MICHIGAN CITY | Crown Point and Michigan City split a girls-boys doubleheader Friday night that saw a 31-point performance in the girls game and a 26-point effort in the boys matchup.
In the opener, Michal Miller’s game-high 31 points weren’t enough to help Michigan City (4-9, 0-5) pick up its first Duneland Athletic Conference win of the season as the Wolves fell 64-50.
Miller connected on 11 field goals and went 7-for-9 from the free throw line to lead the Wolves, but Crown Point’s defense stiffened often throughout the second half, killing off several mini-runs by Michigan City. Four straight Miller points pulled the Wolves within two points, 35-33, midway through the third quarter, but that was the closest Michigan City was able to get.
“We switched and went man-to-man in the second half,” Crown Point head coach Anne Equihua said. “We were in more of a trapping zone in the first half. We switched to a man-to-man with everyone helping out on Miller, and that seemed to help.”
The Wolves led early but Katija Tarailo tied it for Crown Point (9-5, 3-2 DAC) at the free throw line, 7-7, and the Bulldogs took their first lead of the game just minutes later, 10-9 on a 3-pointer by Abby Kvachkoff. The senior hit three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter to build the Crown Point lead and led the Bulldogs with 16 points in the contest.
“Offensively, at first, we just weren’t hitting anything; we would come down and miss shots. Finally, we got into a rhythm, we were catching the ball in rhythm,” Equihua said. “I also think, defensively, we started out really flat, and that always affects us. We picked up the pace, started pressing and trapping, and that helped out.”
Katie Howarth added 15 points for Crown Point on 6-of-13 shooting. Tarailo and Hannah Albrecht both scored 12 for the Bulldogs. Adding to Miller’s 31, Raven Wood scored 16 for the Wolves.
The nightcap was a classic, physical DAC struggle from the start but the host Wolves held off several Crown Point rallies for a 10-point 58-48 win that was much closer than the final score.
The matchup was the Duneland opener for both teams.
Keenan Simmons led Michigan City (7-2, 1-0 DAC) with a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds, adding four blocks. Simmons opened the scoring with a breakaway dunk and closed out the victory with a thunderous slam just seconds before the final buzzer. The senior hit four 3-pointers and shot 7-of-9 from inside the arc.
Crown Point (4-3, 0-1 DAC) was within a point, 36-35, after the third quarter and closed it to 45-43 with just over three minutes left in the game on a Nick Jeffirs 3-pointer, but Michigan City closed the game out at the free throw line as Michael Miller and Donovan Wilson combined to go 10-11 from the charity stripe in the final minutes.
Wilson’s 10 points made him the only Wolf besides Simmons to reach double figures.
Jeffirs led Crown Point with 16 points in the loss on 6-of-12 shooting, 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Noah Burkholder added 13 off the bench for the Bulldogs.