Vikings get defensive in victory
Published 11:58 pm Friday, December 10, 2010
A great defensive effort by Niles Friday night allowed the Vikings to rack up their second consecutive victory as they defeated visiting Mattawan 65-36 in the Big 16 Conference West Division opener for both teams.
The Vikings took control of the contest in the second quarter when they outscored the Wildcats 17-2, holding Mattawan without a basket the final 5:50 of the half.
Niles (2-0, 1-0 West) grabbed an early 13-5 lead on the Wildcats, who rallied late in the opening quarter to cut the Vikings’ advantage to 13-8 by the end of the period.
Niles hit its first four shots of the second quarter, including a steal and dunk by Myles Busby, to make it 19-8 just a minute and a half into the period.
Mattawan’s B.J. Butler canned the only shot of the quarter for the Wildcats with 5:50 showing on the clock to make it 19-10.
Niles finished off the half with an 11-0 run that turned a nine-point advantage into a 30-10 halftime lead.
“We really stayed between the man and the basket,” Niles coach Todd Pawielski said. “The kids did a nice job of overplaying and getting into the passing lanes. To be fair, Mattawan missed a lot of shots, but I think some of that is certainly due to our defensive pressure. They moved the ball well, but we kept them out of the lane. Our kids did a phenomenal job of playing defense without fouling them. We were able to get to the line early there in the bonus and made a lot of free throws.”
Busby led the charge with nine of his game-high 18 points in the period, while the Vikings also hit 6-of-10 free throws in the quarter.
Things didn’t get a whole lot better in the third quarter for the Wildcats, who were limited to just 10 points, several of which were scored at the end of the period when Niles substituted freely.
Brandon Partee’s 3-pointer with 0.5 left on the clock gave the Vikings a 26-point (46-20) advantage heading into the final eight minutes of the contest.
Despite going to his bench in the fourth quarter, Niles was still able to outscore Mattawan, holding a 19-16 advantage and increasing the Vikings’ lead.
Besides Busby’s total, Niles also got seven points from both Matthew McLaughlin and Partee. Jordan Potthoff and Quinton Irby, who also had nine rebounds off the bench, both added six. Austin Parks and Zak Prenkert each contributed five points.
Thomas Hoff led the Wildcats with 16 points. Zach Cornish also reached double digits with 11 points.
Andrew Walter 0 2-2 2; Zach Cornish 3 5-6 11; Darren Jacks 1 0-0 3; Luke Srodulski 0 0-0 0; Thomas Hoff 6 0-0 16; McIntyre Webb 1 0-0 2; B.J. Butler 1 0-0 2; Kyle Bitzer 0 0-0 0; Kevin Bitzer 0 0-0 0; Byron Johnson 0-0 0. TOTALS: 12 7-8 36
Myles Busby 7 3-3 18; Matthew McLaughlin 3 0-0 7; Austin Parks 2 0-0 5; Logan Harpenau 0 1-4 1; Riley Robson 1 1-2 3; Zak Prenkert 2 1-2 5; Nick Lucero 1 2-3 4; Jordan Potthoff 2 2-2 6; Taylor Campell 0 3-6 3; Quinton Irby 2 2-3 6; Brandon Partee 2 2-2 7. TOTALS: 22 17-27 65
Mattawan 8 10 20 36
Niles 13 30 46 65
3-point baskets: Mattawan5 (Hoff 4, Jacks), Niles 4 (Busby, McLaughlin, Parks, Partee). Total fouls: Mattawan 27, Niles 11. Fouled out: None. Varsity records: Mattawan 1-1, 0-1 West; Niles 2-0, 1-0 West