Lake Central Indians
Last season: 13-9, 7-7 Duneland Athletic Conference, lost in Class 4A Gary Sectional semifinal to Munster.
Inside the Indians
Leading returning scorer: Glenn Robinson III, 22.1 ppg.
Leading returning rebounder: Tyler Wideman, 9 rpg.
Newcomer to watch: Mike Miklusak, Jr., C.
For a team that already had a big front line, Miklusak's growth will only make L.C. better. He is a very active player who can do many things. His outside jumper has improved, too. "Mike is a very tough high school matchup," Milausnic said.
This is the year
The Indians won seven of their last eight games before taking top-ranked Munster into overtime at West Side in the sectional semifinal. The one-point loss and the play of the Michigan-bound Robinson shows this team is ready to take off. Wideman played like a ninth-grader much of last year but things have changed. Purdue has already offered the growing man-child. Wideman worked hard on cardio training over the summer and lost 40 pounds. He should be bouncing in the fourth quarter this year. The health of sophomore point guard Tye Wilburn is still a question mark. An ailing knee sidelined him for much of last season. He will need to be 100 percent for L.C. to be at 100. "It's nice to have some experience back," Milausnic said. "Tye only played three games last year. He's practicing. He's healed. It's just getting his body used to the day-to-day." L.C. hasn't won a sectional title since 1997. So while dreams of Indianapolis are nice, winning at West Side is all that Milausnic is thinking about. "Our sectional is one of the toughest in the state," Milausnic said. "If you look at what our winners have done after the sectional the last 10 years, winning that is the most important thing. If you win Sectional 1 you have a chance to do some damage."
*. !~ Steve Hanlon