Boys basketball: Lake Central beats Lowell for second time
By John O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent February 26, 2013 10:54PM
Lake Central's Tyler Wideman (left) and Lowell's Zack VanHook fight for a rebound during the opening round of the West Side boys basketball sectionals held at West Side High School in Gary on Tuesday February 26, 2013. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 28, 2013 6:50AM
GARY -- Since his team hung a 29-point loss on Lowell six weeks ago, there probably wasn’t really an awful lot Lake Central coach Dave Milausnic could have said to completely grab his team’s attention.
Even though the Red Devils improved dramatically throughout the second half of the season, the Indians still proved to be too much for Lowell to deal with in the first round of the Class 4A Sectional at West Side Tuesday night.
The Indians (14-7) used tough defense to build a comfortable 37-23 lead early in the fourth quarter before settling for a somewhat lackadaisical 54-44 win over the pesky Red Devils (9-12).
“We had a really good stretch (the second half) but we didn’t finish the game well the last four or five minutes,” said an unhappy Milausnic.
“We got soft. We thought we had the game put away. There might have been some jitters -- we have only three guys back who played last year -- but we have to learn that when we have people down, we have to do a better job stepping on their throats -- and that (starts) with defense.”
Junior guard Tye Wilburn scored 12 points and added four assists and four steals to lead LC, which advanced to Friday’s first semifinal game against Morton.
Junior forward Tyler Wideman added nine points, had eight rebounds, blocked four shots and had two steals.
Matt Meneghetti finished with nine points, while Robert Ryan added seven -- all from the foul line -- and had a pair of steals.
Cory Dickelman finished with nine rebounds to lead LC on the boards. He also had six points and two steals.
The Indians led 13-8 after one quarter and only 22-18 at halftime, giving the Red Devils the confidence they needed to believe they could pull off an upset win. But Wilburn scored 11 of his 12 points in the second half to help LC build a 14-point cushion in the final period.
The Indians made only 11 of 19 free throws in the fourth quarter and 22 of 37 overall, while shooting just 37.8 percent from the floor overall.
Zach VanHook scored a game-high 17 points and had six rebounds to lead Lowell, which shot 41.7 percent in the second half and 41.9 percent overall.
VanHook, who made only 5 of 17 shots, scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half. Earlier this season, the Red Devis’ star scored a season-high 39 against West Side on the same floor.
William Barker, who made three of his four 3-point baskets in the final period, scored 14 points before fouling out late in the game.
Barker’s teammate, Spenser Kersey, who also fouled out finished with 11 points.
Lowell managed to cut LC’s lead to eight points late in the game, which Milausnic noticed.
“I thought Lowell did a nice job of turning their season around,” he said.