Niles drops doubleheader to Lakeshore
Published 8:41 am Monday, January 22, 2018
NILES — The Niles girls basketball team brought just enough energy to play one quarter of Friday night’s match-up against Lakeshore. The Vikings fell to the visiting Lancers 59-26 in SMAC West Division play in a game that left coach Jessica Johnson searching for answers.
In the opening eight minutes, Niles stayed steady with the Lancers, only trailing 16-10 at the end of the period. But what happened during the remainder of the game was something Johnson couldn’t explain.
On offense, the Lady Vikings just couldn’t connect for points. They went almost seven minutes without scoring a bucket between the first and second quarters and added just five points to the scoreboard at halftime.
In the entire second half, Niles scored just five times.
“I don’t know. I just don’t get it. We were flat all night, we couldn’t shoot, I was rotating different girls…I just tried to find five girls who wanted to play,” Johnson said.
It has been a very up and down season for Johnson’s team, but she said her team usually snaps out of their scoreless gaps.
“But tonight, we didn’t. We made them look like one of the top teams in the conference.”
Brooke Timm had seven points for Niles and Mackenzie Bishop and Reese Davies each had six. Cassie Pallett was the game-high scored with 19 for Lakeshore.
Niles desperately needed a win Friday night against Lakeshore to prepare for this week’s tough schedule.
Unfortunately, a buzzer shot by Brayden Lake just past half court wasn’t enough to secure the win, as Lakeshore claimed a 48-43 victory in SMAC West action.
Lake, a sophomore for the Vikes, had 12 points. Head coach Todd Pawielski said he is happy to see him coming to life.
“He had an outstanding game shooting the ball for us. We just came up short in other areas,” Pawielski said.
One of those areas came in the third quarter, when Niles (3-6, 1-3 SMAC West) scored just four points.
The Vikings also didn’t score their first basket until four minutes into the game, and they never held a lead over the Lancers, who had a 14-12 advantage after the first quarter, 28-24 at the half and 39-28 at the end of the third.
“This is two teams that at times don’t put the ball in the basket as often as either coach would like. I was very disappointment in our offensive effort because this game was right there for us to take and we left some plays on the table” Pawielski said.
To top everything off, Niles took a hard-hit after losing its second leading scorer, sophomore Nate Goins, to a broken wrist when he was undercut on a layup against Dowagiac.
“This isn’t the performance I wanted to see heading into next week because this game is always the start of a tough week,” Pawielski said.
Niles hosts Kalamazoo Central on Tuesday and will travel to Benton Harbor on Friday.
Aside from Lake’s 12 points, Robert Brown Jr. also added 12 for Niles.