HEBRON | Heavy favorite Bishop Noll took a little while to shake off Lake Station on Tuesday night in the second game of the Class 2A Hebron Sectional.
But the Warriors asserted themselves after the break, sprinting to a 67-51 victory.
Noll (19-3) will face River Forest (9-11) in Friday's second semifinal. Host Hebron will take on Whiting after beating Porter County Conference foe Boone Grove 38-35 in the opener.
Four players scored in double figures for Noll, as Larry Crisler led the way with 20 points, six rebounds and five assists.
"It was one of our better team efforts by far," Noll coach Josh Belluomini said. "This is the way we've been wanting to play all year, and we finally did it as a team."
Tyreon Gates added 16 points and four steals for the Warriors. Jaylen Hord came off the bench to contribute 11 points, and Marquis Tarver tallied 10 to go along with three assists.
Lake Station (15-6) led early on, but the Warriors outscored the Eagles 14-4 to close the first quarter with a 16-9 lead.
Noll led just 35-27 at the break, as Lake Station stayed in it by making 13-of-15 free throws.
"That's what kept them in the game," Belluomini said. "But we kept plugging along and tried to play four great quarters."
The Warriors built a 21-point lead midway through the fourth quarter and cruised to the victory.
For Lake Station, senior Dwayne Haden scored 18 points while Ben Neals added 14 points and seven rebounds. The Eagles committed 23 turnovers.
"We're starting to play better and we're making smarter decisions," Belluomini said.
It was Noll's third win this season over Lake Station.
In the opener, Hebron's Tony Rose didn't want to see his career come to an end.
The lone senior on the Hawks' roster, Rose scored a game-high 19 points as Hebron (13-9) avenged a 57-48 loss to Boone Grove on Feb. 18.
Rose fouled out with 2:39 remaining on an offensive charge, with his team leading by just four points.
"I heard him on the bench during timeouts encouraging his teammates," Hebron coach John Steinhilber said. "And he's a guy that never says anything."
Boone scored 21 first-quarter points in the game two weeks ago, so Steinhilber knew his team couldn't allow that to happen again.
The Wolves (6-14) did lead 11-7 after one quarter, as senior Jon Hogg got off to a fast start hitting his first three shots from the floor. But the Hawks rallied in the second quarter, taking a 20-15 lead on a steal and breakaway by Rose with 2:30 remaining.
Hebron led 21-19 at the break. Boone tied it on three free throws by Kyle Kaminski at 3:02 of the third, and briefly led 29-28 on a free throw by Sam Eleftheri.
But the Hawks held Boone to 2-for-17 shooting in the fourth quarter. The Wolves didn't help themselves either, making just 2 of 8 from the line.
Hogg finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and three assists for Boone but he struggled in the second half.
"We did a great job defensively on him," Steinhilber said. "That as a pretty good PCC defensive battle. I knew it would be a good ballgame and we made the plays down the stretch to get the win."