Niles comes up short against Lancers

Niles’ Chris Brown pulls up for a shot against Lakeshore Friday night. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Niles’ Chris Brown pulls up for a shot against Lakeshore Friday night. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Lakeshore got plenty of practice at the free-throw line in Friday’s boys basketball game against Niles.

The Lancers finished 26-of-33 at the line and that was the difference as the Lancers held off the Vikings, 53-45, in Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West Division action.

“(Lakeshore) sure shot a lot of free throws and we didn’t,” said Niles boys basketball coach Todd Pawielski, whose team was only 2-of-6 at the line. “Credit them for going inside tough. I didn’t know if we were home or away tonight. Our kids bailed them out on shots they weren’t going to make inside the paint. We have to be better defensively in that situation.”

The Lancers went 9-of-10 from the foul line over the final 1:48 of the game. Logan Steffes, who finished with 18 points, made all six of his free throws during that stretch. Steffes’ two free throws gave the visitors a 52-45 lead with 16 seconds remaining.

Niles, which trailed 37-27 after three quarters, made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Gavin Rasler scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter.

Rasler, who came in averaging 19 points a game, didn’t start in the game. He entered the game with 6:26 left in the second quarter with his team leading 14-12.

“He didn’t practice (Thursday) as well as he needed to, to be on the floor in the first quarter (against Lakeshore),” Pawielski said on why Rasler didn’t start.

Niles was fortunate to be down only 24-16 at halftime. The Vikings missed all 13 of their shots in the second quarter.

“We’re not a very consistent jump shooting team as we’d like to be,” Pawielski said. “Sometimes, we go in droughts when we launch too many 3’s.”

LAKESHORE 53, NILES 45

At Niles
LAKESHORE 53

Jake Bushu 0, Max Gaishin 6, Braden Burke 8, Gibson Archer 12, Logan Steffes 18, Ryan Remus 0, Shane Clapp 2, Colin Brushwyler 7, Alex Warman 0, Luke Meyer 0. TOTALS: 13 26-33 53.

NILES 45

Jake Hamm 6, Alex Harpenau 4, Tyler Phillips 2, Chris Brown 4, Derek Brown 4, Bryce Lake 6, Austin Curran 2, Dawson Clemens 0, Gavin Rasler 16, Donovan Jennings 1. TOTALS: 18 2-6 45.
Lakeshore      10       24       37       53
Niles                14       16       27       45
3-point goals: Lakeshore 1 (Archer), Niles 7 (Hamm 2, Lake 2, Rasler 2, D. Brown). Total fouls (fouled out): Lakeshore 11 (none), Niles 25 (C. Brown, D. Brown). Technical: Niles (Rasler). Shooting: Lakeshore 13-of-37 for 35-percent, Niles 18-of-53 for 34-percent. Rebounding: Lakeshore 27 (Gaishin 8), Niles 27 (Rasler 8). Turnovers: Lakeshore 12, Niles 10. Records: Lakeshore 7-2, 2-2 SMAC West Division; Niles 1-7, 0-4 SMAC West Division.

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