PORTAGE -- A share
of the Duneland Athletic Conference title slipped through Chesterton's grasp
Wednesday in a 58-57 upset against Portage.
It remains to be
seen if its chances at a Class 4A Sectional title will be compromised after
sophomore Jake Wadding sprained his ankle near the basket on a breakaway
late in the second quarter.
"I don't know,"
Trojans coach Marc Urban said. "It didn't look good."
Wadding stole the
ball and was angling toward the rim when Portage's Maurion Martin cut in
front of him. As Wadding tried to move to his right, he twisted an ankle and
fell to the court. He was helped to the bench, not putting any weight on the
foot at that point. He sat in a chair with the leg elevated and ice on the
ankle for a while, eventually having it re-taped and putting on his shoe
Wadding was walking
afterward, albeit with a limp.
"It's tough," Urban
said. "We’ve been lucky. We've been healthy all year for the most part. Some
guys had to play out of position a little bit."
compounded a tough night for the Trojans (19-3, 5-2 DAC), who ran into an
emotionally charged Portage team that had lost to Lake Station the night
"We wanted to knock
down Chesterton and show what we're about before playing Valpo in the
Sectional," Greg Milledge said. "Coach (Rick Snodgrass) got on us. We had to
unstoppable attacking the basket in a 16-point first half during which he
missed only one shot. He had 10 points, including a pair of strong
one-handed slams, and two steals in a 13-0 Portage run that put it up 24-12
credit," Urban said. "They made plays."
Wadding went down
with 21.1 seconds left in the half, sucking the noise out of the Chesterton
crowd through the duration of halftime.
was a big difference," Milledge said. "They wanted to pound it inside to get
Austin Peterson got
rolling with 10, including a pair of 3s, in the third quarter as the Trojans
chipped away at the deficit.
They were within
four three times in the fourth quarter before Milledge and Martin (18
points) steadied the Indians. Down 55-44, Chesterton made one last push in
the final minute, edging within 56-54 on a Ky Palombizio putback with 20.7
left. The Trojans narrowly missed a steal and Martin curled in a layup and
Portage (11-12, 3-4) was able to let the clock run out after Tyler Nelson's
trey in the final seconds.
"It’s a really nice
win for our kids against a really good team," Snodgrass said. "It gives us a
fourth-place tie (in the conference). It's been a long time since we’ve been
at that level. We were thinking more about what a win would do for us than a
Chesterton loss. The DAC's tough. There are no off nights."
Milledge and Martin
combined for 40 points. Peterson's 24 led all scorers. Tyler Nelson had 14,
eight of them coming in the last minute. Chesterton was 6 of 18 from the arc
with three of those makes coming in the last push.
credit. They played a heck of a game," Urban said. "They made plays. We
didn't make enough plays to get the job done. We have to take care of the
basketball better and not let teams rebound the way they did. We've got a
short window to fix that."
had a 10-game winning streak snapped, hosts West Side on Friday before
opening sectional play Tuesday against Kankakee Valley.
presumably not play Friday and the Trojans could choose to sit him in the
Sectional opener, a game they should be able to win without him, though
nothing's a sure thing after what happened Wednesday.
"This is a very
tough one to swallow," Urban said. "I feel terrible for the guys. Hopefully,
we can get refocused and be ready for KV Tuesday."