Boys basketball: Gavit’s constant pressure overwhelms Lake Station in Calumet opener
By Dennis Churilla Post-Tribune correspondent December 27, 2012 11:22PM
Gavit's Kyle Johnson (11) and Eric Sims (3) celebrate a foul call against Lake Station in their game during the third annual boys basketball holiday tournament at Calumet High School in Calumet Township, Ind. Thursday December 27, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 29, 2013 6:43AM
GARY — Call it the 32-minute high school version of Arkansas’ old 40 minutes of hell. Gavit ran two separate five-man platoons at Lake Station to open the Calumet Holiday tournament with an 81-56 victory over the Eagles.
“We feel we’ve got about 11 guys that are all pretty equal,” said Gladiator coach Brandon Ridenour. “We emphasize getting after people defensively — that’s what we try to do.”
The constant pressure from Gavit’s fresh troops forced Lake Station into 13 first-half turnovers as the Gladiators forged a 45-25 lead at the half. Gavit’s quickness also triggered crisp ball movement offensively, as evidenced by the Gladiators’ 19 assists on 33 field goals.
“That just means we’re playing as a team and sharing the ball well,” said Ridenour. “We’re being unselfish and getting the ball to the open guy.”
Balanced ball movement resulted in balanced scoring as Xavier Copeland and Josh Toodle both scored 16 points for Gavit (4-3). DJ Jones added 14 points, including a pair of three-pointers, while Eric Sims and Shalon Bell each contributed eight points.
Lake Station (2-4) seemed to adapt better to the speed of the game in the second half, as reserves Mylano Quinones, Kyle Gooch, and Brian Patterson scored ten, nine, and eight points respectively to keep the deficit relatively steady. The Eagles were led by center Mark Novakovich’s 12 points.
“(Novakovich) has nice ball skills inside and we’ve been telling the guys to hammer it into him,” said Lake Station coach Bob Burke. “We’re a better team when we take advantage of him.”
Gavit moved on to the winners’ bracket to a semi-final game with host Calumet. The Warriors advanced by defeating Hammond Science & Technical by a score of 73-46. Calumet (3-3) was led by Rashaan Carson’s 16 points while Anthony Harris kicked in 13 points.