As Ashley Craycraft
took the pass from Nalani Malackowski in the waning seconds of Friday’s game
against LaPorte, she had one thought running through her mind before she
took a shot for the win.
“I told myself not
to travel, and as soon I threw that up it was like ‘Oh God, please go in,’”
3-pointer with seven seconds to go found its way through the net and was all
the difference Chesterton needed in its 46-45 win as LaPorte committed an
inbounds violation, allowing the Trojans to run out the clock on a Duneland
Athletic Conference win.
LaPorte was primed
to go up four on the prior possession as Nyla Asad got free for a lay-up,
but the iron was unkind allowing Malackowski to grab the rebound and hit
Craycraft for the shot.
“They were set up
on (Nalani) so I took off,” Craycraft said. “She looked at me, I looked at
her, and she tossed me that ball and I almost traveled. When I shot it, it’s
like ‘oh goodness, here we go,’ but it felt good coming off my hands.”
Craycraft led the
Trojans (15-3, 5-1) and all scorers with 19 points, including eight in the
fourth quarter. She added five steals and four rebounds.
“She’s our leader,
defender, she’s everything,” Chesterton coach Jack Campbell said. “She’s the
head of the snake for us. The girls follow her. When your best player plays
that hard then it’s hard not to jump in on that.
“Nalani saw her,
pitched it ahead and Ashley put it up and at that point it’s win or lose,
one or the other. (Ashley) is fun to watch, she leaves it all on the line.
Most kids go in spurts for four, five, six good minutes, but she can do it
for all 32 minutes and that’s what we ask her to do.”
As the buzzer
sounded, Craycraft let out a scream that would have been heard throughout
the Chesterton gym, had it not been loud enough already.
“I’ve got this
extra drive,” Craycraft said. “With everything I do, I’m super competitive.
It’s just this urge to win all the time. I think that drive helps our team,
but when our team does something good, it can get me going, too.
Emma Schmidt each scored 11 points for Chesterton, with the former hitting
three 3s and the latter adding three steals.
everything for one another on this team and it feels great,” Craycraft said.
“To have the fan base here and all of them roaring, everyone jumping up and
down, it was really cool to have that on our side, too.”
Nyla Asad had 17
points and Ryin Ott added 12 for the Slicers (11-7, 2-4).
“When you fall
behind a team like Chesterton who is very disciplined and well-coached, it’s
hard to come back,” LaPorte coach Rob Walker said. “I think the first three
minutes our kids really answered the call from the locker room. It wasn’t
like this was a loss against a team that’s 3-15.
“You can’t make the
mistakes we were and you gotta be better with the basketball and we were in
the second half, we made the extra pass and did the things we preached about
all week in practice. That’s a good, disciplined team in Chesterton. They’re
not 15-3 for no reason.”
Chesterton 46, La
Alanti Biggers 2
0-0 4, Kayla Jones 2 2-3 6, Ryin Ott 5 2-4 12, Nyla Asad 7 1-2 17, Lauren
Pollock 2 0-0 4, Shelby Linn 1 0-0 2, Danielle Krontz 0 0-0 0, Aydin Shreves
0 0-0 0. Totals -- 19 5-9 45.
Ashley Craycraft 5
7-14 19, Nalani Malackowski 4 0-0 11, Carley Balas 2 1-3 5, Emma Schmidt 5
1-2 11, Kaitlyn Carr 0 0-0 0, Lauren Davis 0 0-0 0, Emma Pape 0 0-0 0,
Geneva Nelson 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 16 9-19 46.
goals: LaPorte 2-13 (Biggers 0-2, Jones 0-2, Ott 0-3, Asad 2-6); Chesterton
5-16 (Craycraft 2-3, Malackowski 3-8, Balas 0-1, Pape 0-1, Schmidt 0-1, Carr
0-1, Davis 0-1). Rebounds: LaPorte 27 (Ott 8, Pollock 8); Chesterton 24 (Malackowski
6). Assists: LaPorte 1 (Ott 1); Chesterton 4 (Craycraft 2). Steals: LaPorte
6 (Ott 4); Chesterton 13 (Craycraft 5).