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Boys basketball: Lake Central fights off Valparaiso

Lake Central junior Tyler Wideman puts dunk breakaway against Valparaiso during their DAC matchup Friday Nov. 30 2012 Lake Central

Lake Central junior Tyler Wideman puts in a dunk on a breakaway against Valparaiso during their DAC matchup Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at Lake Central High School in St. John, Ind. | Scott M. Bort~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 2, 2013 6:13AM



ST. JOHN — It’s not often that you get two slightly exasperated coaches after a game.

But that is what happened after Lake Central’s 50-45 victory over Valparaiso on Friday in the Duneland Athletic Conference opener.

Vikings coach Joe Otis was frustrated. He thought his team could have, and perhaps should have, stolen a big one on the road from the Indians.

Dave Milausnic, the Indians coach, lingered in the locker room for a good 15 minutes after the game, presumably summing up the state of his team.

When asked if he was happy with the way the Indians played, he had a one word answer: “No.”

Milausnic said his team is struggling with chemistry and ball movement on offense — issues that he thought would be resolved by now.

Luckily, even with some of the ill-fitting early season parts, he has a big guy in the middle, Tyler Wideman. Wideman is virtually unstoppable when he catches the ball cleanly near the basket. He finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Problem was, he missed about a third of the game after he picked up two quick fouls.

“I think they were able to take advantage of that,” Milausnic said.

The Vikings basically dug themselves a big hole early — one they were never able to get out of despite fighting hard.

Lake Central took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter after buckets by Corey Dickelman, a 3-pointer by Joseph Bannister and a dunk by Wideman.

Wideman picked up his second foul with 5:30 left in the quarter after he got called for hacking underneath the Valparaiso backboard.

The Vikings got off to a slow start, missing their first six shots before Quentin Palmer came off the bench and drained a 3-pointer with 3:42 left in the first quarter. That made the score 7-3.

LC upped its advantage to 13-3 with 55 seconds left after a bucket by Bannister. Palmer got the only other score in the quarter for Valparaiso on a layup. The quarter ended with Lake Central ahead 13-5.

The second quarter involved lots of back and forth. Wideman returned to the lineup, giving LC an 18-8 after he finished off a 3-point play the old-fashioned way (at the free-throw line) with 4:50 left in the half.

LC took its biggest first-half lead when Wideman scored inside, making it 23-9 LC. The Vikings went on a 10-2 run that helped them cut the lead to 25-19 at halftime.

LC looked like it was going to blow the game open when Mike Miklusak made a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter that put the Indians ahead 37-25.

But the scrappy Vikings refused to give up. They outscored the Indians 12-2 in the next four minutes, pulling to within 39-37 with 3:02 left after a running layup on the baseline by Tyler Doane.

But the Vikings never could get closer than that.

Otis was disappointed with his team’s free-throw shooting and its general lack of clutch play on offense from anyone other than Bret Boetel. The Vikings made 9-of-14 free throws but they missed the front end of two one-and-ones in the first quarter.

“That is embarrassing for a Valpo boy like me,” he said.



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