Niles balance too much

Published 4:51 am Tuesday, January 6, 2009

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Dowagiac Daily News
An 18-0 run between the first and second quarters by visiting Niles spelled doom for the Dowagiac girls' varsity basketball team Monday night.
The Lady Vikings led 2-0 early on only to have the Chieftains' Torie Lowe knot the score at 2-2 with a pair of free throws.
Niles outscored Dowagiac 16-0 the remainder of the first quarter and went on to defeat the Chieftains 61-28 in a non-conference tilt.
The Lady Vikings (4-2) got scoring from a variety of players in the opening eight minutes of the contest.
With one of its top scorers, Lindsay Craig limited to just one point in the contest, Niles turned to 10 other players to get the job done.
The Lady Vikings had six different players score in the first quarter as they opened up an 18-2 advantage.
In the second quarter, six more players dented the scoreboard as Niles outscored Dowagiac 13-10 to increase its lead to 31-12 at the intermission.
The Chieftains (2-3) tried to fight their way back into the contest in the third quarter, but still finished with only eight points in the quarter compared to nine for the Lady Vikings.
Niles followed up its lowest scoring quarter of the contest with its highest output in the final eight minutes.
The Lady Vikings poured in 21 points as seven players got into the scoring act.
At the other end of the court, Niles limited Dowagiac to just eight points and wound up outscoring the Chieftains 30-16 in the second half.
"We have been working in practice a lot to establish confidence with all our kids offensively," Niles coach Patrick Touhey said. "We are going to have nights when Lindsay isn't stroking the ball and especially down the road against the tougher teams, if she's not hitting well, we are going to have to have other kids step up.
"We are trying to build a system where the other kids are more confident in their offense. That's what we are building toward and hopefully tonight was a sign of that. Lindsay just had an off night tonight and Dowagiac started out in a box-and-one on her, so obviously they had a lot of respect for her," he added.
Touhey and the Lady Vikings also had a lot of respect for Dowagiac's Lowe, who seem to get frustrated at times with what Niles was doing against her offensively.
"We knew obviously that she was their go-to player," Touhey said. "We were hoping that if we did frustrate her, maybe, just maybe they wouldn't have anyone to step up and knock down some shots because we didn't know what the other kids were capable of doing. Maybe some of them had an off night tonight, but we were fortunate that some of the looks they got didn't fall for them."
Autumn Lucero led a balanced scoring attack for the Lady Vikings with a game-high 13 points. Niles also got nine points each from Jenna Grannell and Baysia Cox. Maureen Craig added eight points and Kaleigh Hill seven points.
In all, 11 of the Lady Vikings 12 players scored.
Dowagiac was led by Lowe, who was doubled, tripled and sometimes even had four players on her, with seven points. Tasia Diaz finished with five points, while Kaisha Martin and Cassie Stone both had four points.
"I was impressed with how they handled Torie," Dowagiac coach Dick O'Day said. "The rest of our girls stood around and watched it."
Bryanna Cramer 1 1-2 4; Lindsay Craig 0 1-2 1; Alyssa Pingel 1 1-2 4; Autumn Lucero 4 5-6 13; Maureen Craig 2 2-2 8; Rachel Smith 0 0-0 0; Kaitlyn Touhey 1 1-2 3; Nicole Sly 1 0-2 2; Kaleigh Hill 3 1-2 7; Maggie Ernsberger 0 1-2 1; Jenna Grannell 3 3-6 9; Baysia Cox 3 3-4 9. TOTALS: 19 19-32 61
Tasia Diaz 2 1-2 5; Katie Wood 0 0-0 0; Cierra Mattix 0 0-0 0; Tore Lowe 1 5-6 7; Kaisha Martin 2 0-0 4; Andrea Bradshaw 0 0-1 0; Brittany Gnatz 1 0-0 2; Britnee Allerton 1 1-2 3; Kayleigh Hutchings 0 0-0 0; Tori Shank 0 0-0 0; Marcie Ennesser 0 0-0 0; Cassie Stone 1 2-3 4; Joanna Pickar 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 9 9-15 28
Niles 18 31 40 61
Dowagiac 2 12 20 28
3-point goals: Niles 4 (Cramer, Pingel, M. Craig 2), Dowagiac 1 (Allen). Total fouls (fouled out): Niles 20, Dowagiac 20. Varsity records: Niles 4-2, Dowagiac 2-3