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Lake Central too speedy for Bulldogs

Lake Central players exit locker room take Crown Point Friday December 7 2012. | Mark Smith~Sun-Times Media

Lake Central players exit the locker room to take on Crown Point on Friday, December 7, 2012. | Mark Smith~Sun-Times Media

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Lake Central 65, Crown Point 44

CROWN POINT (2-2, 1-1 DAC) 13 - 8 - 15 - 8 == 44

LAKE CENTRAL (3-1, 2-0 DAC) 20 - 10 - 15 - 20 == 65

12-6-12 DAC in St John

CROWN POINT (44) Tommy Bardeson 3-0-7, Bret Barclay 4-1-19, Nick Jeffirs 1-2-4, Zach Plesac 3-2-9, Josh Berquist 1-2-4, Braxton Rice 2-3-7, Noah Burkholder 1-2-4, Blake Bonin 0-0-0, Alex Nickla 0-0-0, Rade Kukobat 0-0-0, Nick Hanlon 0-0-0. TOTALS: 15 (12-18) 44.

LAKE CENTRAL (65) Mike Miklusak 6-2-16, Mat Meneghetti 4-0-12, Tyler Wideman 7-5-19, Tye Wilburn 1-2-4, Cory Dickleman 1-0-2, Tyler Ross 1-2-4, Joe Bannister 0-2-2,2 Robert Ryan 1-4-6, Chris Tuskan 0-0-0. TOTALS: 21 (16-26) 65.

FREE THROWS: CP (12-18, 66.7%) Nickla 0-1, Bardeson 0-1, Plesac 2-2, Barclay 1-1, Berquist 2-2, Jeffirs 2-2, Rice 3-5, Burkholder 2-2, Kukobat 0-2.. LAKE CENTRAL (16-25, 64%) Wideman 5-8, Wilburn 2-4, Ross 2-3, Miklusak 2-2, Bannister 2-2, Ryan 3-6.

REBOUNDS: CP (23) Plesac 7, Barclay 5, Burkholder 3, Bardeson 3, Nickla 2, Jeffirs, Kukobat, Berquist;, LAKE CENTRAL (23) Wideman 7, Ross 4, Miklusak 3, Wilburn 3, Dickelman 3, Meneghetti 2, Tuskan.

ASSISTS: CP (3) Berquist 2, Nickla; LAKE CENTRAL (13) Wilburn 9, Ryan 2, Wideman, Miklusak.

STEALS: CP (9) Bardeson 3, Jeffirs 2, Plesac 2, Berquist, Burkholder: LAKE CENTRAL (13) Wilburn 5, Ross 2, Dickelman 2, Bannister 2, Ryan, Miklusak.

TECHNICAL FOUL: CP (1) Nick Jeffirs (4th Q) 2:48 left.

3-GOALS: CP (2) Zach Plesac,Tommy Bardeson; LC (7) Matt Meneghetti 4, Mike Miklusak 2, Robert Ryan.

Crown Point 55, Morton 21

MORTON (0-4) 2 - 6 - 6 - 7 == 21

CROWN POINT (2-1) 13 - 14 - 11 - 17 == 55

12-4-12, in Crown Point

MORTON (21) Mark Snorton 1-0-3, Darius Coty 1-0-2, Xavier Johnson 0-0-0, Debrion Maclin 0-0-0, Carl Murray 1-0-2, Eleazar Henderson 1-0-2, Josh Bailey 1-2-4, Travon Atkins 2-0-4, Taylor Carter 0-0-0, Bishop Moore 0-0-0. TOTALS: 9 (2-6) 21.

CROWN POINT (55) Alex Nickla 2-2-7, PJ Phelps 2-0-4, Noah Burkholder 1-2-4, Braxton Rice 4-3-11, Zach Plesac 1-1-3, Bret Barclay 5-0-10, Nick Jeffirs 4-1-9, Josh Berquist 2-1-5, Blake Bonin 1-0-2. TOTALS: 22 (8-14) 55.

FREE THROWS: MORTON (2-5, 40%) Bailey 2-3, Snorton 0-1, Moore 0-1; CP (8-14, 57.1%) Rice 3-4, Nickla 2-2, Burkholder 2-2, Phelps 0-3, Jeffirs 1-3.

