By Matt Maher
BROOKFIELD, OH – The Red Dragons found win number two Friday night after playing a tightly contested game on the road against Brookfield. Three players found themselves in double digits for Niles including Avon Fryer and Yausene Blackmon who both scored 11 and Stef Dorsey who put up an impressive 17.
Niles came out of the first with a 16-13 lead that saw Dorsey put up two 3-pointes and both Blackmon and Fryer both found four points. On the other side, Brookfield Saw an impressive individual effort from Matteo Fortuna that saw not only defense but five points from a 2-point bucket and three of four tosses from the charity stripe found netting.
The second quarter was uneventful in an eventful way. The score sheet reads Brookfield outscoring Niles 7-3 but Niles had possession for majority of the quarter because Fryer and Dorsey both decided that the Brookfield defense was too strong in the early stages of the quarter and decided to let Dorsey hold on to the ball in the offensive zone for well over three minutes. This extended wait was met with laughter from Niles who couldn’t believe Brookfield wasn’t pressuring them as well as annoyance from the Brookfield coach and players who were just waiting for something to happen. The Warriors finally decided to engage and forced Dorsey to pass the ball and the game finally picked back up with just over three minutes to play.
While the second quarter brought a lot of standing around and waiting the third quarter was a return to form as Niles really found their stride putting up 14 points including Dorsey going two for two from the stripe and hitting a three and Fryer getting a nifty three as well. Matteo Fortuna added to his team leading 11 point night by going two for two from the stripe.
The fourth was Niles chance to bring it home and boy did they deliver. McKinley would put up 19 points including four of eight made free throws from Dorsey and a very well earned 3-pointer from True Carey-Hardin. Fortuna found two more points and Brandon Hardman started the feel the wheels turning as he found five points including a shooting foul where he put the bucket away and made the extra shot completing the and-1.
Brookfield battled hard all game and showed some of the toughest defense this reporter has seen so far this season! Niles showed great resilience against the great coverage from Brookfield and earned a very hard fought 52-41 victory over the Warriors. Niles hits the paint next when they host Lakeview in their first conference game on Tuesday December 12th at 7:00PM. Brookfield will look for their first win when they travel to Sharpsville on Saturday December 9th, that game tips off at 1:30PM.