BOONE GROVE | It took a little more than a half for Chesterton to get warmed up Wednesday night in a non-conference game against Boone Grove.
The Trojans extended a seven-point halftime lead to double digits early in the third quarter on their way to a 66-35 victory, spoiling the Wolves' Senior Night at John F. Hinkey Gymnasium.
Chesterton (11-8) clamped down defensively, limiting Boone (12-8) to just 13 second-half points.
"The second half we really just played better help-side defense," Chesterton coach Tom Peller said.
Cole Teal and Chris Palombizio each scored 15 points for Chesterton. Donnie Johnson came off the bench to score 10, while Brandon Roeske added eight points and five rebounds in a reserve role.
Sophomore center Matt Holba scored only five for the Trojans, but he grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and was a factor defensively.
"Our balance was good," Peller said. "When we share the ball, that's when we're at our best."
For Boone Grove, senior Dan Malouhos was the only player to reach double figures with 11 points. Point guard Dean Hill struggled shooting, making just 1-of-7 for four points, but dished out six assists.
The Wolves shot just 12-of-40 (30 percent) for the game, a telling statistic for coach Matt McKay.
"When you play 4A schools you have to keep the game close," McKay said. "In the first half we had the opportunity to be closer than it was but we missed a number of easy shots."
Hill made a 3-pointer off an assist from Jake Clapp at the end of the first quarter to get the Wolves within 13-10. Clapp then started the second quarter with a shorter jumper in the lane off an assist from Hill to make it 13-12.
But the Trojans went on a 7-0 run to take control. Chesterton led 29-22 at the break despite making only 9-of-28 shots from the field, with a pair of Palombizio 3-pointers giving the Trojans some breathing room.
But Chesterton limited Boone to 2-of-11 shooting in the third quarter. The lead reached 20 early in the fourth quarter and 30 later when Peller played his bench.
"The shots we missed were layups, around the basket," McKay said. "When you're playing catchup against a 4A school ... it's tough for us against a school with that kind of firepower.
"I thought our defensive effort wasn't really all that bad. We just couldn't get anything generated on the offensive end, and a lot of that has to do with Chesterton."