EAST CHICAGO | The adrenaline was flowing through Tye Wilburn’s veins on Saturday night.
Like a well-oiled machine, the Lake Central senior was prepared for the task at hand.
Bringing an immeasurable amount of energy to the court from the outset, Wilburn led the Indians with 20 points in a 53-37 win over Munster in the Class 4A E.C. Central Sectional championship game.
“Last year, we lost to them, so we knew we had to come in with the energy they brought last year so we could get one back,” Wilburn said. “We tried to come out and get as many fast-break layups as we can. Once we get fast-break layups, our threes start to fall, which they did tonight.”
Lake Central coach Dave Milausnic was impressed with the way Wilburn put the team on his back with Tyler Wideman sitting most of the first half due to foul trouble. Wilburn had 14 first-half points, including 11 in the first quarter.
“He was dynamite, wasn’t he?” Milausnic said. “He had some really good takes. Tye just did what he’s supposed to do, start picking up the scoring and find some good shots along the way.”
While Wilburn stole the show in the first half, Joe Bannister played an extremely good game off the bench. Bannister scored 10 points, which included two quick, five-point spurts that continued to push the momentum in the Indians’ favor.
Milausnic also praised Bannister for his defense on Munster’s Drew Hackett, who was held to three field goals and nine points.
“Everybody was on the same page on defense,” Bannister said. “I just tried to have a different mindset, lock into my man defense and let my defense dictate my offense.”
Lake Central held a 15-10 lead at the end of the first quarter before some cold shooting doomed the Mustangs for the rest of the half.
Munster (20-5) scored just three points in the second quarter, as the Indians (19-3) built a 26-13 lead at halftime, a deficit that proved too much for the Mustangs to overcome.
“It was kind of men against boys,” Munster coach Mike Hackett said. “We were just outmatched. We’ve played them twice this year and scored 38 one game and 37 (this) game. Unfortunately, we let Tye Wilburn have a nice night. They’ve got a very nice team. They’ve got a lot of weapons. I’d like to see them go a long way in the tournament.”
Lake Central will face LaPorte in a semifinal of the Class 4A Michigan City Regional at 10 a.m. Saturday.