The play was designed for a game-tying 2, but when Cole Teal saw a golden
opportunity for a game-winning 3, the Trojans’ senior guard wasn’t about to
pass it up.
With the Trojans down two points to E.C. Central in the final 11 seconds of
Tuesday’s game, Teal dribbled down the left side of the court. As he got
within a couple steps of the 3-point line, no Cardinals came out to pressure
him so he let fly with a shot that found nothing but net.
“Two times in a row it happened,” said Teal, who also drained an uncontested
3 with 16.9 seconds left to bring the Trojans (4-1) within a point. “As soon
as I released it, I heard Chris (Palombizio) yelling at me, ‘I’m open! I’m
open!’ I was like, ‘Please go in,’ because if I didn’t make it, Chris was
going to give me hell.”
E.C.’s Hyron Edwards, who endured a 1-of-15 shooting night, had a runner in
the lane roll off the rim as time expired, and Chesterton, which trailed by
five in the final minute, pulled out a wild 58-57 victory.
“"I had a ‘1-4 low’ called (for Teal),” Trojans coach Tom Peller said of the
last play. “I told Cole if he felt in rhythm, he could make the call (on the
shot). That’s a senior leader making a great play at crunch time. It was
time to win the game and Cole was ready to do it. I could tell. He had that
look in his eyes. He knows what he’s supposed to do. Wow. What a game.”
Teal scored eight of his 18 points in the last 1:24. He connected on five of
Chesterton’s 10 treys.
“Coach trusts me,” Teal said. “But this isn’t about me. It’s about us. The
biggest thing is we found a way. It was a game of runs back and forth. Two
good teams. Crazy things happen.”
Chesterton appeared to be on the ropes when it was called for an intentional
foul with 15.6 left, but Jeremiah Ochoa clanked both foul shots to keep the
score at 56-55. Edwards, a Division I prospect, made 13 of 17 free throws,
but missed three of his last six, including one at 11.7 that left the margin
“They’re deep and they’re quick,” Peller said. “They’re not as good as
Bowman, but they’re not far away from them. We definitely want a game in the
40s or 50s. It would be foolish for us to try to run with them. Turnovers
have been our biggest problem. We want to try to play a half-court game,
take care of the ball and take good shots.”
The teams were never separated by know more than six points, that coming in
the fourth quarter when E.C. strung seven in a row to turn a 43-42 deficit
into a 49-43 lead. In position to take a stronger hold on the game, the
Cardinals came up empty at the rim on consecutive possessions. Chesterton
crept back within a point on a Palombizio 3 after a Jake Wasielewski bucket.
“We kept our composure,” Peller said. “I thought that was a key when we got
down six. We didn’t panic. We showed some growth there. Chris has got that
scoring mentality. I thought (Wasielewski) was an unsung hero. He got some
rebounds and played solid defense inside for us.”
Palombizio scored a game-high 23 points, including four treys, and made
seven of eight at the foul line. Chesterton hoisted 24 shots from beyond the
arc. Wasielewski secured seven rebounds.
“Our offense is pretty much keep passing, ball reversals,” Teal said. “We
only take open looks. We’re all good shooters.”
Despite his struggles from the field, Edwards still led E.C. (4-3) in
scoring with 15. Damien Jefferson, an impressive 6-foot-4 sophomore, notched
12 of his 14 points in the first half and nabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
“We really paid a lot of attention to (Edwards),” Peller said. “I thought
Andrew Ralph did a tremendous job on him -- he’s our best defender -- with
Niles Dilosa switching in. We also switched defenses, going zone to manĘ to
a different zone, to try to keep them off kilter.”
Chesterton is off until the Michigan City holiday tournament Dec. 28, when
they will face the host Wolves, then either LaPorte or Valpo.
“This gives us some confidence and momentum, going into the tournament,”
EAST CHICAGO CENTRAL (9-15-14-19)
Jalen Blackmon 4-6 3-4 11, Hyron Edwards 1-15 13-17 15, Jeremiah Ochoa 2-3
0-2 4, Damien Jefferson 5-12 2-2 14, Joachim Smith 3-8 3-5 9, Martayveus
Carter 2-3 0-0 4, Ricky Readus 0-0 0-0 0, Tre’Quan Burnett 0-0 0-0 0,
Charlie Cleveland 0-1 0-0 0, Fredrick Scott 0-0 0-0 0, Jermain Cousnard 0-0
0-0 0. Totals -- 17-48 20-29 57.
Andrew Ralph 0-0 0-0 0, Chris Palombizio 6-18 7-8 23, Cole Teal 5-11 2-5 17,
Corey Rusboldt 2-7 0-0 5, Jake Wasielewski 4-9 0-2 8, Niles Dilosa 1-1 0-0
2, Rhyss Lewis 0-2 0-0 0, Avery Beeks 1-1 1-1 3, Trent Weller 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals -- 19-49 10-16 58.
3-point field goals: E.C. Central 2 (Jefferson 2); Chesterton 10 (Teal 5,
Palombizio 4, Rusboldt). Leaders -- Rebounds: Jefferson 10 (EC); Wasielewski
7 (C). Assists: Edwards 3 (EC); Teal 3, Palombizio 3 (C). Steals: Carter 2,
Edwards 2, Blackmon 2 (EC); Ralph 2 (C). Team fouls: E.C. Central 18;
Chesterton 18. Fouled out: None. Records: E.C. Central 4-3; Chesterton 4-1.