Boys basketball: Boone wears down LaCrosse, Kouts cruises to open PCC tourney
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent January 16, 2013 11:12PM
Boone Grove senior Jake Clapp blocks the shot of LaCrosse's Nate Rhodes during the second half of their Porter County Conference game Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 19, 2013 2:27PM
BOONE GROVE — Double-digit margins dominated the scoreboard on the opening night of the 90th annual boys Porter County Conference Tournament.
Host Boone Grove opened the first round of play with a 58-42 win over LaCrosse.
The visiting Tigers (1-10, 0-4 PCC) were down a pair of starters with Bryce Guse sick and Sam Culver injured, and the Wolves (8-3, 4-1 PCC) took advantage.
“I do think it was a matter of time that we kind of wore them down,” Boone Grove coach Matt McKay said. “Being at home probably helped us, too”
Leading 26-21 at the half, Boone Grove started attacking the basket in the third quarter, with Dean Hill frequently finding Jake Clapp in the paint.
“More than just going to Jake, it was just getting the ball to the basket,” said McKay. “We were 1-for-7 (on 3-pointers) in the first half; we had to get going to the basket. Dean and Jake have a pretty good chemistry.”
Clapp scored nine points in the third quarter and helped spark an 8-0 Boone Grove run late in the period that put the Wolves ahead 42-29. Boone Grove’s lead stayed in double digits for the rest of the game.
Daniel Malouhos and Jon Hogg each led the Wolves with 14 points, while LaCrosse’s Riley Charlesworth led all scorers with 16.
Kouts’ offense was even more impressive in the nightcap, shooting 31-for-55 from the floor in a 73-41 victory over Morgan Township (3-9, 1-2 PCC).
The Mustangs (12-1, 3-0 PCC) got big contributions from the usual trio: Max Everaert (18 points), Andrew Birky (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Matt Stewart (14 points).
“We’ve had pretty good balance all year between Max, Matt and Andrew and we had it again tonight,” said Kouts coach Marty Gaff.
Kouts led 17-7 after one quarter and doubled its lead to 37-17 by the end of the first half. A 9-for-14 third quarter, with Everaert, Birky and Stewart combining for all 19 Mustangs’ points, kept the game out of reach.
Morgan Township’s offense came from three sources: Chase Braden (17 points), Ryan Klikus (16 points) and Jake Koselke (eight points).