Niles snaps three-game losing streak

BATTLE CREEK — The Niles boys basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 53-51 SMAC non-divisional boys basketball win over Battle Creek Lakeview Tuesday night.

The Vikings (5-12) jumped out to a 16-7 lead after one quarter, but were outscored by Lakeview 18-9 in the second quarter.

With the two teams deadlocked at 25-25 heading into the second half, Niles again went on the offensive and outscored Lakeview 17-7 in the third quarter to open up a 42-32 advantage.

In the final eight minutes, Lakeview (4-14) rallied as the Vikings missed seven free throws in the fourth quarter, including four in the game’s final 1:35.

Turnovers were also an issue for Niles in the final quarter, but Lakeview missed a winning 3-point attempt as time expired.

“Lots of good things early,” said Niles coach Todd Pawielski. “We played an outstanding third quarter and just well enough to get a victory. Robert Brown continues to be a man among boys. It was a wonderful job by a lot of people tonight. It wasn’t pretty the last three minutes but it doesn’t matter. No refunds.”

Brown finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Chad Barton finished with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Brayden Lake also finished with nine points, while Johnny Bybee added six. Austin Brookins and Kendall Whitelow both score five points.

Niles will travel to Stevensville for a SMAC West Division contest with arch rival Lakeshore Friday night. Tipoff is set for 7:15 p.m.

Girls basketball

The Niles girls basketball team found a bit more offense Tuesday night, but it was not enough as the Vikings dropped a 55-39 SMAC non-division decision to host Battle Creek Lakeview.

The game was close throughout the first half as Lakeview led 13-10 after one and 24-23 at the intermission.

Battle Creek (11-8) outscored Niles 22-8 in the third quarter to break the contest open.

Neither team did much offensively in the fourth quarter as they combined for just 17 points.

Lakeview freshman Brazyll Watkins scored 12 of her game-high 23 points in the third quarter as Battle Creek opened up a 46-31 advantage on the Vikings.

“We had a hard time stopping Watkins,” said Niles coach Jessica Johnson. “We attempted to fight back defensively, holding Lakeview to nine fourth-quarter points. However, we were unable to find our offense to make a difference in the contest.”

Alycia Patterson again paced Niles with 12 points to go along with four steals.

Sydney Skarbek added 10 points, all of which came in the first half. Reese Davies added eight points.

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