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Niles North can put up a lot of points in a hurry.
The Vikings’ explosive offense was rocking Tuesday night as they scored 27 first-quarter points en route to an 82-57 nonconference home win over Prospect.
“Coach [Glenn] Olson stresses pace; he wants us to play fast but not in a hurry,” said Niles North senior guard Lorenzo Dillard, who led all scorers with 22 points. “With them having some bigs we just had to play hard and be fast.”
Prospect (11-6) started the game strong, jumping out to an 11-10 lead thanks to solid post play by 6-foot-4 senior forward Mike Houghton (13 points).
The Vikings offense caught fire after that, reeling off 15 straight points as they took a 27-13 lead into the second quarter.
Niles North (11-3), which shot 11-for-13 in the first quarter, went cold to start the second but was still able to expand the lead to 41-25 by halftime.
“It was their transition that killed us,” Houghton said. “Bad decisions by us on offense turned into two or three points for them. They had that run and we couldn’t get back on track.”
The only sour note for the Vikings in the first half was Malachi Nix -the school’s No. 2 all-time leading scorer - leaving the game after hurting his knee. Olson said Nix will be ready for Niles North’s game against Glenbrook North on Friday.
The Knights were never able to put together a run in the second half. The Vikings registered 24 points in the third and led 65-41 heading into the fourth.
B-Jay Beckford also had a big night for Niles North, scoring 21 points while knocking down 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.
“It’s a lot of fun to play in this system,” Beckford said. “It’s fast-paced and gets the defense off balance.”
Beckford knew everyone had to help shoulder the burden when Nix went down.
“He’s one of our main scorers but like Coach Olson says ‘When someone goes down, someone has to step up.’ But we were missing him out there.”
Billy Voitik added 15 points for the Vikings while Bobby Frasco chipped in eight points for the Knights.