GARY | At the end of the first eight minutes of Saturday night's opener of the Third annual Lakeshore Classic at Gary's Genesis Center, things looked good for Class 3A defending state runner-up Lew Wallace.
The Hornets led Whitney Young 10-9. Then, the game had to continue.
The Dolphins, who have two senior Division I players, ran away with a dominating 53-38 victory to hand Wallace its first loss of the year.
Samuel Thompson, who will play at Ohio State, had 11 points in the game. Teammate Luke Hager, who will play at UNC Wilmington, had 12.
"They weren't 20 points better than us," Wallace coach Renaldo Thomas said of the Dolphins, who were playing in their season opener. "They just played harder than us. We're a young team and we'll keep working hard and we'll get better."
Times reigning Player of the Year Branden Dawson had a game-high 17 points with 12 rebounds and four blocks. But it was a tough shooting night for the Michigan State-bound standout who was 9-of-18 from the free throw line.
Dawson's first three shots were air balls against the much taller Whitney Young squad.
"We did not play hard enough," Dawson said. "I don't want to call anyone out, but some of my teammates were not ready to play. We're a small team and they knew what we were doing. We just weren't ready."
The Hornets (1-1) did not score their first point of the second quarter until 59.8 seconds remained. DeVonte Harris' free throw broke a 13-0 run that opened the quarter. The Dolphins led 27-15 at halftime.
Wallace lost three starters off of last year's team which lost to Washington in overtime at Conseco Fieldhouse last March in the state final. Young, which won the Class 4A Illinois state title in 2009, was deeper as the Hornets struggled to score all night long.
"They disrupted us," Thomas said. "We're a young team and they're a well-coached team. We showed a lack of discipline out there."
Wallace got eight points and six rebounds from senior Aaron Abram. No other Hornet scored more than three points.
"We'll be all right," Dawson said. "We're young and we're need to get some experience. Give us some time and we'll get there."