ST. JOHN — Sophomore Nick Anderson scored only four points for Lake Central in Wednesday's sectional quarterfinal against Crown Point, but all four came at the same time and couldn't have come sooner.
Anderson hit a 3-pointer and was fouled with 2.1 seconds remaining in the second quarter of the first game of a double-header at L.C. He was fouled and easily sunk the free throw.
His four-point play helped turn an eight-point lead into a 12-point lead and closed out a 9-0 run that ended the quarter. The Indians (13-12) went on to beat C.P. 42-29, a win that advanced L.C. to Friday's sectional semifinal against Munster. The Mustangs won a 56-49 nail-biter over Lowell in the second game on Wednesday.
"You don't see a lot of four-point plays," L.C. senior Justin Graciano said. "That was great for us, and great for him. We were all going crazy in the locker room (at halftime). We knew we had to talk it over and keep up the momentum so we didn't lose that energy."
The Indians out-scored C.P 8-5 in the third quarter and used the momentum of back-to-back 3s early in the fourth to extend the lead.
"I thought everyone played with a purpose (Tuesday)," Lake Central coach Dave Milausnic said. "Everyone was dialed in offensively and defensively."
L.C. cycled through nine players in the first quarter, none losing a beat. The Indians had six players score, led by Graciano with 12 and Connor Tomasic with 11.
Elias Gerodemos led the Bulldogs (11-13) with eight points.
"They sped us up and took away a lot of our reversals," Crown Point coach Clint Swan said. "You have to give a lot of credit to Lake Central. They played really well. I'm so proud of my guys, too. They played hard all the way to the end."
In the second game, Lowell held a 10-point lead at halftime that disintegrated as Munster started to drive the lane.
Munster shot 21 3-pointers in the first half, hitting five.
"In the first half they threw a different zone at us that we hadn't seen before and it got to our guys and they were just chucking up 3s," Mustangs coach Mike Hackett said. "We needed to attack a little more with the dribble. I feel lucky that we won this one. I told the kids going into this game that we needed to play three complete games to win and we got away with playing a complete 1/2 game."
Lowell used a combination of first-half 3s and inside dribble penetration to take the 30-20 lead at halftime.
Six-foot-4 Noah Durr led the Red Devils (11-13) with 15 points and Dustin Hudak notched the double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Christopher Mantis added 12 points for Lowell, eight in the first half.
By the second half, Munster tried to limit Durr's touches and went to the free-throw line thanks to driving inside.
"The coaches told us to be aggressive and work on getting into the lane," Munster junior Tyler Zabrecky said.
In the final 3:17, Zabrecky hit two buckets, assisted on two more and scored the final two points for the Mustangs.
"We scored on nine straight possessions to close out the fourth quarter," Hackett said. "That's awesome."
Jevon Morris, who hit three 3s, led Munster with 22 points and Josh Davis, who also hit three 3s, added 13 points.