Boys basketball: Chesterton topples ice-cold Portage
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent December 14, 2012 11:20PM
Updated: January 16, 2013 6:11AM
PORTAGE—A tough night from the floor for Portage combined with some key points for Chesterton led to the Trojans pulling away for a 48-38 win on the road.
“We found a way to win,” said Chesterton (3-3, 2-2 DAC) head coach Tom Peller. “We had some patient possessions down the stretch that helped keep our lead at five or six points.”
The Trojans never trailed in the game, but their lead hovered in single digits for most of the second half. Chesterton took a four-point lead into the final frame and held on, thanks to seven points from Chris Palombizio, who had a game-high 17. And by going 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.
“It’s just focus,” said Palombizio, who hit both of his free throw attempts in the final period in front of an energetic Portage (4-2, 2-2 DAC) crowd. “We work on those in practice all the time. Coach is great about that; we shoot tons of free throws.”
A large part of Portage’s undoing was its inability to make open shots. The Indians went 15-for-51 from the floor, including 5-for-29 from behind the arc.
“In a nutshell, that was the ballgame,” said Portage head coach Rick Snodgrass. “I never thought that we were ever out of the ballgame. But we just did not make open shots. When you’re playing against a 1-3-1 trap, you have to knock those shots down.”
Chesterton’s defense opened the game with that trap, leading to four Indians turnovers and an 8-0 Chesterton start in the game’s first three minutes. By the middle of the second quarter, the lead had extended to 22-8.
At halftime, though, that deficit had been cut to eight.
Said Snodgrass: “We fell behind early, but I was very pleased with how our kids responded. I thought we went in at halftime in pretty good shape.”
The Indians got within three points of the Trojans early in the fourth quarter, but got no closer after Chesterton countered with a quick 5-0 run.