Bad second half dooms Vikings
NILES — For the first half of both the girls and boys SMAC West Division basketball games against visiting St. Joseph, Niles had the Bears right where they wanted them.
Unfortunately for both Viking teams, there was still 16 minutes left to play in each contest.
St. Joseph led Niles 19-12 at halftime of a very sloppy girls basketball game.
As if things could not get any worse for the Vikings offensively, the Bears limited Niles to just eight points in the second half on its way to a 53-20 victory in which St. Joseph locked up a share of the SMAC West Division title.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Vikings boys team trailed the Bears 22-20 at the intermission.
St. Joseph outscored Niles 23-7 in the third quarter and went on to win 58-34 and also clinched a share of the SMAC West Division championship.
At Three Rivers, Dowagiac dropped a 74-22 Wolverine Conference South Division decision.
Niles girls basketball
Both teams struggled to put the ball in the basket for the first two quarters.
That trend continued in the second half for Niles as it fell to 7-10 overall and 2-4 in West Division contests.
The Vikings led 8-6 after one quarter, but trailed 19-12 at the intermission.
The Bears outscored Niles 15-5 in the third quarter to open up a 34-17 advantage and cruised home with the easy victory.