Boys basketball: Mustangs take control, beat LC
By Mike Hutton 648-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org December 19, 2012 12:00AM
Munster's Drew Hackett makes a layup over Lake Central's Corey Dickelman during their game held at Lake Central High School on Tuessday December 18, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 20, 2013 6:32AM
ST. JOHN — Can’t give Munster a double-digit lead and expect to recover. It’s just that simple.
The Mustangs are programmed to wear down opponents, make free throws, handle the ball well and avoid stupid shots.
Tuesday, Lake Central tumbled into the Munster spider web and was swallowed up, losing 67-57. The Indians were without head coach Dave Milausnic. He was serving a one-game suspension after he was called for two technicals in a loss to Merrillville on Friday.
After a nip and tuck first quarter, the Mustangs blew the game open with a 19-7 second quarter run.
It was quintessential Munster basketball. The Mustangs were able to make some easy baskets in transition off steals, they hit a couple of 3-pointers and they made free throws — every one of them in the first half. They finished 12-of-12 from the line.
Munster coach Mike Hackett said the second quarter offensive spurt was the best stretch of offense this season.
Trailing 19-18 with 4:42 left after a jumper by Tye Wilburn, Munster started a run when Mike Schlotman hit a pair of free throws with 4:37 remaining.
Aside from a basket by Wilburn with 3:26 left, the Indians didn’t score for the rest of the half.
Munster made three 3-pointers in the run — the last one coming from Schlotman with 34.2 seconds left, giving the Mustangs a 34-21 lead.
“We had a lot of ball movement and player movement,” Munster coach Mike Hackett said. “That was a nice little run.”
The nice little run was largely responsible for the victory.
Munster stretched its lead to 18 points in the second half. The Indians cut into the lead when they went into desperation mode on defense. They cut the lead to six points twice — once after a 3-pointer by Mike Miklusak with just under 1:30 left and another time with 58.1 seconds left after Wilburn made a pair of free throws.
The frantic second-half play by the Indians was a relief for junior varsity coach Andrew Locke, who had to fill in for Milausnic. He was clearly worried about how his kids were going to respond after the second-quarter beat down.
“They played hard,” he said. “I was glad they did. I asked to play hard for me and for coach.”
For Munster, despite a few tense moments, the game never seemed like it was spiraling out of control. Part of the Indians’ problem was free-throw shooting (they made 14-of-25 in the second half) and part of it was turnovers. They finished with 12 second-half turnovers.
Hackett said they weren’t trying to stall but they were being picky.
“We just wanted to get great shots,” he said.
The other big key for the Mustangs was holding Tyler Wideman to eight points and seven rebounds. Wideman was barely a factor.
Munster center Nate Bubash said they didn’t have any special strategy to stop the big guy.
“We just tried to keep the ball away from him,” he said.
Drew Hackett led Munster with 23 points while Schlotman, who fouled out, scored 19.