Vikings remain undefeated with wins over Berrien Springs, Lakeshore

NILES — Finding ways to win when you are missing a key player often makes the difference between a good season and a great one.

The Niles girls basketball team is learning that lesson as, despite not having top returning scorer Amara Palmer for the past two games could not keep the Vikings from picking up victories.

The first game without Palmer, who suffered an ankle injury against Paw Paw, resulted in an easy 60-20 win over host Berrien Springs last Thursday.

On Saturday, Niles had to rally from an early deficit to defeat former SMAC rival Lakeshore 47-44.

Palmer has been placed in a boot and will see the doctor on March 3 to decide when she can return to the Niles lineup, according to Vikings’ Coach Jessica Johnson.

 

Niles vs. Berrien Springs

The Vikings remained undefeated in the BCS Athletic Conference Red Division with its win over the Shamrocks, who trailed Niles 23-0 after one quarter and were never able to recover.

Kamryn Patterson led all scorers with 16 points. She also had five rebounds, four steals and an assist for the Vikings, who also got 10 points from Alexis Rauch, to go along with five rebounds and two steals.

Ayshia Smith and Sydney Skarbek both finished with nine points. Skarbek also had eight rebounds, six steals and six assists.

 

Niles vs. Lakeshore

The two teams were deadlocked at 8-8 after one quarter, while the Vikings were able to rally late in the second quarter to take a 17-16 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

The two teams battled back and forth in the third quarter, with Niles holding a 31-28 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of action.

Niles’ veteran players picked up the missing Palmer slack as Skarbek scored a game-high 16 points and a team-high six steals, Patterson added 13 points, four assists, and three steals, while Rauch finished with nine points.

Brynn Lake grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds.

“It was hard coming down the stretch,” Johnson said of holding off Lakeshore. “And then to play half of that third-quarter without Kamryn being in foul trouble made it very difficult for us with the chemistry on the floor.”

Johnson was pleased that her experience players stepped it up as the Vikings improved to 4-0 overall and remain undefeated in division play.

“Skarbek had played two really huge games with confidence,” she said. “Alexis started playing better in the fourth quarter of the Paw Paw game and has continued to play well. To see them grow and play with confidence has been huge for us.

The Vikings are back in action tonight as they travel to Sturgis for a non-conference game scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Cass County

Two arrested following Ontwa Township drug bust

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 893,756 cases, 19,664 deaths

Cassopolis

Cassopolis receives NEP grants

Education

EPS to host student vaccination clinic

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Cass District Library hosts Barnyard to Go event

Education

Books for Bikes program continues at Eagle Lake Elementary

Cassopolis

Former Cassopolis village trustee dies at age 85

Business

Lavender U-pick farm opens for season in Niles

Berrien County

United Federal Credit Union helps the Alex Mandarino Foundation raise $35,000 for childhood cancer research

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Middle School honor roll

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 893,582 cases, 19,662 deaths

Cass County

Niles woman injured in Mason Township crash

Berrien County

Gov. Whitmer announces plan to expand tuition-free college to 22,000 additional Michiganders

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Union High School honor roll

News

Niles Township residents raise concerns about theft, dangerous intersection

News

PHOTO STORY: Work on downtown Niles mural begins

Cass County

Cass County Courts restart jury trials, reopen building

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Middle School Esports team finishes successful inaugural season

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Cass District Library branches host tie-dye workshops

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: June 16-20

News

Niles police searching for information in June 13 shooting

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 893,491 cases, 19,647 deaths

Cassopolis

Cassopolis residents host Juneteenth event at Clisbee Park

Berrien County

I&M provides update on power outages