Boys basketball: Munster rallies to beat Chesterton
By Mike Hutton 648-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org January 12, 2013 11:20PM
Munster's Mike Schlotman makes a layup over Chesterton's Matt Holba (left) and Chris Palombizio (right) during their game held at Chesterton High School on Saturday January 12, 2013. | Charls Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 14, 2013 7:02AM
CHESTERTON — Some teams just know how to win no matter how dire the situation.
Munster falls behind by eight in the third quarter? Don’t worry about it.
The Mustangs’ best player has to sit out the second quarter after he picks up a quick second foul? Not a problem.
Mike Schlotman, their William & Mary-bound point guard, picks up his fourth foul with 5:59 left and it’s a one-point game? No sweat.
When the Mustangs feel the urgency, when the pressure is most intense, when the game matters most, they deliver.
Saturday, Chesterton poked the Munster monster, agitated it, beat it back for a while but ultimately was laid to waste, 58-54, in just another in a long line of hard fought victories. Munster is now 12-0.
Yes, it was one of those games that seemed like it was hanging precariously by a razor-thin thread for the Mustangs.
Really, though, it was never in doubt. Ok, maybe just a little bit in doubt for a few short minutes in the second half.
But like the Mustangs usually do, they found a way to win.
Munster coach Mike Hackett can’t really explain why his team is so good at pulling out the close ones. This is the third down-to-the wire game it’s won this year.
He’s just happy his team knows how to get it done.
“We’re just very confident and we know how to stay poised,” he said.
They also know how to make the crucial plays.
Twice in nine seconds, Craig Dedelow rebounded a missed free throw to help the Mustangs hold onto the ball with a three-point lead.
They got a huge second half from Nate Bubash, who hardly played in the first half after he picked up two quick fouls. He finished with 14 points — 10 of them after intermission.
And Schlotman, who was 0-for-6 from 3-point range and who finished with just four points, still had nine critical assists.
The game started to trend the Trojans’ way when they took a 45-37 with 3:07 left in the third quarter on a basket by Cole Teal.
Right away, though, the Mustangs started chipping away.
They got a 3-pointer by Luke Wuchenich to cut it to 45-40 and they cut the lead to three at the end of the third quarter on a pair of free throws by Bubash.
They finally tied the game at 47 on another 3-pointer by Wuchenich. Chesterton took a 49-47 lead on a basket by Donnie Johnson but Adam Ostoich answered with his only 3-pointer to give Munster a 50-49 advantage. Another 3-pointer by Wuchenich with 2:05 left made it 55-52 Munster –and they never trailed after that.
In a fast-paced first half, Corey Rusboldt hit a shot from just beyond the top of the key inside the half-court line at the buzzer to tie the game for the Trojans.
Munster jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter. That was a lead the Mustangs managed to keep for most of the quarter until Chesterton tied the game at 10 with three minutes left on a free throw by Teal.
Hackett said he felt like the Trojans were able to ride the momentum from that shot for the early part of the third quarter.
“They were smoking,” he said.
It didn’t last. Chesterton coach Tom Peller was proud of the effort but tired of the result. He noted that his team was young and that Munster knew how to win those games.
But the young excuse is getting old for Peller, who hears everybody when they talk about how much potential the Trojans have.
“We have to start winning some of these games,” he said.