Boys basketball: Michigan City tops Crown Point; Portage holds off Hobart
By Mike Hutton 613-0141 or email@example.com. Twitter:@MikeHuttonPT March 4, 2014 11:08PM
Portage's Luke Kizer heads for the basket guarded by Hobart's Monte White on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 during the first night of the Valparaiso Sectional at Valparaiso High School. | Michael Gard/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 6, 2014 6:39AM
VALPRAISO — Michigan City fooled Crown Point.
The Bulldogs figured, perhaps, if they could take away Keenan Simmons, they’d be in good shape against a team that has turned out to be a nightmare matchup for them.
They did manage to hold Simmons to nine points and just one point in the first half. But the Wolves, playing virtually flawless on offense, were in control early and for much of the game in an 83-72 victory in the first round of the Valparaiso Sectional.
Offensively, this game was like a Picasso for MC. The Wolves made 22-of-31 from 2-point range and they were a perfect 7-of-7 from outside the arc. The Wolves shot a blistering 60.4 percent from the field for the game. Simmons, who scored 26 points against Crown Point earlier this season, didn’t get his first field goal until there was about six minutes left in the game. Two of his field goals were dunks and the other two were layups. It’s the seventh straight time Crown Point has lost to Michigan City. The Wolves will play Portage in the smifinals Friday.
Michigan City coach John Boyd thought the key early was the way his guards attacked the basket. Crown Point threw everything at the Wolves — some zone, some man-to-man and even a full-court trapping press. Nothing worked.
Boyd said the Wolves can’t count on Simmons for all their offense.
“I coach a team,” he said. “Keenan Simmons has a lot of basketball left.”
Lucas Daurer was the leading scorer for Michigan City. He finished with 16, including seven clutch points in the fourth quarter.
Daurer, who missed about half the season with an ankle injury, sat out the last three games before sectionals because his ankle was bothering him. It felt fine after the victory.
“It felt really good,” he said of getting the win.
Crown Point coach Clint Swan said his team defended Simmons well. It was the other guys that hurt the Bulldogs.
“They had like their seventh, eighth and ninth players coming off the bench, hitting 3-pointers,” he said.
In the first game, Hobart was scrappy to the end in a 64-57 loss to Portage.
The Indians opened up a 15-point fourth-quarter lead. The Brickies got back into it with a furious trap.
Hobart didn’t get the lead under double digits until Shane Tomaga scored with 3:23 left, making the score 54-45. A three-point play the old fashioned way by Joshua Uhles with just under two minutes left cut the lead to six. Hobart had a chance to make it a one possession game on the next possession but couldn’t convert offensively. Ultimately, the Indians salted away the game at the free-throw line, making 8-of-11 in the final quarter.
Luke Kizer led Portage with 21 points while Michael Lattanzi pitched in with 16 points and nine rebounds. Jordan Collazo was the other double-figure scorer for the Indians. He finished with 13. Juan Lamar led Hobart with 19 points and six rebounds.