Boys basketball: Munster outlasts EC, will get rematch with host West Side in semifinals
By Tommy WIlliams Post-Tribune correspondent February 27, 2013 10:12PM
Munster's Nate Bubash goes to the basket ahead of East Chicago's Jeremiah Ochoa in the fourth quarter at West Side High School Wednesday night. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
For more boys basketball sectional coverage, see pages 38-40.
Updated: April 1, 2013 12:05PM
GARY — Munster coach Mike Hackett said he knew his first-round sectional game with East Chicago would not be an easy one, even though his Mustangs beat the Cardinals by 18 earlier this season.
“They are dangerous,” Hackett said. “I thought (EC coach) Abe (Brown) had a nice game plan. It was a battle. On any given night they can beat any team in the state.”
Fortunately for Munster, Wednesday night was not one of those nights.
The second-ranked team in Class 4A got 20 points from Drew Hackett and 16 more by Nate Bubash in a 55-45 win that punched the Mustangs’ ticket into Friday’s semifinals.
West Side will be the next team to try to hand Munster (23-0) its first loss of the season after eliminating Highland 55-34 in the other quarterfinal game. Munster beat West Side 47-39 on Feb. 7.
Wednesday night’s drama was locked into the first game, in which East Chicago (10-11), led by Hyron Edwards’ 19 points, kept the game close throughout.
But no other player for the Cardinals scored more than seven points, while three Mustangs hit the double-figure mark with Hackett, Bubash and Mike Schlotman’s 11 points leading the way.
“I was proud of the way the kids finished,” said Hackett, who picked up his 250th career win. “In the first half we were struggling with our offense but Hackett was making some shots and Nate can score a variety of ways.”
Both teams had problems scoring in any kind of way in Game 2 before the Cougars (12-7) broke the game open in the second half, outscoring Highland 23-11 in the decisive third quarter.
“We knew our defense would carry us throughout the game,” said Arnold Wilson, who scored a team-high 12 points. “We had a little bit of nerves in the first half but we shook that off and did what we had to do.”
Adam Kowalkowski hit three 3-pointers and had 13 points for the Trojans (7-15).