Find a way.
On a senior night
when Chesterton was missing 40 percent of its starting lineup (Jake Wadding
and Noah Mahoney), missing over 60 percent of its shots and had Austin
Peterson (back spasms) playing at an estimated 50 percent, its path to a win
over West Side on Friday had more potholes than Northwest Indiana roads.
“Jake does so much.
He leads in rebounds, assists and he’s tied for points,” Trojans coach Marc
Urban said of his star sophomore forward, who was sidelined with a sprained
ankle suffered Wednesday against Portage. “You take that piece out, it’s an
adjustment. Some kids had to step up.”
with 2.1 seconds left stood as the game-winner in a 48-47 thriller,
Chesterton (20-3) exhaling when Jaylin Hughes’ off-balance 35-footer fell
short of the cylinder as time expired.
"We lost the (Duneland)
conference title, but I told the guys, last year in baseball, we won the
conference title, but I’d trade it for a sectional championship any day of
the week,” Peterson said. “We have to keep our heads up. There’s a lot of
work to do. Everybody has to step up and do their job even more than they
have been. When Jake comes back eventually, it makes us 10 times better.”
more than it led, its biggest lead (four) coming at 33-29 early in the
fourth quarter. West Side countered with an 8-0 run and the teams traded
baskets over the final three minutes after a 39-39 tie. Peterson scored the
last six points for the Trojans, turning a one-point deficit into a
one-point lead each time, including the winner, which countered a Teionte
Mitchell basket at 11.2 seconds.
“You’ve got to go
to your seniors, where your strengths are,” Urban said. “We did a good job
delivering the basketball and Pete was able to get one to go in. We didn’t
shoot the ball well, but we made plays when we needed to. That’s why it’s a
Peterson missed his
first eight shots and had one point at halftime. He didn’t make his first
basket until the end of the third quarter, but finished with 14, making hay
at the line, where he was 8-of-10.
prepared us for the sectional, especially a team like West Side that’s
playing really well right now,” Peterson said. “Being able to dig out a win
at home, it gives us confidence going into the sectional. We’re fortunate
that if we play Merrillville again, they’re comparable teams. They run the
same stuff on defense. It was nice that our guards were strong with the
ball. We’re going to need that.”
Tyler Nelson backed
Peterson with 11 points, seven of them in the second quarter, when West Side
(12-9) matched the game’s largest lead of six. Kolton Cardenas scored with
two big fourth-quarter 3s, one that stemmed the West Side surge and another
that put Chesterton up 42-41 at 2:17.
“Kolton hit some
big shots,” Urban said. “Everybody’s in the same boat right now. You try to
keep focused on the moment, but you know they’re looking ahead. The
(Portage) loss hurt, but you have no other choice but to pick yourself up
and move on. There’s no reason to sit and pout. We’ll grind it out and see
Chesterton shot 32
percent, but outscored West Side 17-7 at the line.
“He’s a big kid and
we needed to do a better job keeping him away from the basket,” West Side
coach Chris Buggs said of Peterson. “I thought we ran our offense pretty
well. We had a lot of good looks, but they just weren’t falling tonight.
They’re a very good team and we were right there with them.”
Wadding was not in
a boot, but was using crutches as he left after the game. Urban said he
didn’t think Wadding would be able play on Tuesday against Kankakee Valley
in the Class 4A Chesterton Sectional opener.
“We feel we’re in
the underdog role now,” Urban said. “Everybody’s talking about Merrillville
and Valpo. (Wadding) hasn’t done anything but ice. He’s barely walking on
it. We’ll have a game plan with him and a game plan without him. Our focus
right now is getting prepared for Kankakee Valley.”
1-7 1-1 3, Emmanuel Calhoun 4-8 0-0 9, Teionte Marshall 5-9 2-2 12, Jimmie
Washington 1-2 0-0 2, Keontae Lee 0-1 0-0 0, Jaylin Hughes 6-12 1-1 14,
Jessie Walker 0-0 0-0 0, Chrishawn Christmas 2-3 0-0 4, Paron Roberson 0-1
3-4 3, Jason Randolph 0-0 0-0 0. Totals -- 19-43 7-8 47.
Tyler Nelson 3-7
4-4 11, Ky Palombizio 1-10 2-2 5, Josh Matthews 0-2 3-4 3, Austin Peterson
3-11 8-10 14, Harley Lohmeyer 0-1 0-0 0, Jack Eaton 1-1 0-0 3, Kolton
Cardenas 4-5 0-1 10, Nick Mullen 1-3 0-0 2, Drew Vanderwoude 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals -- 13-40 17-21 48.
goals: West Side 2 (Calhoun, Hughes); Chesterton 5 (Cardenas 2, Nelson,
Palombizio, Eaton). Leaders -- Rebounds: Mitchell 7 (WS); Palombizio 6 (C).
Assists: Peterson 4 (WS); Cardenas 2, Vanderwoude 2 (C). Steals: Calhoun 4
(WS). Team fouls: West Side 18. Chesterton 6. Fouled out: Washington (WS).
Records: West Side 12-9, Chesterton 20-3.