Niles snaps 10-game losing streak against Cassopolis

Tyler Phillips scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Niles defeated Cassopolis Tuesday night. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Tyler Phillips scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Niles defeated Cassopolis Tuesday night. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

The streak is over.

Niles snapped a 10-game losing streak and won for the first time since its season opener as the Vikings handing visiting Cassopolis a 72-65 non-conference boys basketball setback Tuesday night.

Niles (2-10) scored the first four points of the game and only trailed once in defeating the Rangers (9-4), who struggled to put the ball in the basket for most of the night.

Cassopolis, winners of eight of their last nine games, struggled against Niles’ much taller front line of Gavin Rasler and Tyler Phillips.

The duo combined for 43 of the Vikings’ 73 points and 23 rebounds.

“We expected to have trouble with their bigs,” Cassopolis coach Ricky Evans said. “But we have to come to play basketball and we didn’t do that. Granted they were big, but we didn’t do what we’re supposed to do. Our transition game wasn’t there. In fact, we didn’t do anything we usually do.”

Cassopolis’ Deion Gatson scored a game-high 34 points in the loss to the Vikings. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Cassopolis’ Deion Gatson scored a game-high 34 points in the loss to the Vikings. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Phillips helped Niles get off to a fast start against the Rangers with 10 first quarter points.

Rasler helped the Vikings maintain the lead down the stretch as he scored five straight points after Cassopolis took its only lead of the night, 55-54, with six minutes remaining.

Phillips scored six straight points after the Rangers had cut the lead to 59-57 in the final moments of the contest.

“Tyler did a nice job of going to the rim,” Niles coach Todd Pawielski said. “And he did a nice job of, when he wasn’t going to make the shot, getting fouled. He played like the senior we expected.

“Our big bugaboo this year has been turnovers for layups,” Pawielski said. “Tonight we limited that a little bit. And we finally got the ball inside consistently to Tyler and Gavin. Defensively, we had just enough because Cass is awfully athletic. And we had the right guys shooting free throws at the end.

Rasler finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Vikings, who played without starters Derek Brown (ankle) and Jake Hamm (mononucleosis). Phillips finished with a career-high 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Deion Gatson was a bright spot for the Rangers as he scored a game-high 34 points, which included going 17-of-18 from the free throw line. Bryce Gatson, who sat part of the second half with foul trouble, finished with 13 points.

 

NILES 72, CASSOPOLIS 65

At Niles

CASSOPOLIS 65

Shane Los 1 0-0 2, Marquise Curtis 3 0-0 6, Matthew Pittman 2 2-4 6, Deion Gatson 7 17-18 34, Bryce Saxton 4 4-4 13, Alex Emerson 1 0-1 2, Brylan Glover 0 0-0 0, Zander Smith 1 0-2 2, Brandon Anderson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 23-29 65.

NILES 72

Gavin Rasler 8 6-7 22, Tyler Phillips 6 9-10 21, Alex Harpenau 2 0-0 4, Chris Brown 1 3-4 5, Bryce Lake 2 3-4 8, Dustin Anders 2 0-0 5, Dawson Clemens 1 0-0 3, Devin Kuemin 0 0-0 0, Donovan Jennings 1 0-1 2, Austin Curran 0 2-2 2, Gatlin York 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23 23-28 72.

 

Cassopolis      14       31       50       65

Niles                24       37       54       72

3-point baskets: Cassopolis 4 (Gatson 3, Saxton 1), Niles 3 (Anders 1, Clemens 1, Lake 1). Total fouls (fouled out): Cassopolis 23 (Emerson), Niles 22. Varsity records: Niles 2-10, Cassopolis 9-4. J.V. score: Niles 60, Cassopolis 55.

 

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