Edwardsburg slips past Chiefs

Published 12:27 am Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Edwardsburg’s Josh Kozinski had 21 points as the Eddies edged White Pigeon in their season opener 55-51. (Edwardsburg Argus Photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

The Edwardsburg Eddies boys’ basketball team kicked it season off with a bang Tuesday evening with a 55-51 win over visiting White Pigeon.

The Chiefs got off to a fast start led by senior guard Tanner Nichols, who scored 12 of his game-high 27 points in the first quarter helping his team to a 19-10 lead over the then struggling Eddies.

The Eddies turned things around in the second behind the play of junior guard Josh Kozinski, who erupted for 11 second quarter which included a stretch where he hit three 3-pointers in four trips down the court.

Eddies coach Dan Gunn was not surprised by Kozinski’s second quarter output.

“We are kind of used to watching him do all those things. He does a lot to make this team better,” Gunn said.

Edwardsburg would use a 16- 7 run throughout the second quarter to knot the score up at 26 apiece heading into halftime.

The second half played out much differently than the first half. Instead of a continuation of the battle of the guards between Nichols and Kozinski, the second half became a battle between the big men.

After remaining quiet for a majority of the first half, the Eddies’ senior center Kyle Slack and the Chiefs’ junior center Matt Crowl began making some noise amongst one another starting with Crawl rejecting three straight Eddie shots (two of them belonging to Slack) early in the third.

However, Slack would end up having the loudest and last laugh as his lay-up with 30 seconds left to play would prove to be the winning bucket. It also capped off his 8 point fourth quarter that really swung the momentum into the home team’s favor. Slack’s coach took notice of the impact his 6’8 senior had in deciding the outcome of the game.

“Big ole Kyle really came through for us tonight offensively. He made some timely jump shots and had a couple of big rebounds that really helped us tonight,” Gunn said.

When all was said and done, Kozinski and Slack paced the Eddies with 21 and 16 points respectively. Crowl chipped in 10 for the Chiefs.

Gunn was happy with the outcome but was quick to point out what needed to be improved upon with his team.

“We need to smooth things up offensively and get used to pressure. You know, they had a lot of pressure on us tonight and we need to find our open guys a little quicker. We just need to work harder and when we do that everything else will iron itself out,” he said.

The Eddies return to action Friday at home against Berrien Springs at 7:30.

Edwardsburg 55

Josh Kozinski 5 8-11 21, Kyle Slack 5 6-8 16, Dominic Razzano 2 1-1 5, Patrick Harvey 2 0-2 4, Ethan Zimmerman 1 2-2 4, Austin Meadows 1 0-0 2, Eric Richardson 1 0-0 2, Jason Schimpa 0 1-4 1. TOTALS: 17 18-28 55

White Pigeon

Tanner Nichols 10 2-4 27, Matt Crowl 5 0-0 10, Robbie Gibson 3 0-1 6, Tyler Chantrenne 2 1-2 5, Branson Salyer 1 0-0 3. TOTALS: 21 3-7 51

Edwardsburg 10 26 37 55

White Pigeon 19 26 39 51

3-point baskets: White Pigeon 6 (Salyer, Nichols 5), Edwardsburg 3 (Kozinski). Total fouls (fouled out): White Pigeon 17 (none), Edwardsburg 9 (none). Varsity records: White Pigeon 0-1, Edwardsburg 1-0