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John Watkins, File | The Times

CHESTERTON — It was one of those magical shooting nights for Chesterton and Harley Lohmeyer just couldn't miss.

"Once you make the first one, you get a little confidence," Lohmeyer said. "When you make two and three, it feels like (the basket's) as big as the ocean. They finally fell."

Lohmeyer hit five 3s, highlighting a 14-of-24 barrage from the arc by the host Trojans (21-3) in a 92-41 blitzing of Kankakee Valley in the opening game of the Class 4A Chesterton Sectional on Tuesday.

"I think the guys had a little edge, which is good," coach Marc Urban said. "They came out with a little chip on their shoulder, which they're obviously going to have to have against Merrillville. We were hitting the open guy and guys were hitting shots. I don't think we took any bad shots. We shot with confidence, which is what you have to do. It's nice to play at home."

Chesterton raced to a 26-11 lead in the first quarter and it was just getting warmed up. It drilled seven treys in a surgical 32-point second quarter, keyed by Lohmeyer's three.

"Chesterton's powerfully quick," Kougars coach Bill Shepherd said. "They were always penetrating our defense, we'd collapse and they were hitting guys for open looks. They played how you're supposed to play. They showed how deep they are. Chesterton's just at a higher level than we are right now. We're still learning. It's a day-to-day thing."

The Trojans had 58 points at the half, shooting 22 of 33, including 10 of 14 from deep. Seven scored in the first quarter, 10 in the half and when Alex Schmidt got a basket at the end of the third, all 11 who played were in the scoring column. Its lead peaked at 52 (90-38) in the final minute.

"With Jake (Wadding) out, some guys have been getting more minutes and have really stepped up," Urban said. "That's going to make us so much better."

Wadding, who sprained his ankle last Wednesday against Portage, was in uniform and went through warmups. While he didn't play, he appeared to be moving markedly better than he was Friday.

"At first, we didn't know how to respond, especially the Portage game," Lohmeyer said. "At practice, (last) weekend, all the older guys got together stepped up as leaders. We all said we've got to step up our game to another level."

Juniors Wade Williams and William Bonilla each had 13 points for the Kougars (5-18).

Lohmeyer's 15 led all scorers. Ky Palombizio had 14 with four 3s. Noah Mahoney and Tyler Nelson 12 points and Jack Eaton 11.

Chesterton will face Merrillville in Friday's semifinals. The Pirates smacked the Trojans 76-56 on Jan. 6.

"They gave us their best shot and we came out and did everything we weren't supposed to," Lohmeyer said. "I wouldn't call it a revenge game but it's definitely a bounce back game. They're one of the better teams in the Region, so to come out and beat them would make a statement."


Sports reporter

Jim was keeping standings on his chalkboard from the time he could print and keeping kickball stats in grade school at St. Bridget's. He covers all manner of prep sports for The Times and is a long-suffering Chicago Cubs fan.