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Boys basketball: Valparaiso usees 3rd-quarter run, hands Merrillville first DAC loss

Updated: March 17, 2013 6:48PM



VALPARAISO — A dominant third quarter led Valparaiso to a 60-51 win over Merrillville, adding to the Vikings’ senior night festivities by handing the Pirates (15-3, 12-1 DAC) their first DAC loss of the season.

“That third quarter was key; we outscored them by 10 and built up our lead,” said Valparaiso (16-3, 11-2 DAC) head coach Joe Otis. “We had to have that lead. But we’ve had a lot of good fortune on our court this year and it’s a testament to our seniors that we’re undefeated at home.”

Foul trouble plagued Merrillville early as Jake Raspopovich and BJ Jenkins — two starters — were sent to the bench after committing two fouls each in the first quarter.

The Pirates’ bench stepped up, though, as Valparaiso led by only four points at halftime. Eight points from Jamard Owens and six more from Darian Williams kept Merrillville in the game.

But in the third quarter, Zach Meyer and Brody Wilson helped turn a close contest into a rout. Meyer scored seven points while Brody Wilson added six points on a pair of treys, as the Vikings took a 43-29 lead after three quarters.

“We got big plays from them,” said Otis. “I think Merrillville extended its defense a little bit and we were able to get behind them for some easy baskets.”

Meanwhile, Merrillville’s offense didn’t score until the 3:15 mark of the third quarter on a Jenkins jumper.

“We just struggled offensively,” said Merrillvile head coach TJ Lux. “We couldn’t put the ball in the basket. We were attacking the basket, but we came up empty.”

John Mosser, as usual, led the Vikings offense with 19 points and nine rebounds, including a perfect 7-of-7 performance from the free-throw line. The Pirates’ leading scorer was Zoran Talley, who did not score in the first three quarters but put up 12 points in the final frame.



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