The annual Skokie Crosstown Classic basketball games were held on Saturday, December 6. Students and faculty from both Niles West and Niles North look forward to this game each year in order to win the coveted traveling trophy. The Varsity girls basketball team for the Vikings were off to a rough start to the season, holding a 1-5 record after a tough set of opponents in their Thanksgiving tournament. The boys were more successful so far standing at 4-1, winning a tournament of their own.
The Lady Vikings started off ready to fight as they led 7-3 very quickly. As the game progressed they were able to pull away for the time being. The Vikings were leading 19-12 a little more than halfway through the second quarter, but Niles West rallied back and took the lead 24-23. Niles North retaliated quickly after a layup from Olivia Schaps followed by a steal and layup from Carolyn Dwyer to end the half.
From there, the game stayed close all throughout. After three quarters, the Wolves faced a 38-35 deficit, but the main action came in the fourth quarter. With four minutes left in the 4th quarter, Niles West took the lead and stayed ahead. That was until Olivia Schaps split a pair of free throws to tie up the game and send it to overtime. After that it was all Vikings. They scored seven points in overtime, holding the Wolves practically scoreless, earning them their second win of the season.
Varsity boys basketball came into the game after winning a Thanksgiving tournament, but falling to Maine South. They held the lead over the Wolves by two after the first quarter. Danny Kim provided a well needed spark off the bench with six quick points along with a few rebounds. At the half, Niles West claimed the lead 31-30 and never looked back. Niles West came out incredibly strong to start the second half, and after three quarters they went up 51-44. Despite the Vikings best efforts, they fell to the Wolves 74-71 in a very high scoring rivalry game. Much of the loss can be attributed to missed free throws for the Vikings. And with that, the Crosstown Classic was over and split just about evenly among the schools.
Both games were intense and engaging for students, family, faculty and the rest of the community. We can only hope these two teams meet in the playoffs as it is always an exciting match up.