Boys basketball | IHSAA Semistate

Hackett and Trost know the focus is on one game

2011-03-17T22:00:00Z 2013-05-06T22:47:12Z Hackett and Trost know the focus is on one gameBy Steve Hanlon steve.hanlon@nwi.com, (219) 933-4198 nwitimes.com

It's an easy thing to do, really. Many have done it before and surely others will do it in the future.

If you're only one step away from realizing the biggest dream that you've worked for, and you don't look down to take the next step, the odds of tripping are there.

Did Bowman Academy look past Morgan Twp. in the Class A sectional championship game? Perhaps that is why the Cherokees were the ones cutting down the nets.

"We're only guaranteed one game, the next game," Munster coach Mike Hackett said of Saturday's Class 4A Lafayette Jeff Semistate championship game against Kokomo.

If top-ranked Munster wins, the Mustangs will play at Conseco Fieldhouse in the state final on March 26. If not, the season is over.

Class 2A No. 2 Bishop Noll will play No. 3 Tipton at the Huntington North Semistate on Saturday. A win and the Warriors are in the state final. A loss and it's a long, sad drive back to Hammond.

"We're very excited about the opportunity before us," Noll coach Drew Trost said. "Our goal from Day 1 was to get to Conseco Fieldhouse. But we can't look past Tipton at all. They are a very good team with a great tradition. We have to bring our A game if we want to keep the season going."

Tipton's best player, Greg Dickey, will not play in the game after tearing his ACL in the sectional championship game. But the Dickey-less Blue Devils still found a way to win the school's fourth regional last Saturday.

A hungry, motivated Tipton team will take the floor on Saturday in Huntington.

"I think that's why we're undefeated," Noll senior Adonis Filer said. "We haven't overlooked anyone all year. Anyone can beat anyone on a given day, whether they have their best player or not.

"We know that and we are going to do everything in our power to win this game."

Region fans know that Northwest Indiana has only had two undefeated state champions in the 101 years of the IHSAA state tournament. It is not an easy feat.

In 1970 E.C. Roosevelt finished 28-0 after beating Carmel 72-62. The next year E.C. Washington completed a 29-0 campaign when the Senators beat Elkhart 70-60.

With two wins on Saturday, the area, which won two state titles last year from Bowman and Wheeler, would have a shot at having two undefeated state champs in the same season.

But first things first. History isn't made rounding the third turn. It is made at the finish line.

"Kokomo is a very good team and a lot of people are picking them to beat us," Hackett said. "We have to go there confidant and play Munster basketball.

"I know I don't want the season to end and the guys in this locker room don't want it to end either."

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