CHESTERTON | There were almost as many basketball coaches as fans in the stands Wednesday night for Chesterton's season opener against Morton.
Several local high school coaches were in attendance, as well as Valparaiso University assistant coach Jake Diebler to see the Trojans put on a show in the first half on their way to dominating the Governors 58-33.
Chesterton was led by its super-sophomore tandem of Matt Holba and Chris Palombizio.
Holba, a 6-foot-7 forward, had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Palombizio, who came off the bench because he had gotten poked in the eye during practice, finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Trojans (1-0) used a 17-0 run spanning the first and second quarters to take control after a slow start.
Junior guard Corey Rusboldt added 11 points for Chesterton.
Coach Tom Peller substituted freely throughout the game, using all 12 players.
"We had some real good balance with three guys in double figures," Peller said.
Holba dominated underneath in the first half, working his way inside for most of his points. A three-point play with 4:48 remaining in the half gave Chesterton a 28-9 lead.
"He did a great job around the basket," Peller said.
Morton, directed by first-year coach Kevin Dermody, never made a serious run in the second half.
The Governors were led by Rayan Elabed with 12 points, which included 8-of-11 from the free throw line. The Governors
didn't make a 3-pointer until reserve Xavier Johson swished one with seven seconds remaining in the game.
The Trojans shot just 35.9 percent for the game, but enjoyed a 49-37 advantage on the boards and forced 18 Morton turnovers.
"We showed we have some great depth, and we have a lot of weapons," Peller said.