STEVE HANLON: A few thoughts from What if-land

2013-02-15T21:30:00Z 2013-05-06T22:15:13Z STEVE HANLON: A few thoughts from What if-landSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
February 15, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | What if Pete Best would've stayed with the Beatles? What if David Lee Roth never would've left Van Halen?

And what if Andrean would've built a gym a little bigger than Hickory's? Now that would've been something.

And Friday night's Andrean-Munster game would've made a lot more money. The No. 1 in the state Mustangs (4A) took on the No. 3 59ers (3A).

There wasn't an inch to move just off Broadway. The “Sold Out” signs on the door didn't have room to breathe either.

The biggest “What if” game in Da Region over the last four years had its final play on the hardwood. What if Andrean's Nick Davidson had stayed home and played at Munster?

How good would the Mustangs have been with the 6-foot-4 guard teaming up with Michael Schlotman, Munster's 6-foot-4 senior guard.

Both are D-I with Davidson going to Valparaiso and Schlotman headed to William & Mary.

Both are point guards. Both are very talented. What if they would've been teammates?

We got a glimpse of that last June when both were members of the Indiana Junior All-Star team. They spoke about how a Munster AAU team did with both players together.

“We scored 120 once in fourth grade,” Davidson said last June, with Schlotman standing next to him. “Remember? It was that little place in Hammond.”

When Davidson was announced to the overflow, elbow-to-elbow crowd, the PA announcer said “From St. Thomas More in Munster, Indiana.”

Mustangs coach Mike Hackett gathered his team and said something. Munster doesn't want to lose to anyone. But certainly not against one of their own.

When Davidson went to the line in the third quarter, the Munster student section chanted “Traitor, traitor, traitor.” Then, “Schlotman's better. Schlotman's better.”

Then, they started chanting “Daddy's boy. Daddy's boy.” Davidson promptly nailed a 3-pointer.

This game, like many others in this great series, was unbelievable. Just when it looked like the Mustangs were going to run away, the 59ers roared back, forcing the most fundamental team in Indiana to several late turnovers.

Andrean's Collin Wojcik's 3-pointer just before the horn bounced off the rim. Munster survived 52-50.

“It's always a blast playing them,” Schlotman said. “The adrenaline is always pumping.”

The crowd was freakishly packed. I've seen out-houses in Kentucky with more leg room. That's what this rivalry brings to the region.

“It's one of a kind,” Davidson said of the rivalry. “There's nothing like it. We definitely circle this one on our calendar. This one and Bishop Noll. We gave a really hard effort. The chips didn't fall our way.”

The stat sheet showed the difference in these two stars. Schlotman, the stronger athlete, scored eight points with five assists. He controlled the state's most proficient offense.

Davidson, the better scorer, tallied 19 points with three rebounds.

What if? What if? What if Davidson would've stayed home and been a Mustang?

“I think we would've been pretty good,” Schlotman said. “But it didn't happen.”

Davidson said he didn't think about such a question. He had attended parochial school all his life. Andrean was the perfect fit for his life and game.

But what about in an alternate universe?

“I kind of have a feel for how it would go,” Davidson said. “I played with those guys from first grade through eighth. It would've been pretty special.”

No, it would've been sick.

This was the last time these two will compete against each other in high school. But I believe they could and should be on the same floor in the future.

Both Andrean and Munster have a chance to play in Banker's Life Fieldhouse at the end of March. These teams are very good, well-coached and extremely talented.

And when summer warms, both Schlotman and Davidson should be Indiana All-Stars. There should be an investigation if this doesn't happen.

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

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

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