HAMMOND | Bishop Noll needed an easy win.
The Times No. 8 Warriors had lost two of three and have a tough stetch ahead that includes both Andrean and East Chicago Central. Crosstown rival Gavit had other plans, though.
The Gladiators gave Noll everything it could handle in front of a hostile home crowd. D.J. Jones' three-point attempt in the final seconds would've sent the game into overtime, but it missed. Gavit got the rebound and putback, but Noll escaped with a 65-64 win.
"Any time Hammond schools play each other, you can throw records out the window. It's going to be a battle," Warriors coach Drew Trost said.
Noll (16-2) made plays down the stretch. Tyreon Gates made a key block of Josh Toodle's layup with 1:30 left to hold on to a 62-60 lead.
"I was on the help side and I was just able to get over and block the shot," Gates said. "We knew this wasn't going to be an easy game and we'd have to come out hard."
Larry Crisler saved a broken play when he found sophomore Anthony Diaz under the basket with a no-look pass with just over a minute on the clock. Diaz's layup made it 65-62.
"We came out pretty flat, too relaxed," Crisler said. "Diaz stepped up huge today, on defense and on offense."
Diaz had seven points and three rebounds, all in the second half.
Gavit (8-9) played strong defense but coach Brandon Ridenour said they didn't finish the job on the boards, leading to extra shots and trips to the free throw line for B.N.I.
The Warriors took 31 free throws to the Gladiators' 18.
"Crisler and Gates, they're a load down there and I thought that was the difference," Ridenour said. "They had about 16 or 17 offensive rebounds and that's just too many."
Crisler led all scorers with 15 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks while Gates contributed 12 points and 13 boards. Jones had 13 points and eight rebounds for Gavit.