Roundup: Eddies get piece of title, Vikings continue to struggle
Published 10:21 am Tuesday, February 22, 2022
NILES — While visiting Edwardsburg was defeating Niles in Wolverine Conference South Division boys basketball Friday night, the Eddies were getting a huge favor from Dowagiac.
Heading into Friday night’s contest against the Vikings, Edwardsburg and Three Rivers were deadlocked at 4-2 atop the South Division standings.
When the smoke cleared, the Eddies had defeated the Vikings 64-47, while Dowagiac knocked off Three Rivers 52-39, giving Edwardsburg a share of the South Division championship.
Edwardsburg can win the outright division title Friday night when it takes on Sturgis.
The Eddies (12-4, 5-2 Wolverine South) got off to a slow start against the Vikings.
Edwardsburg and Niles (5-11, 1-5 Wolverine South) were tied at 7-7 after eight minutes of action, while the Eddies edged ahead of Niles 21-19 at halftime.
It was all Edwardsburg in the final 16 minutes as the Eddies outscored the Vikings 43-28 to pull away to the victory.
Edwardsburg played without starter Isaac Merrill, who sat out due to s slightly sprained ankle. Eddies’ Coach Steve Wright said he should be back quickly.
“He was not 100 percent,” he said. “I told him we just had to go with what we have and we needed to get him healthy.”
Jake Moore scores a game-high 20 points for Edwardsburg, which also got 17 points from Luke Stowasser and seven points each from Matt Anders and Brendan Byce.
Niles was led by transfer Jayson Johnson, who was playing his frist game for the Vikings. He came off the bench and scored 13 points. Austin Bradley finished with nine points and Elijah Hester eight.
“I thought we did a lot of good things,” Wright said. “I thought defensively the guys were playing hard and were in the right spots. Sometimes you can be in the right spot and they just make tough shots. I thought in the second half we had a lot of breaks go our way. Moore hit some tough shots for us. Luke go some breakaways and I thought [Mason] Crist did a great job at the point distributing the basketball.”
The Eddies host Lakeshore tonight in a non-conference contest.
Niles travels to South Haven to take on former BCS Athletic Conference foe and former Wolverine Conference member South Haven in a non-league game.
Niles at Sturgis
Visiting Niles dropped its fourth consecutive game as Sturgis held off a fourth-quarter rally for a 48-46 Wolverine Conference South Division victory Monday night.
The Vikings trailed 11-7 after one quarter and 29-17 by halftime. Niles began cutting into the lead in the third quarter and continued to do so in the final eight minutes, but could not overcome the halftime deficit.
Mike Phillips and Hester led Niles with 11 points apiece, while Demitrius Butler added seven points.
Sturgis (8-9, 3-4 Wolverine South) was led by Jacob Thompson’s game-high 32 points. J.J. Stevens added 12.