For the first time since the Class B District in 2000, the Lakeshore Lancers and Niles Vikings met on the court as members of different conferences. In the year 2000, the Niles basketball team, was a member of the SMAC while the Lancers were playing independent following their exit from the Lakeland Conference. That Niles basketball team went all the way to the Class B semi-finals while longtime Lakeshore coach Sean Schroeder had established himself as one of the top high school basketball coaches in Florida with stints at Pope John Paul II and the establishment of boys basketball at American Heritage-Delray.
Now, the Vikings, a member for one year in the BCS Conference before shipping off to the Wolverine, entered tonight’s contest inside Lancer Gym looking for their first victory of the season against unbeaten Lakeshore. The Lancers stormed out to a 12-2 lead before the first game timeout, and TJ Mitchell slammed home a dunk to end the 1st Quarter in a game that was never close with Lakeshore winning 55-30.
After the 1st Quarter of play, the Lancers led the Vikings 22-8 forcing Niles to fire off several 3-point shots (0-13) as a result of the defensive pressure inside and out. It was not until late in the 2nd Quarter that Niles finally put the ball in the net, but that was their only score in the quarter as Lakeshore opened up a commanding 38-10 halftime lead
The second half did not go much better for the Vikings as Lakeshore continued to apply pressure and attack the Niles defense for a 50-18 lead at the end of the 3rd Quarter. It was all cruise control from there as the Lancer bench took over heading into a huge match-up with Kalamazoo Central Monday night.
The Vikings made 13 of their 44 shot attempts for the game, and their defense had a hard time slowing down the Lancer starters. Grant Gondrezick II had a game high 15 points and tied TJ Mitchell with eight rebounds. Mitchell added nine points, and Gavin Foster netted eight points. Every Lancer scored at least one point for the game. Behind the arc, Gondrezick II made three shots that hit nothing but net. Adrian Thomas led the Vikings with 12 points.
The 2021 marathon continues in full force next week as Lakeshore plays three games on the road. Lakeshore travels to Kalamazoo Central on Monday, Mattawan on Tuesday, and St. Joseph on Friday. The Lancers and Vikings will play again on Monday, March 1st, at Niles. Follow @LHSLancerSports on Twitter for game updates and information for live streaming and Lakeshore Lancer Network coverage.