CROWN POINT | It resembled a summer league game at times with an up-and-down pace and little defense.
The outcome didn't have any bearing on the Duneland Athletic Conference, but don't tell Chesterton's Chris Palombizio that the Trojans' entertaining 85-73 win over the Bulldogs didn't mean anything.
"It was big to us," Palombizio said. "We needed the win. It brings a lot of momentum and keeps our spirits up."
The Trojans (12-8, 8-6) shot a sizzling 61 percent, much of that a result of high-percentage shots gleaned from both their transition and half-court attacks. The 85 points is the most they've scored in a regulation game in nearly five years.
"To score 85 points, we moved the ball real well," said Palombizio, who had 10 of his 21 in the third quarter when Chesterton turned a tie game into a 13-point lead. "Cole (Teal) found me real well. We can score. It was a lot of fun. Then again, we've got to play defense. They shouldn't score 73 points on us."
That was coach Tom Peller's message at halftime. His Trojans raced to a 13-2 lead, but the Bulldogs (5-15, 2-12) chipped away, hitting six first-half 3s, and trailed by just two at the half.
"It was up and down the first half. That's not to our advantage. That's not our strength," Peller said. "You get caught up in it as a coach. There wasn't a lot of defense going on and we worked on defense all week. That was disappointing. There's two ways to a win a game and tonight we outscored them."
Palombizio notched 10 of Chesterton's first 12 points after the half and a Jacob Andert 3 stretched the margin to double figures for good at 59-49. The spread swelled to as many as 21.
"We slowed the tempo down better, which is where we need it to be successful," Peller said. "Our shot selection was better. We played a little better defense in the second half. We played with more intensity. Chris struggled a little the first half, but he stuck with his game and picked it up the second half."
Chesterton came one point from putting six players in double figures with reserve Donnie Johnson stashing 15 of his 17 after the half, including a breakaway dunk.
"They're very hard to guard," C.P. coach Clint Swan said. "That's three times in a row we've had a hard time containing them. They have a lot of weapons. They made some really tough shots. We tried to mix it up on them, but it was hard to take them out of their rhythm. The tempo had a lot to do with it. Both teams were on the attack."
Tommy Bardeson topped the 'Dogs with 21 points. Bret Barclay scored 16 and Josh Berquist notched 12 off the bench.