INDIANAPOLIS | Stepping back into Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Lake Central's Tyler Wideman would be like Ali stepping into the ring against Joe Frazier, the first time.
Or Custer galloping back into the Little Big Horn for a second time.
The last time Lake Central's Wideman played basketball at the home of the NBA's Indiana Pacers he left with a four-point loss in the Class 4A state championship and a lump on his head.
“Honestly, it has nothing to do with that,” Wideman said before Saturday night's Indiana-Kentucky All-Star game. “I don't want to mess with the streak. We've got to keep it alive.”
Indiana had a 12-game winning streak against Kentucky heading into the game and Wideman had two blocks, a rebound and an assist in the first two minutes.
The streak went to 13 with Indiana's 111-99 win in front of 6,520 fans.
His workmanlike effort did not surprise All-Star assistant Clint Swan of Crown Point. Swan brought up Wideman's rebound slam with 1:30 left in Friday's game in Lexington that sealed the deal.
“It was a great game and Tyler played awesome,” Swan said. “He had to adjust a little to (Kentucky's) size and length, but he played very well.”
Every time Wideman came out of the game, the Indianapolis crowd gave him a loud applause for the effort. And, of course, the fact he'll play at Butler next season.
With 4:30 left in the first half, Wideman got a big block, his third of the game, and sprinted down the floor and Grant Evans hit him in a beautiful feed for a layup. The crowd erupted and Kentucky called a timeout.
When Wideman came out with 7:48 left in the game, Kokomo's Tayler Persons slapped him on the backside and yelled, “Way to work” as the crowd erupted again.
Wideman finished the game with 15 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks. Park Tudor's Trevon Bluiett led the way with 32 points and Marion's James Blackmon Jr. added 23. The two were named co-MVPs.