Tigers sweep Niles in Big 16 West actionPublished 10:10am Sunday, January 27, 2013
A 14-2 fourth quarter run by the Benton Harbor boys basketball team was too much for Niles to overcome Friday as the Tigers outlasted the Vikings, 75-66, in Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West Division action.
The night started with the Benton Harbor girls basketball team dominating the second half in a 55-17 win over Niles.
“I think Benton Harbor played very well tonight,” said Niles coach Todd Pawielski, whose team dropped to 2-8 overall and 2-6 in the division. “We scored enough points to win the game. Defensively, we weren’t very good, but I think a lot of that had to do with them. They shot very well from the outside and they destroyed us on the glass.”
In the boys game, the Tigers stretched a 50-47 lead with 6:23 remaining to 64-49 with 3:31 left in the game. Benton Harbor’s Cortez Moore scored seven of his 15 points during that stretch.
The first four points in that run came off a technical called on Niles’ Jesse Jordan.
“That, unfortunately, was a huge turning point,” Pawielski said. “We deserved the technical. We used some poor language. That came back to hurt us pretty good.”
The Vikings pulled within 72-65 and had the ball with just under a minute remaining. But Niles came up empty offensively, getting a missed 3-pointer from Alex Brown and a shot blocked by Benton Harbor’s Michael Dyson.
“Almost a fantastic finish for the ages,” Pawielski said. “We do just enough good things that the fans get their money’s worth and enough bad things to come up on the short end of the stick. We gave ourselves some chances. The last group we put in the game really scrapped and got us back into the game.”
Benton Harbor led throughout the game but was unable to put away Niles. The Tigers owned a 13-point lead twice with the final time coming at 36-23 at halftime.
Alex Brown scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Niles. Anthony Bice added 14 points and Tate Brawley totaled 11.
“(Brown) is having a solid senior season,” Pawielski said. “You’re talking about a young man that just turned 17. He should be a junior. I think he has a wonderful opportunity to play at the next level. We’re lucky to have him. We feel pretty comfortable when he shoots the basketball.”
Devin Alexander scored 21 points to lead Benton Harbor, which improved to 7-6 overall and 4-4 in the SMAC West Division. Alexander didn’t play in the first game against Niles because he was ejected in the previous game. Niles won the first meeting, 57-53. John Robinson added 17 points and Michael Dyson had 14 for the Tigers. The 6-foot-7 Dyson also had six blocked shots.
In the girls game, Niles shot only 23-percent (7-of-30) from the field and turned the ball over 36 times.
“We were so afraid to do anything with the basketball offensively,” said Niles coach Pat Touhey, whose team fell to 0-12 overall and 0-8 in the SMAC West Division. “We had 36 turnovers and there’s no way you’re going to beat anybody with that many turnovers.”
For a half, Niles stayed within striking distance of Benton Harbor despite its offensive struggles. The Tigers, who improved to 9-4 overall and 8-0 in the division, led only 18-9 at halftime.
“In the first half, that was one of the best defensive displays that we’ve had all year,” Touhey said.
Benton Harbor freshman Kysre Gondrezick scored 25 of her 35 points in the second half. Kysre’s sister – sophomore Kalabrya – added 13.
Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw was in attendance to scout both of them, along with assistant coach Niele Ivey and All-American Skylar Diggins.
Elyse Zimmerman and Maya Brookins each scored five points to lead Niles, which has six freshmen and three sophomores on its varsity roster. Jazmin Brann pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
“That kid (Brann) potentially, by the time she’s a senior, can be one of the best forwards that’s played here,” Touhey said. “She’s so athletic and so long and she’s working hard at becoming a post player. When she jumps, Jazmin jumps at whole different level than anybody else.”
BENTON HARBOR 75
T.J. Morris 6, Cortez Moore 15, Michael Dyson 14, John Robinson 17, Devin Alexander 21, DeQuan Branch 0, Darrell Moss 0, Fred Gilmore 2, Dion Powell 0, Edward Headspeth 0, DaQuoriell Sterling 0, Demarcus Davis 0, Devontae Jones 0, Timothy Davis 0. TOTALS: 26 15-26 75
Alex Brown 20, Tate Brawley 11, Mitchell Dehn 2, Gabe Stokes 8, Anthony Bice 14, Matthew Miller 0, Jesse Jordan 4, Cole Clemens 0, Conner Glick 4, Jeremy Wortham 0, David Haynes 0, Gevanta Nichols 3. TOTALS: 24 11-15 66.
Benton Harbor 20 36 47 75
Niles 12 23 44 66
3-point goals: Benton Harbor 8 (Robinson 4, Alexander 3, Moore), Niles 7 (Brawley 3, Bice 2, Brown, Nichols). Totals fouled out: Benton Harbor 15 (none), Niles 26 (Jordan). Technicals: Benton Harbor (Dyson), Niles (Jordan). Shooting: Benton Harbor 26-of-70 for 37-percent, Niles 24-of-48 for 50-percent. Rebounding: Benton Harbor 36 (Dyson 16), Niles 31 (Brown 9). Turnovers: Benton Harbor 10, Niles 16
BENTON HARBOR 55
Kysre Gondrezick 35, Kalabrya Gondrezick 13, Eulasia Ellis 2, Nashaye Sutton 2, Dennee Brown 2, Kayla Dumas 0, Takera Pierce 0, Sinnamon Shelby 0, Shaniya Campbell 1. TOTALS: 20 12-22 55
Maya Brookins 5, Kasia Dockery 0, Jazmin Brann 2, Elyse Zimmerman 5, Khalilah Abdullah 2, Jaiden Rolan 3, Elizabeth Moody 0, Kylee Myer 0, Antonia Palmer 0. TOTALS: 7 0-1 17
Benton Harbor 10 18 37 55
Niles 6 9 12 17
3-point goals: Benton Harbor 3 (Kysre Gondrezick 3), Niles 3 (Brookins, Zimmerman, Rolan). Total fouls (fouled out): Benton Harbor 11 (none), Niles 20 (Brann). Shooting: Benton Harbor 20-of-58 for 34-percent, Niles 7-of-30 for 23-percent. Rebounding: Benton Harbor 27 (Kysre Gondrezick 9), Niles 30 (Brann 8). Turnovers: Benton Harbor 6, Niles 36