REBOUNDS: MORTON (19) Henderson 5, Coty 4, Snorton 2, Murray 2, Bailey 2, Atkins 2, Johnson, Moore. CP (41) Rice 9, Barclay 9, Burkholder 6, Jeffirs 5, Nickla 3, Plesac 3, Phelps 2, Berquist 2, Bonin, Hanlon.

ASSISTS: MORTON (2) Henderson, Bailey; CP (13) Nickla 2, Phelps 2, Rice 2, Barclay 2, Plesac 2, Bonin 2, Jeffirs.

STEALS: MORTON (6) Henderson 2, Coty 2, Bailey 2; CP (10) Rice 3, Plesac 2, Phelps, Jeffirs, Bonin, Hanlon, Nickla.

3-GOALS: MORTON (1) Mark Snorton; CP (3) Alex Nickla, Zach Plesac, Josh Berquist.

2013 CROWN POINT (2-2)

11-10 (2012) 18-4, (2011), 8-13 (2010)

Coach: Clint Swan, 81-51 (6 seasons)

6 p.m. JV, 7:30 varsity DAC games in CAPS

Nov. 21 (L) 57-76 at South Bend Washington

Nov. 30 (W) 52-49 LaPORTE

Dec. 4 (W) 55-21 Morton

Dec. 7 (W) 44-65 at Lake Central

Dec. 11 (late Tues.) at VALPARAISO

Dec. 14 (Fri.) MICHIGAN CITY

Dec. 18 (Tues.) at Griffith

Dec. 21 (Fri.) girls/boys DH - MERRILLVILLE

Jan. 4 (Fri.) girls/boys DH at CHESTERTON

Jan. 8 (Tues.) PORTAGE

Jan. 11 (Fri.) LAKE CENTRAL

Jan. 18 (Fri,.) at MICHIGAN CITY

Jan. 19 (Sat) East Chicago

Jan. 25 (Fri.) VALPARAISO

Jan. 26 (Sat) at Boone Grove

Feb. 1 (Fri.) at MERRILLVILLE

Feb. 7 (Thurs) at LaPORTE

Feb. 15 (Fri.,) at PORTAGE

Feb. 16 (Sat) Lowell

Feb. 22 (Fri.) CHESTERTON

MICHIGAN CITY (4A) SECTIONAL

Feb. 26 (Tues) quarterfinals

March 1 (Fri) semifinals

March 2 (finals)

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Updated: December 11, 2012 1:54PM



ST. JOHN — The speed of the game.

Teams play basketball at different speeds and if you are used to a higher or lower speed, you have to adjust if you can.

Maybe next time.

Crown Point could not adjust to the speed of Lake Central’s game Friday night in St. John. Approximately 32 minutes and 27 turnovers later, Lake Central had set the bar for CP to try to reach for the rest of the season, topping the Bulldogs 65-44 in front of a noisy holiday season crowd of about 2,000 in the Lake Central field house.

LC’s 6-foot-7 junior center Tyler Wideman scored 19 with seven rebounds, but the difference in the game was junior point guard Tye Wilburn who was able to control the pace of the game with few mistakes.

CP (2-2, 1-1 DAC), with five 6-foot-5 players, at times could handle Wideman. They had no answer for Wilburn.

LC raced to a 20-10 lead, watched CP close within 20-19 and then pulled away for a 30-21 halftime lead.

“We had a stretch in the second quarter where we had seven possessions with out scoring,” said LC coach Dave Milausnic. “Take that out and we were OK. I’m pleased. We have a lot of versatility and we’re still trying to find ways to find Tyler. I’m pleased with the energy.”

Crown Point saw things go badly from the opening tip. CP’s 6-foot-5, 211 pound center Nick Jeffirs drew two fouls in the first 35 seconds against Wideman (6-7, 240) and 6-foot-5 forward Bret Barclay had two fouls with 4:06 left in the first quarter.

Lake Central (3-1, 2-0 DAC) shot the ball a lot better than they have in past meetings with CP. The Indians, who have lost only to Class 4A No. 9 Hamilton Southeastern (5-1), sank five three-point shots in the first half, three of them in a 10-0 run that put them ahead 20-10 with 1:39 left in the first quarter. Senior wing player Mike Miklusak scored 12 points on the night on four three-point shots, two in each half.

Crown Point switched to a half-court trapping defense and countered with a 9-0 run to make it 20-19 with 5:10 left in the half. But the Bulldogs could not create open shots. Without the continuity and purpose that Lake Central had, CP sank just 15 field goals all night.

