STEVE HANLON: Great expectations alive at Noll

2013-01-04T22:00:00Z 2013-01-21T21:28:05Z STEVE HANLON: Great expectations alive at NollSteve Hanlon Prep Beat
January 04, 2013 10:00 pm  • 

HAMMOND | Some things never change.

The Bishop Noll student cheering section is one of the best around. You have Gumby. Or Gumbys in this case.

You've got Jesus. Or Moses. Or Jerry Garcia. Not sure.

You have a cow. You don't have Superman. But you do have Super Warrior, a young lad with a blue-and-gold cape and knit winter cap.

On a Christmas break night, Noll's student section was not missing in action.

Again, they are one of the best around.

There isn't anyone, be honest, who felt that Noll's boys basketball team would be undefeated heading into Friday's game against Marquette.

Not me. You neither, right? Not even some of the students in the school.

“Even our classmates didn't think we'd be very good,” Noll senior Matt Sandoval said.

With the graduation of 75 percent of the offense, and with the loss of two D-I players the past two years, this was expected to be a rebuilding year in north Hammond.

This team was not supposed to win games like it did against Marquette, 61-56.

This, though, is the truth. Drew Trost has another team good enough to make a run in March.

“I thought we had a lot of talent,” Trost said. “A lot of our talent was real young, inexperienced. These kids picked it up fast. They've clicked as a team.

“We have come along faster than I expected.”

Winning last weekend's Noblesville Tournament against two quality 4A teams was the first blip on the radar. Friday night's win is the second.

“Adonis Filer (Clemson) and Ronnye Beamon (Youngstown State) really brought the legacy of winning here,” Trost continued. “College coaches come in and talk about how hard we practice. This year's group is doing the same things. They've worked very hard to be undefeated at this point.”

Larry Crisler is unbelievable. He should've been on The Times Preseason All-Area team. Our bad.

Tyreon Gates is now having people buy tickets to see him play. The junior had a huge steal, rebound and put-back in the final minute of the game. He then hit the Free throw after the foul.

“Now we play as a team,” Gates said. “We don't have one or two guys who do all the scoring. We all can play. We heard what everyone said about us. It's making us work harder to prove everyone wrong.”

Sandoval played great in Noblesville and hit three 3-pointers against Marquette. He's one of several guys in this program who've really taken their game to another level.

“We want to make it to Indy,” Gates said.

“That's our goal,” Sandoval said. “And everyone's committed.”

Maybe some things never do change.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at

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