Niles holds off rival Buchanan 60-57

Niles senior Gavin Rasler turned in a solid performance with 17 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and a pair steals. (Leader photo/TIMOTHY RITTER)

Niles senior Gavin Rasler turned in a solid performance with 17 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and a pair steals. (Leader photo/TIMOTHY RITTER)

With the MHSAA boys basketball regular season coming to a close, all area teams look forward to the district tournament.

But for rivals Buchanan and Niles, there was a score to settle Thursday night.

On an emotional Niles Senior Night, the Vikings looked to get a final win in front of their home crowd.

But despite an opening 16-0 run including four 3-pointers in the opening four minutes, the Vikings had to fend off a Buchanan rally before pulling out a 60-57 victory.

Niles has one final regular season game remaining at Benton Harbor this afternoon.

“It’s difficult to get back into a game when you get down that much at the beginning,” Buchanan Coach Reid McBeth said. “But I give credit to the guys. They fought back in the second half.”

Niles still had a 16 lead at halftime as Buchanan shot 5-of-22 from the field in the first half.

A rigorous halftime speech from McBeth fueled the Bucks to get within five after three quarters using a 16-3 run along the way.

Niles also turned the ball over eight times in that quarter as Buchanan turned up the defensive pressure.

“You have to give Buchanan credit,” Niles Coach Todd Pawielski said. “If this game would have went any longer the result could have been different.”

Niles Senior Gavin Rasler made sure that his Senior Night wouldn’t be ruined by the Bucks’ attack as he finished 17 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and a pair steals.

“He continues to do good things for us,” Pawielski said of Rasler’s play.

Buchanan won the fourth quarter by outscoring the Vikings 16-14.

But some costly turnovers and Niles hitting its free throws when it needed to sealed the victory.

Niles went 11-for-22 from the charity stripe compared to Buchanan going 14-of-21.

“I’m just happy that we got our senior’s the victory here tonight,” Pawielski said. “We still have at least two games to go though.”

Niles opens up district play at Portage Central Monday, while Buchanan will host Lakeshore Monday.

 

NILES 60, BUCHANAN 67

At Niles

BUCHANAN 57

Tim McCaffrey 3 1-4 8, Andrew McGuirt 6 6-8 23, Chad Adkerson 1 1-2 3, Jarrett Thomas 4 4-5 13, Kyle Leazanby 0 0-0 0, Dalton Riddle 2 0-0 4, Donte Phillips 1 2-2 4, Rae Griffin 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18 14-21 57.

NILES 60

Donovan Jennings 0 0-0 0, Dawson Clemens 2 0-1 6, Gatlin York 1 0-1 2, Derek Brown 0 1-2 1, Bryce Lake 2 0-2 5, Chris Brown 2 3-7 7, Jacob Hamm 0 0-0 0, Alex Harpenau 4 1-2 9, Dustin Anders 0 0-0 0, Tyler Phillips 5 1-1 13, Gavin Rasler 6 5-6 17, Devin Kuemin 0 0-0 0, Austin Curran 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 22 11-22 60.

 

Buchanan       4          18       41       57

Niles                16       34       46       60

3-point baskets: Buchanan 7 (McCaffrey 1, McGuirt 5, Thomas 1); Niles 5 (Clemens 2, Lake 1, Phillips 2). Rebounds: Buchanan 37 (Thomas 10, Riddle 7), Niles 34 (Rasler 13). Assists: Buchanan 10 (McCaffrey 4, Thomas 3), Niles 11 (Harpenau 3, Rasler 4). Steals: Buchanan 7 (Thomas 3, Phillips 1), Niles 14 (Harpenau 4). Blocks: Buchanan 2 (McGuirt 1, Riddle 1); Niles 4 (Harpenau 3, Phillips 1). Turnovers: Buchanan 23; Niles 14. Total fouls (fouled out): Buchanan 22 (none), Niles 20 (Phillips). Varsity records: Buchanan 10-10, Niles 5-13.

 

 

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