Otsego tops Niles to move into first place tie

Published 4:54 am Monday, February 5, 2024

OTSEGO — The battle for the top spot in the Wolverine Conference boys basketball standings was won by host Otsego Friday night.

Visiting Niles scored just 14 first-half points and was never able to catch up as the Bulldogs defeated the Vikings 60-49 to move into a first-place tie atop the league standings. Both teams are 9-1.

Otsego (13-3) jumped out to a 16-5 lead after one quarter and stretched it to 32-14 by halftime. Things did not get much better for the Vikings (13-3) in the third quarter as the Bulldogs held them to just five points. Otsego led 47-19 heading to the final quarter.

Niles made a huge comeback effort in the final eight minutes as it outscored Otsego 30-13, but could not overcome the early deficit. At one point in the fourth quarter, the Vikings connected on three consecutive 3-pointers to close the gap.

Mike Phillips led Niles and all scorers with 23 points. No other Viking reached double figures. Brayden Favors finished with seven points and Ethan Chambliss six.

Brevin Gabos led a trio of Bulldogs in double figures with 15 points.

Niles returns to action Friday as it hosts Sturgis in a Wolverine Conference contest.

On Saturday, the Vikings fell to Lansing Everett 53-50 in the Love and Basketball Tournament at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix.

Niles led 11-5 after one quarter, but trailed 23-22 at the half and 36-35 through three quarters.

Favors led the Vikings with 11 points. Phillips added 10 points and Chambliss nine.


Girls Basketball

A 10-point first-quarter deficit was too much for visiting Niles to overcome in its 61-33 Wolverine Conference loss to the Bulldogs Friday night.

The Vikings managed just 10 first-half points and trailed by 18 heading into the second half.

Tanaya Brown led Niles with 14 points, while Elly Matlock finished with seven.

Niles continues to play without starting guard Jessica Thornton, who is recovering from an injury.

Brooke Smalldon had a game-high 26 points for Otsego.

The Vikings return to the court Friday when they host Otsego for a conference contest.