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JIM PETERS: It took an L.C. village to slow Homestead's Swanigan

2014-03-22T18:00:00Z 2014-03-24T21:54:26Z JIM PETERS: It took an L.C. village to slow Homestead's SwaniganJim Peters Times Columnist nwitimes.com
March 22, 2014 6:00 pm  • 

LAFAYETTE | His line in the box score read 0 for 2 from the field for 0 points with two assists in 17 minutes, 53 seconds.

The stats didn't come close to painting a true picture of Cory Dickelman's contribution in Saturday's Class 4A Lafayette Semistate romp of Homestead.

The 6-foot-4 Lake Central senior was one of several Indians charged with the daunting task of defending Caleb Swanigan, Homestead's 6-foot-8, 275-pound sophomore, a mobile home in shorts and Nikes.

"I like to look at the score book, whether I scored 20 points or zero points, and think I had a good game," Dickelman said. "We tried to emphasize guarding the big guy and I got the job. I've had to guard Tyler (Wideman) in practice all throughout the last two years, and that helped a lot. He was a little bit bigger than Tyler. It was hard to get around him. He either catches it over the top or you get behind him and he catches it."

Swanigan had a monster first half with 14 points and 10 rebounds, aided by the absence of the 6-7 Wideman, who sat out after picking up his second foul. Homestead closed a double-digit deficit to two by the break.

"It was frustrating, but we had to fight through it and keep the lead," Wideman said. "Even if it was just a two-point lead, it was great."

Wideman had gone against Swanigan in AAU, so he knew exactly what the Indians were facing.

"He's got 30, 40 pounds on me, and he's got great feet, too, so it was tough," Wideman said. "We knew he was a load down there. It really was a team effort, rotating fresh bodies in there to try to wear him out."

Swanigan's final line was 22 points (8-of-20 shooting from the field,  6-of-11 from the line and 13 rebounds). He managed just eight points and three rebounds in the second half, when L.C. blew a close game wide open.

"We had to try to limit his touches a lot more," Dickelman said. "We had a few strategies on how to guard him – double him when he caught the ball or face-front him when there was weak-side help. The coaches did a great job with the game plan. We knew what we had to do."

Tyler Ross scored 13 points and topped the Indians with a dozen boards, also helping in the paint on Swanigan.

"It takes a group effort," Ross said. "We've been working on (Swanigan) all week. It was a tough challenge, trying to guard him for 32 minutes. We don't go against big guys like that much. We just had to keep grinding, limit their post feeds. Their guards hit a few 3s, but that's going to happen."

For the second Saturday in a row, Ross jump-started his offense with a banked-in 3-pointer.

"I don't know what the deal is with that," he said. "It's the semistate championship. I wanted to do it for the team. However it falls, it falls. I'll  take it."

So will L.C., which will play for its first state championship Saturday in Indianapolis. It reached the final four in the single-class format in 1984, losing in the semifinals.

"Everybody's worked hard for this," Wideman said. "To see it all pay off, it's great."

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at james.peters@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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