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Niles North’s sharpshooting downs Deerfield

01/11/2013, 11:28pm CST
By Dan Shalin

Niles North hit 12 three-pointers and had four players in double figures against a Deerfield zone en route to a 67-55 victory in Friday’s Central Suburban North contest.

Niles North's Malachi Nix drives on Deerfield's Patrick Burns during the boys basketball game on Friday January 11, 2013 in Skokie. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media

Niles North hit 12 three-pointers against a Deerfield zone in a 67-55 victory in Friday’s CSL North contest.

The Vikings (12-3 overall, 5-0 conference) had four players in double figures. They were led by senior Malachi Nix’s 18 points, half of which were scored in the fourth quarter. Senior BJ Beckford and junior JJ Myles had 14 apiece and senior Lorenzo Dillard added 10.

Deerfield (7-8, 1-4) designed its defense to keep Nix and Dillard from driving to the basket. But that meant open looks for less-heralded players like Myles (nine first half points) and senior Harvey Penn (six first-half points), who helped the Vikings build a 14-point second-quarter lead.

The Vikings were up 30-20 at the break.

“Teams are going to scheme and do what they can do to take away Nix and Dillard’s penetration and try to take away Beckford shooting the ball. We know this,” Niles North coach Glenn Olson said. “But we have some other players. Penn and Myles are outstanding shooters. When they get clean looks, we feel real good.”

But Deerfield continued to battle.

Junior post player Michael Alfieri (team-high 18 points) converted a three-point play with 5:18 remaining in the third to bring his team within seven, 37-30.

“We’re resilient,” first-year Deerfield coach Dan McKendrick said. “We’ve kind of been that way the whole year. It’s not always pretty, but we don’t stop competing. That’s a credit to our kids.”

However, Niles North closed out the third with an 11-6 run, which included three-pointers from Beckford and Dillard, as the home team pushed its advantage back to double-digits.

Junior Eric Porter added 17 points for Deerfield.

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