25 37 – 47
3-point baskets: Park (N), Konkle (M), Feight (M), Lough (M) 3. Records Marshall 5-0, Niles 1-3.