CROWN POINT | No Crown Point players wore anything that bore the school’s name on the court Friday night.
Instead, the players wore jerseys with camouflage piping and “Indiana National Guard” over the numbers on the back. The fronts of the jerseys had single words such as honor, integrity, respect, courage, loyalty or service across the chest.
The traveling jerseys are part of an Indiana National Guard initiative to show support for the organization and promote its mission at schools throughout the state.
“It’s a great cause, and I wish we could do more to honor our troops,” Crown Point coach Clint Swan said. “I thought this was nice. Our kids were able to come out and wear those uniforms and represent themselves and our military quite nicely.”
While wearing virtues on jerseys, Times No. 7 Crown Point displayed its virtues on the basketball court, playing excellent defense and moving the ball extremely well, in an 81-20 win over visiting Hanover Central Friday night.
It was the first time the two programs had met since November 2010, and it was Crown Point’s largest margin of victory in at least 20 years.
With usual starting forward Noah Burkholder out with mononucleosis, sophomore Grant Gelon responded with militaristic efficiency in his first varsity start. The 6-foot-4 wing knocked down five 3-pointers, including four in the second quarter, to post a team-high 17 points -- all in the first half.
“I just got my opportunity, and it was just next man up, and I made the most of it,” Gelon said. “Everybody was sharing the ball, and I kept getting the last shots.”
Crown Point (3-1) shot 53.6 percent in the second half, 85.7 percent in the second half and 64.3 percent for the game with a 15-for-22 (68.2 percent) performance from long range.
Nothing could go right for Hanover Central (0-4), which missed its first 11 shots and fell behind 18-0 due to the combination of early turnovers, early misses and Crown Point’s hot shooting.
C.P. led 18-0 to start the game, 21-2 after a quarter and 45-7 at the half. Hanover reached double figures with 5:38 left in the third to cut the lead to 51-11.
“We shot the ball better than we have all year,” Swan said. “It kind of becomes a perfect storm, and our guys are playing with a lot of confidence and they made a lot of shots tonight.”
Seven different Bulldogs hit 3-pointers, and Bret Barclay had two on his way to 12 points and seven rebounds. Josh Berquist scored 12, and Thayne Bukowski had 10 points and four steals off the bench.
After a 5-14 season, Crown Point is already more than halfway to its previous win total. The Bulldogs hadn’t played since Dec. 7 and had plenty of practice in the meantime. Swan said the layoff was a “blessing in disguise” for his veteran team.
“They have those minutes in their hip pocket, and they do a lot of things together,” Swan said. “They dealt with some bad losses last year, and they’ve really grown.”