HEBRON | About the only thing that didn't go Larry Crisler's way Saturday night was an alley-oop dunk attempt.
Crisler, a Bishop Noll senior who is one of Northwest Indiana's premier athletes armed with a baseball scholarship to Indiana, failed to finish at the rim on a pass from teammate Jaylen Hord late in the Class 2A Hebron Sectional title game.
It didn't matter much on the scoreboard, as the Warriors rolled to a 65-52 victory over an out-manned but determined Whiting squad.
But it will hurt Crisler in the wallet.
"I've got to buy (Jaylen) lunch now," Crisler said. "I think I tried to slam it a little too hard."
The state-ranked No. 5 Warriors (21-3) will advance to next week's North Judson Regional against the sectional winner at Westview.
Whiting, under 23-year-old first-year coach Tim Hopps, had a six-game winning streak snapped and finishes at 13-9.
Crisler led the Warriors with 18 points and five assists, while senior Tyreon Gates added 16 points and four assists.
"It's just the first step," said Crisler, a freshman when the Warriors finished as state runners-up in 2011. "We haven't accomplished anything yet. Our goal is to make it to state and win it this time."
Noll shot 26 of 55 from the floor and had 18 assists to just 12 turnovers, numbers that were pleasing to coach Josh Belluomini.
"We talked about trying to pass the ball more," Belluomini said. "If you've watched us before and the three games in the playoffs, there's a huge difference in the way we pass the ball.
"The kids make great decisions, and I can't think of many forced shots today."
Whiting led 11-8 at 3:23 of the first quarter after senior Matt Dvorscak hit three free throws.
But the Warriors took control in the second quarter, building a 38-24 halftime lead. Gates scored 10 of his points in the period.
"He's been a different kid the last two games," Belluomini said. "His basketball IQ has gone up so much. He's taking smart shots and making good passes. When he shoots in rhythm, it goes in."
Dvorscak kept Whiting close, scoring 13 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter to help the Oilers cut the deficit to 60-47.
But the Oilers were doomed by turnovers, committing 25 against the Warriors' relentless pressure.
"Too little too late," Hopps said. "And when you give up as many offensive rebounds as we did, it's tough to do anything.
"All of our kids tried to keep us in it. No one ever gave up. It's a tough way to end the season, but it's a credit to them with how hard they worked and stayed together."