HAMMOND | After their first loss of the season last week, No. 7 Bishop Noll was looking to get rid of the bad taste.
“We had four great practices this week,” Warrior coach Drew Trost said. “I think the loss lit a fire under some of our guys.”
The fire burned bright Friday night. The Warriors (15-1) used an opening 13-2 run to establish the tempo on their way to a 68-50 thumping of Highland.
Larry Crisler scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.
Matt Sandoval got the party started with a 3-pointer, followed by jumpers from Mike Jakubielski and Jalen Hord.
Highland baskets by Seth Hardy and Nick Elish cut the lead to 15-8 at the end of the first quarter.
But Noll started the second with a 14-2 run to remove any remaining bad tastes. Crisler had six of those points.
“A loss is never good,” Trost said, “But I do believe the team got a lot out of it. They learned about consistency and effort.
“We got out of our game plan against Michigan City,” Trost said. “We got caught up in a physical game we normally don’t play. I think our younger guys learned a lot about the importance of sticking to the plan.”
The Trojans (5-13) have been improving of late, but had the misfortune of being next on Noll’s schedule.
“We wanted to try and match up in a zone scheme to limit their quickness,” Highland coach Jordan Heckard said. “Noll is such a quick team, you have to try and break their rhythm.”
The Trojans had 12 turnovers in the first half, unable to move the ball against Noll’s pressure. But they came out shooting in the third quarter, trying to break the press with 3-pointers. They were able to score 19 points, but Noll matched them basket for basket.
“We weren’t able to cut the lead down to a reasonable score,” Heckard said. “Every time we got a little roll going, they came right back.”
Marquis Tarver had nine points and three steals for the Warriors.
AJ Kowalkowski had eight points and eight rebounds for the Trojans. Alex Freitag grabbed 14 boards.
Noll hosts No. 5 Valparaiso Saturday night in what should be a marquee matchup.