Vikings come up short against Gull Lake

NILES — Following a thrilling shootout that saw eight 3-point buckets in the first quarter, the Niles boys basketball team fell just short of edging Gull Lake 61-58 in a SMAC non-divisional game Tuesday night.

It was a game where the Vikings finally connected offensively throughout the entire 32 minutes of play — something they have strived for all season.

Niles (4-10) led 10-6 early, but trailed the Blue Devils by six points (32-26) at halftime.

The Vikings opened the second half with an 8-0 run, and took a brief lead in the third quarter, only to have Gull Lake rally to reclaim its advantage and led by four points (48-44) heading into the final quarter.

Niles was able to cut the lead to two points with 2:12 to play, but could not get a basket to tie the game or take the lead.

“We had our chances [to take the lead]. It was a fun game,” Niles coach Todd Pawielski said after the loss. “Offensively, we played well. gull Lake made shots, but our defense was poor. It was a nice comeback by our scrappy kids, but victories will be hard to come by unless we start to guard people the right way.”

Niles had a good shooting night as it went 17-of-29 from 2-point range and 6-of-14 from 3-point land.

Robert Brown Jr. led all scorers with 19 points and four rebounds. Austin Brookins added 16 points, four assists and a pair of steals, while Chad Barton finished with six points and eight rebounds. Johnny Bybee had six points and three rebounds for the Vikings.

Girls basketball

The Niles girls basketball team dropped a 53-38 SMAC non-divisional decision to host Gull Lake Tuesday night.

Alycia Patterson and Lajan Mitchell both scored 12 points for the Vikings, who also got 15 rebounds from Reese Davies.

Niles will travel to Portage Central for a SMAC West Division clash Friday night.

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