Boys basketball: Tom Bardeson’s ‘D’ helps Dogs rally past Portage
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent January 8, 2013 9:50PM
Updated: February 10, 2013 6:09PM
CROWN POINT — For one half, Tuesday night’s Portage-Crown Point matchup looked like it would turn into the Jordan Simpson show.
The Portage sophomore went 6-for-9 from the floor in the first half — including 5-for-7 from behind the arc — tallying 20 points in the first two quarters alone.
“He doesn’t need a lot of room to shoot,” Portage coach Rick Snodgrass said. “He moved around and he got open shots. But we knew they were going to adjust at halftime.”
Crown Point did adjust, assigning senior Tom Bardeson to cover Simpson in the second half. The tactic worked, as Bardeson held Simpson to only two second-half points while scoring 11 of his own, helping lead Crown Point’s comeback in a 57-53 victory.
“Simpson had our attention when he came in the gym, but he got his confidence going early and made some plays,” Crown Point (4-6, 2-5 DAC) coach Clint Swan said. “We had to adjust. I think we did a better job of limiting his looks.”
With Bardeson as his shadow, Simpson took only four shots in the second half, making one.
“Tom is very cerebral out there,” Swan said. “He understands how to read cutters and he understands how to close out and make guys uncomfortable. He did a good job of that in the second half. His ball handling was a big key as well.”
Crown Point trailed 36-30 at halftime, but outscored Portage 16-9 in the third period to take a 46-45 lead into the fourth quarter. Eight points from Bardeson and four points each from Noah Burkholder and Nick Jeffirs — who finished with a team-high 17 points — led the rally.
Portage (7-6, 2-5 DAC) never trailed by more than four points in the final period but was unable to find a reliable offensive weapon with Simpson stymied by Bardeson.
“We needed someone else to step forward and we didn’t have anyone do that on a consistent basis,” Snodgrass said.