“We’ve got to find ways to execute our style of basketball,” said CP coach Clint Swan. “That’s the only way we’re going to beat good teams, especially on the road. Get the shots we want as opposed to getting the shots they were forcing us into. That’s what we’ve got to work on.”

At the end of all four quarters, LC went into the old “four corners” delay with Wilburn, a 5-foot-11 dribbling expert, whirling around in the middle of the attacking end and passing to teammates on the four corners of the front court.

Until and unless LC tried to force the ball to Wideman, CP could not stop the four corners.

“I think we surprised them with (the half court trap),” said Swan. “But once they adjusted to it, they were fine. (Wilburn) is a good player. He was good last year and he’s getting better.”

This was a very physical game, played to a near capacity crowd in the old LC field house, even though the LC-CP girls game was being played simultaneously at Crown Point, a practice that hopefully ends with the end of the 14-game double-round robin league season next year.

Both schools at LC had good-sized students sections who chanted at each other all night long. The LC kids had to be cautioned about stepping out on the floor to congratuale their classmates after a couple of LC baskets scored directly in front of them.

The LC band had the volume turned up to maximum levels and it was a good night for the home team.

Crown Point seemed disconnected at times, possibly due to some rookies playing heavy minutes and the retrun of seniors Tommy Bardeson and Zach Plesac.

The rematch is Jan. 11 in Crown Point and they will know each other a little better at that point. LC is the better team but not 21 points better.

“We just have to take better care of the basketball,” said Swan. “And do what we do. Not what they want us to do.”

DOG NOTES: Tommy Bardeson returned to the CP lineup after missing two games with a minor knee problem.

Playing for the first time in two weeks, the 6-foot-5 senior guard did not start but entered the game with 5:05 left in the first quarter and finished with nine points.

Josh Berquist started at guard in place of Bardeson and coach Clint Swan was happy with the sophomore’s play.

“We had, what? 26 turnovers?” Swan said. “And they didn’t get them from the point guard. I thought Josh Berquist played very well.”

For some reason, game referees allowed players on both teams to hang on the rim after dunks, missed dunks and just high flying plays.

The argument can be made that one or two players hung on the rim for their own safety as other players were undercutting them. But let’s hope everybody knows that argument won’t travel.

Hanging on the rim won’t be allowed in most gyms on most nights.

The biggest news Tuesday was the return of guard Zach Plesac, who had chosen not to play his senior season but then reconsidered.

Plesac, a 6-foot-2 guard who averaged 9.7 points per game in 18 games last season, is a much-needed member of the CP squad and his return raises the ceiling on what they can do in the 2013 post-season next March.

Swan said that Plesac’s return had nothing to do with the knee injury to Tommy Bardeson, who missed the victories over LaPorte and Morton.

Plesac, an all-area football player and all-state baseball pitcher, reportedly initiated the return on his own.

“He came in,” said Swan, “and said he’d changed his mind. Asked if he could come back. We were more than happy to take him back.

“He’s had good practices. We’re looking forward to him making us better. It had nothing to do with Tommy getting hurt. He just called me up and asked if he could. We talked about it and we decided he’d come back.”

CP’s Braxton Rice, a football receiver like Plesac, said that Zach had been thinking about returning.

“We had some phone calls,” Rice said. “We have some classes together. I’d tell him, ‘Hey, we’ve got practice today.’ Me and Tom (Bardeson) were getting him back. I know he missed it.”

CP’s Braxton Rice scored 12 with nine rebounds against Morton. The 6-foot-5 forward is working back into basketball conditioning after CP’s 12-game football season.

“Football’s such a different speed. You train to go seven seconds hard,” he said. “Basketball you need endurance to go up and down. I had an ACL sprain and a high ankle sprain. So it was a little tough to get back on the hard floor again.”

An early CP fan favorite is newcomer Blake Bonin, a fancy dribbling freshman guard who is listed at 5-foot-7 and 143 pounds but appears even smaller than that.

Bonin, who is the son of Kara East Bonin (the daughter of former Merillville head coach Jim East), played 10 minutes against Morton and helped ice the game with late ball handling against LaPorte.

“He’s about half my body size but he can play,” said the 6-foot-5 Rice. “In the LaPorte game, a kid was getting frustrated with him and he grabbed him by his jersey and knocked him down,” said Rice. “I didn’t like that and I kinda went after him. That kinda escalated things a little. I had to stand up for him. Guy did that for me here when I was his age.”



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