GARY | The importance of having a bona fide post-player is essential for any team, especially when trying to pull away late in a game.
For Lake Central, Tyler Wideman fits that description, as the sophomore scored six of his 14 points in the fourth quarter to help the Indians defeat E.C. Central 73-52 in a semifinal game of the Class 4A West Side Sectional in front of several college scouts, including Purdue coach Matt Painter.
"Once I see the defense spread and they start chasing, my teammates look for me with the pass," said Wideman, who also had 10 rebounds.
Wideman found himself with several one-on-one opportunities, especially in the fourth quarter, and he capitalized with a 6-for-6 clip from the field.
"I just keep down low, and take advantage of what the defense gives me," Wideman said.
L.C. (20-2) was up just 46-42 going into the final quarter, outscoring the Cardinals 27-10 for the rest of the game. The Indians shot an efficient 55 percent from the field for the game.
Glenn Robinson III returned to his normal offensive prowess, scoring 27 points after an eight point game against Munster on Tuesday.
The Cardinals (10-11) mustered just 10-for-30 shooting from the field overall in the first half, unable to do much inside with 6-feet, 7-inch center Lee Epps playing only five minutes during the first half due to foul trouble.
The Indians will face Highland in today's sectional championship, 61-58 winners over host West Side in the other semifinal game.
"We're one of 32 teams left in 4A," Highland coach Eddie Fierek said. "The draw is what it is, but we're here. We beat two pretty solid teams."
Highland's Jordan Minch took over for the Trojans in the second half, scoring 15 of his team-high 24 points before leaving the game late with cramps.
Though Highland is in the final, Minch still insists there are doubters lurking.
"I'm going to be honest with you, I don't think so," Minch said when asked if people now believe in Highland. "We're 17-6, and they still don't believe in us. It inspires us because we know we can beat anybody."
With Highland up 31-22 going into the third quarter, West Side came more aggressive, attacking the basket and getting the Trojans into foul trouble in the third quarter.
West Side held a 23-6 offensive rebounding edge, but Highland countered that with an efficient 54 percent clip from the field.
West Side's Arnold Wilson kept the Cougars within striking distance all night, finishing with 28 points.