CHESTERTON | Starter and substitute are just terms to John Boyd, mere semantics.
"We don't like to say bench," the Michigan City coach said after his second unit sparked a 59-49 Duneland Athletic Conference victory Friday over Chesterton.
"We've got a great group of guys who feed off each other. It's 14 guys who think as one. They couldn't care less who's out there. They just want to be part of the Wolves. That's what we want to build here."
M.C. (11-3, 4-0) picked up 37 points from its No. 2s, with 11 from Brad Pawloski and 10 from Michael Miller. Keenan Simmons scored a team-high 13, all but three of them coming in the fourth quarter, when the Wolves pulled away.
"That group was phenomenal," Boyd said. "We just rode the wave. Lucas (Daurer) and Brad can instantly change a game. We finally have two legitimate point guards at Michigan City and it was Michael's turn to take control of the wheel and guide us to victory."
Simmons exited with three fouls and three points in the third quarter, and City down 31-28. The Times No. 7 Wolves responded with the last nine points of the period to seize the lead.
"It was looking good, then we couldn't get any stops at that time," Chesterton coach Tom Peller said. "That was the turning point of the game. They're deep. All their guys can score. That's the strength of their team.
"I thought we kept Simmons under control, but they have other good players. They were patient, a lot more than we were."
It was 37-33 early in the fourth when Simmons, 1-of-8 from the field to that point, hit a 3 and laid in a rebound to help the Wolves separate.
"The stat sheet might not have been filled up, but the bottom line is (Simmons') leadership on the floor, his will, desire, effort, those type of things," Boyd said. "He has the ability to change shots, to make teams think twice about throwing it down there."
The No. 9 Trojans launched 24 treys, over half of their 44 shots, and made just seven.
"They weren't going in, but we kept shooting them," Peller said. "We've got to find a balance, being more patient, while looking for opportunities, too."
After a cold start, Chris Palombizio notched 16 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, making a living at the line, where he was 11 of 12. No other Trojan reach double figures.
Michigan City will face Lake Central on Thursday for the Duneland Athletic Conference lead.