CALUMET TWP. | There's a reason it says Gladiators instead of a player's last name on the back of Gavit's jerseys.
That's because they play as a team and everyone tries their best to contribute, whether that's diving on the floor for a loose ball, making the extra pass, or passing up a score to give their teammate the field goal.
After obliterating Lake Station 81-56 in its first round game to start the day, Gavit continued its aggressive team play with a 96-46 trouncing of Calumet in the first semifinal of the 3rd annual Calumet Tourney on Thursday night.
The Gladiators (5-3) raced to a 13-2 lead to open the first quarter and never looked back, only allowing two field goals in the quarter while using 11 players.
"We have 11 guys and all 11 play," Gavit coach Brandon Ridenour said. "No. 11 is just as important as No. 1."
Gavit will play the South Bend Clay-Whiting winner in tonight's title game.
The biggest problem for Calumet (3-4) on Thursday was a lack of a post presence, which played right into the hands of the quick Gladiator defense on the perimeter.
One of Calumet's leading scorers was center Dakota Humphrey, who had 11, but most of his shots came on mid-range jumpers and open layups.
"All 11 can come out and guard," Ridenour said. "We try to force jumpers, get long rebounds, and get points in transition."
In perhaps the best play of the game with 6:54 left in the first, Gavit senior point guard Aryk Rivoli-Johnson led a 2-on-1 fast break and had the chance for the open layup, but instead made a pretty behind-the-back pass to senior DJ Jones for the basket.
Gavit sealed Calumet's fate early by virtue of a thunderous slam by forward Xavier Copeland with 5:49 left in the fourth after he intercepted a pass from Warriors guard Anthony Harris.
"We have shot well all season. When you shoot around 50 percent as a team, that will help you win," said Ridenour.