HAMMOND | Larry Crisler had a game-high 22 points to lead Bishop Noll (3-0) past visiting Merrillville, 52-44 on Friday.
The Warriors fell behind 8-2 early on, but a 3-point shot by Marquis Tarver with 29 seconds to go in the half gave Noll their first lead, 22-21, at halftime.
"We got off to a rocky start, but played well down the stretch," Bishop Noll coach Josh Belluomini said.
A sea-saw second half was finally opened up late in the fourth quarter as the Warriors outscored the Pirates 10-4 over the last four minutes.
"Once they get going it's hard to stop them," Belluomini said. "As soon as they get a little momentum behind them, you can't stop them. Once they start playing with confidence, they are a scary bunch.
A Crisler pass in the final quarter to set up a layup from Michael Jakubielski (five points) not only energized an already raucous crowd, but proved to be the turning point in a tight contest.
"That pass really got us going late," Crisler said.
After missing his first two shots of the night, Crisler wore down the Pirates as the game went on.
"He's been struggling to get his shot to fall, but he knows how to finish," Belluomini said. "We are hoping to get him to kick a little more. ...but he's the only reason we are running the offense we are."
Roman Penn added 12 points for the Warriors, who will face-off with Hammond today.
"Roman and Marquis are our two shooters," Belluomini said. "That's always been the knock on us the last few years - that we can't shoot. But we are going to be a really good shooting team this year."
Jarius Stevens led the Pirates with 10 points, while James Wright and Demetrius McKeethen each chipped in eight.