Vikings hold off KingsmenPublished 11:14pm Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Niles opened up a 22-point advantage midway through the third quarter and then held off a late Penn charge Tuesday night to earn a 61-50 non-conference boys basketball victory.
The win improved the Vikings’ record to 16-2 heading into Friday night’s Big 16 West Division showdown with Kalamazoo Central. The winner will win the division championship.
Myles Busby drained a 3-pointer with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter to give Niles its biggest advantage of the night.
From that point on, the Kingsmen (7-12) began shaving off points from the Vikings’ advantage.
Penn got the lead down to nine points, 50-41, with four minutes remaining in the contest, but would get no closer.
The Vikings quickly expanded their lead back to double digits when Matthew McLaughlin picked up a loose ball following a missed shot and scored.
Niles made it a 15-point game 40 seconds later on a score by Austin Parks and the Kingsmen never threatened again.
The Vikings hit 9-of-13 free throws in the fourth quarter, including six in the final 2:14 to seal the victory.
Niles may have actually won the game in the second quarter when it held Penn to just a single basket.
The Kingsmen grabbed a 9-8 lead at the end of one quarter, but were shut down by the Vikings in the second period.
Niles scored 19 points in the quarter to open up a 27-11 halftime advantage.
“With 43 (Austin Torres) playing the whole second half that changed the complexion of the game,” Niles coach Todd Pawielski said. “He’s a nice player and they kind of exploited us inside.
“I thought defensively we were real solid in the first half. We were willing to give our body up. In the second half, we just looked a little delicate around the rim like we didn’t want any contact. If we continue to do that, it’s going to be a real quick March for us.”
Niles guards Matthew McLaughlin and Austin Parks helped lead the charge as the Vikings build up their big lead.
Parks had 10 of his game-high 19 points in the second quarter, while McLaughlin scored nine of his 11 points in the second half.
“Austin Parks hit shot shots and Myles Busby in the late third and early fourth quarter did a lot of real nice things,” Pawielski said.
Busby finished with nine points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. McLaughlin also had four rebounds, three assists, while Parks had four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Torres, who spent part of the first half in foul trouble, finished with 14 points to lead the Kingsmen. Svete finished with 13 points.
“We shot a very poor field goal percentage in that quarter and for the half,” Penn coach Al Rhodes said. “Meanwhile, three or four times we lost their guards and they buried threes. That kind of happened all at once, which kind of gave Niles control of the game.”
Leo Svete 5 2-3 13; Austin Torres 6 2-4 14; Adam Dallich 1 0-0 2; Aaron Brady 2 0-0 4; Conner Sowders 2 0-0 4; William Doslak 1 1-3 3; Christian Wittendorf 0 0-0 0; Mikey Szrom 1 0-0 2; Nathan Miller 0 2-2 2; Ryan Lutz 1 0-0 3. TOTALS: 20 7-12 50
Myles Busby 2 1-2 9; Matthew McLaughlin 4 203 11; Austin Parks 7 3-4 19; Logan Harpenau 1 0-1 3; Alec Brown 1 3-4 5; Aaron Pierce 0 0-0 0 Arias Williams 0 0-0 0; Anthony Bice 0 1-2 1; Taylor Campbell 4 3-4 11; Quintin Irby 0 0-0 0; Mitchell Dehn 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 21 13-19 61
Penn 9 11 21 50
Niles 8 27 44 61
3-point baskets: Penn 3 (Svete, Doslak, Miller), Niles 6 (Busby 2, McLaughlin, Parks 2, Harpenau). Total fouls (fouled out): Penn 19 (none), Niles 15 (none). Technical fouls: Penn 1 (Svete), Niles 2 (McLaughlin, Campbell). Varsity records: Penn 7-12, Niles 16-2