New York Mills – Terrance Nichols didn’t plan to shoot a lot of threes in Tuesday’s season opener against Holland Patent. New York Mills was very glad he did when all was said and done.
The 6-foot-2 senior made four threes in the first half to help NYM to a 28-20 edge and his steady play in the second half helped the defending Class D state runnerup pull away for a 58-47 victory.
“I like taking it to the basket more,” Nichols said after he had five threes in a game that he wound up with 25 points. “I took what they gave me.”
HP didn’t give NYM much, though. Coach Jim Wilder’s Golden Knights stayed close until the end of the third quarter before the hosts’ depth proved to be too much in the December 1 contest.
“Every opening game is special,” NYM coach Mike Adey said after he wrapped up career win No. 547, the most for Section III coaches. “But we still have to get better at moving the ball and other things.”
Maybe so, but NYM could not have asked for a better start. The Marauders opened with a 9-0 run and Nichols capped it with the first of his four 3-pointers in the first half. Turner Reinold made a three to get HP on the board after a timeout, and Colin Litz made a pair of foul shots, but Nichols and Ken Egan had nice shots down the stretch for Adey’s team and the hosts led 18-9 after eight minutes.
The teams opened the second quarter with Nichols making two threes and Litz having one then Paul Ward and Nichols had field goals to help NYM increase its lead to 28-16. Litz and Reinold closed the half with baskets for HP then the teams traded scores to start the third quarter before Griffin Baur and Ben Kehrli scored to get NYM a 34-22 edge.
Threes by Litz, Reinold then Litz again fueled HP’s ensuing 9-5 run and suddenly it was back to just an 8-point lead for NYM. That’s when Baur and Ward went on a 6-0 run in a matter of a minute to put the Marauders on top 45-31 with 1:11 to go in the third quarter. The Golden Knights never cut the deficit below 12 the rest of the game until an 8-0 run by the reserves to end the contest.
“We didn’t get off to a good start,” Wilder said. “We’re very inexperienced. I don’t have a starter back. We made young mistakes. You can’t give Mills a 9-0 head start at their place. “But the things we did wrong are fixable.”
Even the winners felt somewhat the same.
“For a first game I’d say we started strong,” Nichols said. “But we have a lot of room to improve.”
Adey felt likewise, and he was happy for the win. And the 35-year veteran head coach was happy with Egan’s play in particular.
“For his first varsity start, I thought he played great,” Adey said of Egan, a 6-foot-3 junior. “He scored eight points and had a bunch of rebounds.”
Paul Ward had 14 points for NYM’s second best effort on offense while Litz had 15 points to pace HP.
HP 9 11 13 14 – 47
NYM 18 10 17 11 – 58
HP (0-0, 0-1): Jake Storsberg 2, Turner Reinold 8, D.J. Harter 6, Colin Litz 15, David Spoon 2, Nick Palmer 4, Colin Corrigan 4, Kyle LaPoint 4, Hunter Raehm 2.
NYM (0-0, 1-0): Terrance Nichols 25, Ben Kehrli 5, Griffin Baur 6, Paul Ward 14, Ken Egan 8.