Vikings run out of steam against Huskies

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, February 7, 2017

If there is one thing you can’t do in basketball, it’s run out of steam.

That’s exactly what happened to the Niles girls basketball team in Friday evening’s winter homecoming game against Portage Northern.

The Lady Vikes fell to the Huskies 37-34 in SMAC West Division action.

Niles trailed Portage Northern 11-7 after the first period of play, and 18-17 entering halftime.

An explosive third quarter looked promising for the Lady Vikes, who quickly took a 23-18 lead just two minutes into the second half.

Buckets from Alycia Patterson, Emily Gaines and Caitlin Daly helped keep the Vikings ahead for most of the period. With 13 seconds left in the quarter, Chyna McMillian swooshed a 3-pointer for Portage Northern, pushing the Huskies ahead by one, 27-26.

Patterson added a bucket for Niles with just three seconds left to give the Vikes the 28-27 advantage entering the fourth.

That is when the intensity dwindled for Niles.

Although Portage Northern never took more than a three-point lead in the fourth, Niles couldn’t surpass. The Vikings went 2-for-7 at the free throw line, and 2-for-10 from the field.

“We got tired,” said Niles coach Jessica Johnson. “We stopped moving our feet on defense in that last quarter and we couldn’t hit our shots. We were just unable to keep that intensity going in the final minutes.”

Despite the loss, Johnson was impressed with the performance of Patterson, a freshman guard who had a team-high 12 points for the Lady Vikings.

“She did a great job for us tonight,” Johnson said. “She’s still learning some things, but she is a consistent player who handles the ball very well and scores big shots when we need them, so I was happy with her tonight.”

Lajan Mitchell added 10 for Niles, and Daly added seven.

For Portage Northern, Paige Poulter scored 15 points.



At Niles


Claire Holley 0 2-3 3, Trinity Posey 2 0-0 4, Kayla Blett 0 1 0-0 3, Lexie Coon 0 1-2 1, Paige Poulter 4 7-17 15, Lizzie Kimmel 1 1-2 3, Chyna McMillian 3 1 0-2 9. TOTALS: 10 2 11-26 37.


Alycia Patterson 6 0-1 12, Emily Gaines 1 1-2 3, Jaylee Myer 0 2-5 2, Caitlin Daly 3 1-3 7, Lajan Mitchell 3 4-7 10. TOTALS: 13 8-18 34.


Portage Northern    11       18       27      37

Niles                           7         17       28       34

3-point baskets: Portage Northern 2 (Blett 1, McMillian 1), Niles 0; Total fouls (fouled out) Portage Northern 17 (none), Niles 23 (none). Varsity records: Portage Northern 8-7, 2-4 SMAC West; Niles 4-10, 0-5 SMAC West.