MUNSTER | Face any high school basketball team with 11 seniors and you'd better be extra cautious and well prepared.
Even if you're Munster's Mike Hackett, who is 229-56 with 11 consecutive winning seasons.
Of course, there are occasional exceptions like Friday night's 58-30 romp over Hammond.
"We're heavy on seniors but we have only three with any varsity experience," said first-year Hammond coach Larry Moore Jr.
And it showed as Munster outrebounded the Wildcats, 53-33, holding them to 18.5 percent shooting.
To Hackett, any win is priceless.
"We held them to 30 points and 13 of those came in the fourth quarter when it was the end of the bench (playing)," Hackett said.
"Offensively, we're still a work in progress. I love the work ethic of the guys and I love how they play together. We just have to work on playing better and 'finishing' situations."
Senior Nate Bubash, the old man on the team, led the way with 21 points -- 14 coming in the second half -- and nine rebounds. Drew Hackett added 18 points and Mike Schlotman had 10 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Both are guards.
"I definitely have to be a leader out there. I have the most (varsity) experience," Bubash said. "Sometimes, I have to give the young kids a kick, point them in the right direction, motivate them."
The Mustangs (2-0) opened the game with three consecutive 3s on the way to an 11-0 lead before anyone could break a sweat. They never looked back.
Hammond (2-1) lost 6-foot-5 center Robert Evans to an ankle injury in the first quarter and though it did not decide this lopsided affair, it had an effect.
"We did miss his presence," Moore said. "He cleans up a lot of rebounds and gets points inside."
Levon Hamilton led the visitors with 15 points, but missed 17 of 22 shots.
"We don't want Hamilton to take that many shots," Moore said. "We've got to build up the confidence of our other guards."
Munster assisted on 14 of its 19 baskets, a long-standing trait of Hackett's program.
"We're taught to not be selfish. We don't have any selfish kids," Bubash said, adding: "Sometimes, we pass the ball too much."