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Boys basketball: Freshman Blake Bonnin helps Crown Point clinch win

Updated: January 2, 2013 6:13AM



CROWN POINT — Crown Point came back from a first-half deficit, and used a big stretch run to hold off LaPorte, 52-49, in a Duneland Conference matchup Friday night.

The Bulldogs outscored the Slicers (0-2) 15-6 in the final quarter, and they did it with freshman Blake Bonnin playing his first meaningful varsity minutes.

Bonnin played the entire final quarter, and hit three big free throws in the final seconds to help clinch the win for Crown Point (1-1).

“Blake came in and settled us down on offense,” said Bulldogs coach Chris Swan, who noted the coaching staff had pretty much determined that it might have to play Bonnin down the stretch, before the game. His pluses (against) minuses were very good.

“Quite honestly, our young guys wouldn’t have won (this type of game) last year.”

One of those players was 6-5 sophomore Nick Jeffirs, who was especially big in the fourth quarter, in which he pulled down five defensive rebounds, of a total nine, and finished with 10 points.

Junior Bret Barclay added 10 points, and took a potential offensive rebound away from Mitch Mrozinski in the final seconds, then went down and clinched it for the Bulldogs with a free throw. Crown Point senior Braxton Rice scored six points, and played more minutes than any other Bulldogs player.

“Brett is very opportunistic, he played well down the stretch,” Swan said.

Swan called senior point guard Alex Nickla the player of the game. Nickla was in foul trouble much of the game, and Bonnin was called on to run the offense in that decisive quarter.

“Alex played a nice defensive game on 20 (Mrozinski),” Swan said. “He led the team in points with 13, and he kept himself in the game despite the foul problems, and was in at the end.”



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