Niles boys top Plainwell to remain in first place
Published 8:36 am Saturday, January 20, 2024
PLAINWELL — On an off shooting night, visiting Niles turned to its defense to remain in first place in the Wolverine Conference.
The Vikings held the Trojans to 11 first-half points in their 37-29 boys basketball victory Friday night. With the win, Niles improved to 10-2 overall and 8-0 in conference games.
In girls basketball, Plainwell turned a three-point contest with just under five minutes to play into a 48-31 win over Niles, which is still seeking its first win of the 2023-24 season.
The Vikings managed to score nine points in the opening quarter and finished the first half with 20 points.
Plainwell outscored Niles 18-17 in the second half, but was unable able to make up its early deficit. The Vikings led 28-19 heading into the fourth quarter and was able to keep the Trojans at bay.
Mike Phillips, who scored a combined 58 points in his previous two games, was held to 11 points by Plainwell. Brayden Favors finished with eight points and Logan Olsen seven points.
Chibueze Amaezechi had 10 points for Plainwell.
Niles will host Dowagiac which defeated Buchanan Friday night, in a non-conference game Tuesday.
Leading just 28-25 with 4:57 remaining in its Wolverine Conference contest, host Plainwell outscored Niles 20-6 the rest of the way to send the Vikings to their 10 loss of the season.
The Vikings, who are 0-7 in league contest, was in the game right up to that point as they trailed Plainwell 12-7 after one quarter, 18-12 at halftime and 22-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
A combination of missed shots, missed free throws and turnovers allowed the Trojans to pull away to the win.
Jessie Thornton had 11 points to lead Niles, which also got seven points from Tanaya Brown and six points from Elly Matlock.
Alyssa Weldon had a game-high 27 points to lead Plainwell.
The Vikings hit the road again Wednesday as they make the short trip over to Buchanan for a non-conference game with the Bucks.