Scoring woes haunt Niles in loss to Mattawan

Published 7:51 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Niles varsity boy’s basketball team put up just seven points in the first 16 minutes of play during Tuesday’s SMAC Conference basketball action against visiting Mattawan.

The Wildcats secured a 47-30 victory, keeping them undefeated in conference play.

The Vikings, who fall to 2-5 on the season, had a decent defensive game against Mattawan, especially when it came to keeping the Wildcats’ 6’9 sophomore Nolan Foster away from the bucket. Foster ended the night with 10 points.

Offensively, though, Niles struggled. The Vikes went just 1-for-23 from the 3-point line, something head coach Todd Pawielski said cannot happen.

“We missed a lot of shots tonight. We had a really tough time outside tonight,” he said. “Only hitting one 3-pointer. That hurt us. We cannot win ball games that way and we cannot win only putting up 30 points total.”

In the first quarter of play, Niles scored just four points, with both buckets coming from Alex Harpenau. Mattawan went on a 16-0 run, ending the first up 16-4.

The second quarter of play saw just five buckets total between the two teams combined. Niles’ Jacob Hamm scored the only points in the period, putting up a basketball and a free throw. Jadin Mabin scored three back-to-back buckets for the Wildcats, who entered halftime with a 24-7 lead.

Niles showed an impressive intensity halfway through the period, cutting the gap to just 10 points — 33-23. Tre Gray, Harpenau and Hamm all contributed buckets for the Vikings,  but Mattawan maintained the lead, entering the final quarter with a 36-23 advantage.

“Tonight wasn’t pretty. There’s a lot we still need to work on …our half court offense, our shooting. I think defensively we did good holding Mattawan to just 47. We just have to make those shots,” Pawielski said.

Harpenau had 14 points and seven rebounds for Niles. Hamm added seven points.

For Mattawan, Chris Becker was the only other Wildcat to score double digits, adding 10 points alongside Foster.

Niles is back in action Friday  when it hosts St. Joseph for a SMAC West Division game. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Niles JV team defeated Mattawan, 63-58. Jalen Gray put up 16 points for the Vikings, Jordon Brown added 14 and Trey Gatson had 10.

For Mattawan, freshman Ryan Dorff had 20 points, while Luke Pelak and Kelby Mabin each had 15.



At Niles


Hunter Edwards 0 0-0 0, Chris Becker 2 2 0-3 10, Cam Pastor 0 0-0 0, BJ Saunders 2 2-3 6, David Konold 0 0-0 0, Jadin Mabin 4 1-1 9, Dalton Sovine 1 0-0 2, Matthew Pelak 0 1 5-5 8, Nolan Foster 3 1 1-2 10, Aaron Weissman 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 13 4 9-13 47


Dawson Clemens 0 0-0 0, Austin Brookins 1 020 2, Bryce Lake 0 0-0 0, Jake Hamm 2 3-3 7, Alex Harpenau 3 1 5-9 14, Tre Gray 1 3-4 5, Robert Brown 1 0-0 2, TOTALS: 8 1 11-16 30


MATTAWAN            16        24        36        47

NILES                        4          7          23        30

3-point baskets: Mattawan 4 (Becker 2, Pelak 1, Foster 1) Niles 1 (Harpenau). Total fouls (fouled out) Mattawan 12 (none), Niles 12 (none). Varsity records: Mattawan 4-2, Niles 2-5.