Don’t try telling Jack Campbell that Friday night’s contest against the
Valparaiso girls basketball team didn’t mean anything.
The longtime Chesterton coach spent much of the fourth quarter calling
timeouts and strategizing on how the Trojans could get back in the game
despite trailing by double digits entering the final quarter.
The Vikings ultimately held on for a 56-48 victory in a preview of Tuesday
night’s sectional opener, but not before the Trojans made things interesting
down the stretch, getting within two possessions.
“The thing about the first time we played them, we lost by 19,” Campbell
said. “Then this time, we lost by eight. It’s getting closer.”
With both teams out of the running for a Duneland Athletic Conference
championship, and with Tuesday’s postseason game carrying all the meaning,
there was an expectation that Campbell and Valparaiso coach Jeanette Gray
would leave the clipboards at home for Friday’s game, not wanting to give
away too much strategy.
Campbell would have none of that talk.
“We played them straight up,” Campbell said. “The teams know each other
pretty well already.”
Claire Holba scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Trojans, including a
3-pointer late in the game that kept Chesterton within striking distance.
“She’s had an outstanding year and has really come leaps and bounds,”
Campbell said. “Her game has really expanded.”
An early highlight of the game came in the first quarter when Ryan Bozak
nailed a 3-pointer to give the Trojans a 9-4 lead. Bozak was fouled after
the play by Valparaiso’s Clarisse Fletcher and went to the free throw line.
Bozak hit both shots to complete the rare five-point play.
“That was a big moment there, something that gets the motor going a little
bit,” Campbell said.
The Trojans finished out the regular season at 7-13 and 4-10 in the
conference. With three players being lost for the year with knee injuries,
Campbell has enjoyed working through the season with a group that looks
different than he expected from the beginning of the season.
“This is definitely a far different team than we thought would be here,”
Campbell said. “It’s been a work in progress and that will continue next
Ryan Bozak 1-5 2-2 5, Alyssa White 2-5 4-4 8, Maddie Houpt 0-0 0-1 0,
Lindsay Gorman 1-5 3-4 6, Claire Holba 11-17 4-6 27, Reva Key 0-0 0-0 0,
Riley Taubert 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 16-34 13-17 48.
Sarkisian 1-3 1-3 4, Clinkenbeard 1-3 3-4 5, Fletcher 0-1 0-0 0, Ostojic
8-19 0-0 21, Paul 1-5 5-6 7, Wallace 0-0 0-0 0, Lang 9-11 1-1 19, Diveris
0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-43 10-14 56.
3-point field goals: Chesterton 3-8 (Bozak 1-3, White 0-1, Gorman 1-3, Holba
1-1); Valparaiso 6-17 (Sarkisian 1-3, Ostojic 5-12, Paul 0-1). Rebounds:
Chesterton 23 (Holba 9); Valparaiso 24 (Paul 6). Steals: Chesterton 6 (White
2, Holba 2); Valparaiso 6 (Paul 3). Assists: Chesterton 3 (Bozak 2);
Valparaiso 9 (Paul 3).
The Valparaiso Vikings jumped out to a 25-14 halftime lead and allowed
Chesterton to score just one third quarter point en route to a 48-29
Ari Mahaffey scored a game-high 14 points, while Megan Matheny added seven
points. Anna Raffin and Shelby Gwizdalski each scored three points.
Kelly Braun scored two points to round out the scoring.