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Boys basketball: West Side shots 60 percent in 1st quarter, but Munster still wins 20th

Munster's Mike Schlotman West Side's Danzy Cassgo after rebound first quarter Munster High School Thursday evening. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times

Munster's Mike Schlotman and West Side's Danzy Casson go after the rebound in the first quarter at Munster High School Thursday evening. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 10, 2013 6:39AM



MUNSTER — Mike Hackett realized West Side’s sizzling outside shooting couldn’t possibly continue.

If the Cougars kept shooting at the pace they started from the opening tip-off throughout another quarter or so, Munster more than likely would have been handed its first loss.

Coach Murray Rickards’ team nailed five 3-pointerz in the first period and shot 60 percent from the field while building an 18-12 lead, but couldn’t keep up the pace.

“I didn’t really think they could continue shooting that way, and if you look at it, they didn’t,” said Hackett after his Mustangs (20-0) came back strong to earn a 47-39 win over the Cougars (9-6) Thursday night.

“If they had continued to shoot that way, it would have been a long night for us.”

The Mustangs were packing their defense inside and playing what Richards said was a sagging man-to-man defense.

“They make you shoot those threes and we were shooting them well in the first period, but we couldn’t continue that pace,” Richards sighed. “They got out on us a little better the rest of the game.”

After hitting five 3-point shots in the first period, the Cougars managed only one the rest of the game — a 3-pointer by Jare Glover with 2:23 left that cut a 42-34 Munster lead to 42-37.

A basket by Arnold Wilson with 1:37 to play off a steal, drew the Cougars within 42-39, but Nate Bubash converted a 3-point play with 1:28 left and Craig Dedelow drained a pair of free throws to ice the game for the ‘Stangs with 25.2 seconds remaining.

Glover, who hit four of West Side’s six treys, led the Cougars with 16 points, while Wilson, who got into the middle in Murray’s ‘Open-four offense’ added 12 — 10 coming in the second half.

Munster sophomore guard Drew Hackett had a big game, scoring a game-high 17 points, grabbing seven rebounds and making five steals.

Senior Michael Schlotman, one of three Mustangs celebrating ‘Senior Night’ with a big victory added 11, while Pat McCarthy came off the bench to score six points in the latter stages of the third period and into the fourth quarter.

“Pat’s been giving us some real quality, postive minutes coming off the bench for us for about a month now,” Hackett said. “He comes in the game and doesn’t make mistakes and finds a way to score. He’s been a big plus for us.”

Schlotman was just glad the Mustangs were able to tighten their defense a little more after the first quarter and get out on West Side’s shooters better.

“I wasn’t really surprised they came out like that, I know they want to beat us every time they play us,” he said. “We struggled a little bit early, but we were able to pull through at the end. One of the keys for us offensively was, we started rebounding our missed shots a lot more and converting them into baskets.”

Ironically, the Mustangs, who can definitely drain threes, ended up hitting eight of them against the Cougars.

“We’re going to shoot ‘em,” Schlotman said. “If we’re open, we’re going to take those shots. That’s part of our game.”

Schlotman realizes the ‘Stangs could face West Side again in about a month.

“If we play them again, we have to be ready,” he said. “We have to get rebounds, get stops and score.”

And about be able to come through with a ‘W’ on ‘Senior Night’?

“You don’t want to lose on senior night no matter what,” he said. “I’m just glad we pulled through. They were just really hitting their shots early and were ready to go.”

Munster recovered well in the second quarter, outscoring the Cougars 14-4 to take a 26-22 halftime lead. The Mustangs lead grew to 36-29 after three quarters.



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