Chesterton Tribune

 

 

2019 Sectional Champions: CHS basketball team faces No 9 Penn Saturday to open Regional play

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By TR HARLAN

Right back to work on Monday.

Chesterton coach Marc Urban enjoyed his weekend, but it was right back to practice as the Trojan boys basketball team prepares for No. 9 Penn on Saturday morning in the IHSAA Michigan City Regional.

“It’s important to practice on Monday because it’s such an emotional week,” Urban said. “You get a pat on the back from everyone, and rightly so, and it’s kind of goofy to be back on the practice floor. We got after it a little bit on Tuesday to get our wind back and then started installing Penn on Wednesday.

“We’ve been good. Against Valpo we were really connected on both ends of the floor and they’ve really bought into that.”

The Kingsmen enter the game 22-3 overall and winner of 16-of-their-last-17 games. Sectional victories over South Bend Riley (50-48), LaPorte (78-52) and South Bend Adams (63-60) bring them to Michigan City.

“They aren’t real deep, but the five guys they put out there are really good,” Urban said. “They are a really good offensive rebounding team and they’ve played a little bit of everything defensively this year. It’ll be interesting to see what they decide to do against us.”

Penn is led by the senior backcourt of Drew Lutz and Noah Applegate. Lutz, a point guard, is averaging 18.8 points per game and leads the team in assists (189) and steals (65).

“Their point guard Lutz has to have the best assist-to-turnover rate in the country ,(189-57), Urban said. “He can score it, pass it and makes the right decisions.”

Applegate, at 6-foot-6, is averaging a team best 20.1 points per game and leads the team on the backboards (206).

“Noah Applegate is 6-6 and can post-up and shoot it,” Urban said. “He’s really good and they are very efficient on the offensive end. They are averaging about 73 points a game and those guys account for over half of it.”

Northridge and Munster will meet in the other semifinal.

Northridge is 18-8 overall and has won 12 in a row, while Munster stands 22-4 and are the winners of their last six. Munster has won two Regional titles in school history (2009, 2011) and Northridge is looking for its first.

“They are kind of the same type of teams,” Urban said. “They run the same offense and they both play a zone. They are similar in a lot of ways which is a good thing for prep work if we can get there.

“They are both good basketball teams.”

While Urban will have his team prepared and focused for Saturday’s game, he hasn’t missed out on what’s going on around him.

“It’s special to be here. The more you are in this town and around the people here, you see how special it is and how many people are happy for the program, the community and the kids,” Urban said. “I’ve gotten a lot of emails and text messages from former players and people in the community. They are really happy this happened.

“I know the guys can feel the buzz that is in the town. Everybody in the town cares about their school and their athletic teams. We’re just happy to give back something to them.”

Urban’s focus will be on taking care of the basketball and rebounding. And it wouldn’t hurt to make a couple of shots, something the Trojans struggled with at Portage last week.

“We have to take care of the basketball and rebound. We have to play well,” Urban said. “We’ll be prepared and, the good thing is, nobody has a kid that’s played in a Regional before. We’re all on equal footing as far as experience goes.

“It’s huge that we are playing 20 minutes down the road. I know we’ll travel really well as a fan base and they’ll be loud. Now, we’ve got to go play well and make plays.”

“What a fantastic job our coaches did in preparing the kids,” Chesterton Athletic Director Garry Nallenweg said after last Saturday’s victory over Valparaiso. “We’ve never had a bad coach at Chesterton High School and Marc has done a terrific job this year. Having Coach (Tim) Ray back in the program and Coach (Adam) White on the bench is just great for everybody. They are all on the same page and our player development is second to none.”

Urban, who has been to the Regional level before as the head coach of the Lake Central girls team, isn’t ready to be done just yet though.

“I’m excited, but I haven’t sat back and reflected about it. I’ll do that in the Spring sometime,” Urban said. “It’s fun and exciting, but there is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of basketball to be played.”

 

Posted 3/8/2019

 
 
 
 

 

 

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