GARY | This wasn't the United Center, but it could've been.
A packed house. Greenhouse humidity. Two great teams. No shortage of individual stars.
Pulling up to West Side on Tuesday night as parking spaces filled quicker than a Bears home game, you knew Munster versus Lake Central -- two highly-ranked teams that were a combined 35-5 -- was THE game region fans cared about most on this opening night of sectionals.
A crowd of more than 7,000 saw a classic as Lake Central showed it truly is a "team" in beating Munster, 66-56, despite a woeful outing by Indiana All-Star candidate Glenn Robinson III.
This is not Grad School Calculus. The true test of a solid team in any sport is its supporting cast and the 6-foot-6 Robinson would be the first to tell you after scoring just eight points, about a third of his average.
Thankfully, he had Tyler Wideman (11 points, 12 rebounds), Taylor Lehnert (13, 9), Mike Mikulsak (16, 8) and guard Tyre Wilburn (16 points) come through like the cavalry.
"I have a real good team," Robinson acknowledged. "It shows me that I don't have to score 30 for us to win.
"They were double-teaming me all night and that was their loss. They were boxing me out and we had other guys go get the rebound."
The win was Lake Central's 11th in a row and served notice through this tournament field that with Munster out of the way, the Indians' first sectional title since 1997 could become a reality Saturday night.
"Tonight's over," Robinson said, wisely. "We're looking forward to Friday night and East Chicago."
It's all about t-e-a-m in the postseason. Never forget.
"They way (Munster) was playing (Glenn) and me, we needed other people to step up," added the 6-8 Wideman, only a sophomore and with a great future ahead of him. "We showed everybody on this team can score.
"Our fans think this is a special year. We players think this is something special. We've had a lot of experience in tough games learning to stay focused."
As the players went to shower and coach Dave Milausnic went to be interviewed on the radio, his team called him back and proceeded to give him a giant hug.
The win was his 100th career victory. Now there's a team.
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