With 25 seconds
left and Chesterton tied at 39 with Merrillville, an inbound pass went from
senior guard Ashley Craycraft to junior forward Emma Schmidt.
Schmidt had one
thing on her mind.
“Get to the basket
and score,” she said. “That’s always my first thought: see how I can beat my
defender and get to the basket.”
Schmidt did just
that and was fouled in the process, hitting a layup and free throw for a
conventional three-point play. Those points provided the winning margin for
the Trojans in their 42-39 Duneland Athletic Conference win over the
with 12 points, tying with Craycraft for the team lead, and included
Schmidt’s number one method of scoring - driving to the rim. Just as she did
for the game-winner.
Coach Jack Campbell
said he has a hard time figuring out how Schmidt always manages to find her
way into the paint.
“I don’t know how
she does it,” Campbell said. “She has a knack for it. She’s been doing it
Over the summer,
Schmidt said that was a major focus of her game, especially during a summer
tournament in Wisconsin Dells when she played point guard. Schmidt scored in
double digits in every game of that tournament, providing the confidence
that she could find the rim in key moments like she did on Friday night.
“It made me the
player I am today,” Schmidt said.
That confidence was
vital against Merrillville, as Campbell designed a different play to score
the go-ahead basket, but Schmidt had to improvise after the Pirates reacted.
“It was supposed to
be a dump pass to (Craycraft),” Schmidt said. “But that didn’t work out, so
my thought was to go right to the basket.”
struggled in the first quarter, trailing 11-4 after one.
that speed and quickness (of Merrillville), I was starting to get worried
about what the score was going to be,” Campbell said. “But we got a couple
steals and hit a couple of big shots to get it within two at halftime.”
Junior guard Nalani
Malackowski helped the Trojans keep pace with nine points on a trio of
three-pointers. Her second one put Chesterton ahead 23-21 in the middle of
the third and her final points made it a 37-33 Trojans lead in the fourth.
the game with 40 seconds remaining before Schmidt’s basket put Chesterton
ahead for good.
6-17 0-1 12, Nalani Malackowski 3-9 0-0 9, Geneva Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Carley
Balas 3-3 0-1 6, Emma Pape 1-3 0-2 2, Emma Schmidt 5-12 1-1 12, Kaitlyn Carr
0-4 0-0 0, Lauren Davis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-49 1-5 42.
Cailynn Dilosa 7-13
0-0 16, Aaniejah Crim 2-4 0-0 6, Tori Miller 5-14 3-4 13, Amani Alvarez 1-4
1-4 3, Amani Cole 0-3 0-0 0, Sheki’nah Thomas 0-6 1-2 1. Totals 15-45 5-10
goals: Chesterton 5-14 (Craycraft 0-3, Malackowski 3-7, Pape 1-1, Schmidt
1-2, Carr 0-1), Merrillville 4-12 (Dilosa 2-4, Crim 2-4, Miller 0-1, Thomas
0-3). Rebounds: Chesterton 20 (Schmidt 5), Merrillville 35 (Smith 10).
Steals: Chesterton 18 (Malackowski 10), Merrillville 11 (Miller 6). Assists:
Chesterton 5 (Malackowski 2), Merrillville 1 (Miller 1).