Boys basketball: Crown Point turns in ideal performance, tops Chesterton
By Mike Hutton 613-0141 or email@example.com Twitter@MikeHuttonPT January 28, 2014 12:56PM
Chesterton's Chris Palombizio (5) tries to get in front of Crown Point's Bret Barclay in the third quarter of their game last week. | Mark Smith/For the Star
Updated: February 4, 2014 9:04AM
CROWN POINT — In a perfect basketball world and perfect season, Crown Point plays this way all the time.
Just a few turnovers, an unstoppable combination of inside and outside scoring mixed in with some timely 3-point shooting and a very good defense.
Is that too much to ask for every single game?
Perhaps, but the Bulldogs have the mix of talent that would make them devastating if they were hovering in that stratosphere consistently.
Saturday, Crown Point rubbed out Chesterton 72-58 in a Duneland Athletic Conference matchup that seemed tilted in the Trojans’ direction before the teams laced it up.
It was, as Bulldogs coach Clint Swan said, the biggest win for his program in a long time.
How long? You’d have to go back two years ago, when the Bulldogs won seven straight at the end of the season and then lost back-to-back games to Chesterton at the very end of the year, to find a big win.
Chesterton coach Tom Peller wasn’t particularly displeased with the way the Trojans played. His team was clearly defeated.
“We were going to have to play at a really high level to beat them,” he said.
And even then, it’s not clear they would’ve won.
The Bulldogs had the inside-outside combination going. They had a bit of a mystery player (not to them), Sash Stefanovic, who came in and hit two critical 3-pointers in the second quarter. Stefanovic, a freshman, has played mostly junior varsity for Crown Point. Swan said he’ll likely be playing on the big-boy team now.
“I don’t think he’ll be playing JV for us anymore,” he said. “He’s going to have a great career.”
And their two big guys, Nick Jeffirs and Bret Barclay, combined for 29 points and 14 rebounds.
Their point guard, Blake Bonin, scored 12 and dished out six assists. He also got to the free-throw line and made all six of his shots.
Noah Burkholder, the other guard for Crown Point, had a critical 3-pointer and he scored twice off of penetration.
To make the victory even more satisfying, the Bulldogs held Chris Palombizio to seven points in the second half — six of them came in the fourth quarter when the game was pretty much out of hand. Overall, the Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the field while holding Chesterton to 41.7 percent.
It was, for the Bulldogs, a pretty special performance.
If there was one sequence that showed how good they were, it came when Barclay scored on consecutive possessions off offensive rebounds.
His first basket was a running slam off a missed layup. The second one was a simple put back with 4:41 left in the first half. Crown Point expanded its lead from 18-17 on the two possessions, which took about 30 seconds total. Overall, the Bulldogs outrebounded Chesterton 33-19.
“We played this game real well,” Barclay said. “We worked hard in practice on our defense.”
The victory is the third straight for Crown Point (7-3, 2-1). Chesterton falls to 9-4 and 2-1 in the DAC.