Boys basketball: Shorthanded Valparaiso nets win over Portage
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent January 11, 2013 11:40PM
Updated: February 13, 2013 6:13AM
VALPARAISO — It was a different lineup, but it was the same old result: a Valparaiso victory.
“Valparaiso is Valparaiso; they’ve had the same system for 50 years. They’re fundamentally sound and they can all shoot,” Portage head coach Rick Snodgrass said after his Indians fell 57-42 to the Vikings.
Valparaiso center John Mosser didn’t play while serving a one-game suspension for his ejection against Michigan City last week, but, as Snodgrass explained, it didn’t affect Valparaiso.
“They’re no different with or without Mosser in the lineup,” he said. “They just put Quentin Palmer into the post and it’s 6-5 instead of 6-7. They’re good. That’s why they’re 10-2.”
Junior Justin Osburn stepped into the lineup in Mosser’s absence and turned in a performance Valparaiso (10-2, 6-2 DAC) head coach Joe Otis called: “nothing short of spectacular.”
Osburn scored a game-high 17 points, going 4-for-7 from behind the arc. His most dramatic basket came at the end of the first quarter, when he launched a one-handed shot from just behind midcourt as time expired.
“We’ve actually practiced the half-court shot, but we haven’t done it for a few weeks,” said Otis. “He knew he wasn’t going to be able to shoot it so he just threw it.”
Valparaiso never trailed in the contest, but it wasn’t until the third quarter that the Vikings’ lead reached into double digits. A 15-3 Valparaiso run in the middle of the second half put the home team ahead 52-36, leaving Portage (7-7, 2-6 DAC) without enough time to answer.
Jordan Collazo led Portage with 16 points. Valparaiso got no points from the bench, but each of the five starters scored at least eight points, with three reaching double digits: Osburn, Zach Meyer (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Palmer (10).
“That’s why they’re our starters,” said Otis. “And that’s why they play as many minutes as we can keep them on the floor. They’re all capable of scoring.”