Boys basketball

Mustangs line dance past Chesterton boys

2014-02-18T23:15:00Z 2014-02-19T17:54:31Z Mustangs line dance past Chesterton boysAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
February 18, 2014 11:15 pm  • 

MUNSTER | Mike Hackett doesn't buy all that talk about a "good loss" to get teams back on track.

In fact, it makes him cringe.

"Me, personally, I don't like to lose," the Munster coach said. "Every coach, after you lose, hopes the team learns from it and gets better.

"But I believe you can win games and still learn lessons."

Hackett came into Tuesday's game with Chesterton having the same approach he's had in 14 seasons and a 267-61 record: Execute, work the ball, defend and don't beat yourself.

Saturday's loss at Valparaiso, which snapped Munster's 11-game win streak, had more to do with the Vikings playing great ball.

"The last decade, we seem to get everybody's best game," Hackett said before his team's nervous 65-59 win.

Munster (16-4) finished 21-of-23 at the foul line, including 11-of-11 in the fourth quarter.

Pat McCarthy led the way with 20 points; Kevin Schlotman chipped in 19 and Drew Hackett 14.

Chesterton (9-9) pulled into the Munster parking lot having lost five straight, but no one needed grief counseling.

"We've played some good teams (in that stretch), and a lot of little things were to blame," said Trojans coach Tom Peller before tip-off. "In four of those five games, we were in position in the fourth quarter to win the game.

"I've got a lot of mature kids. They're staying positive."

The return of Cole Teal was reason enough. Tuesday was his third game back after missing eight with a broken collarbone.

Munster led only 31-30 at the half with its seven second-quarter turnovers keeping Chesterton in the game. That, and 12 points from the Western Michigan-bound Chris Palombizio.

Chesterton trailed 17-15, 31-30 and 45-43 after three quarters. Most shaves aren't that close.

Hackett's four-point play at 5:59 of the fourth period keyed a 7-0 run that put the hosts on top, 55-45, but Palombizio kept attacking despite picking up his fourth foul, and the Trojans cut it to 55-53.

As Munster began to pad its lead, Chesterton was forced to foul while using 3s to stay within striking distance.

Palombizio led Chesterton with 24 points; Teal added 12 and Corey Rusboldt 11.

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