ST. JOHN | Cory Dickelman guarded a 6-foot-10 All-American on Jan. 3. On March 7 Dickelman guarded a 6-foot-1 All-American in the making.
It didn't matter to him.
The 6-foot-4 senior forward at Lake Central didn't mind taking elbows in the jaw from Indianapolis Tech's Trey Lyles in January or chasing the speedy Hyron Edwards around the perimeter in the postseason's madness.
Dickelman has guarded a 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 this season for the Indians, who get a rematch with Tech on Saturday in the Class 4A state championship at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Brawn or blow-by speed doesn't matter for Dickelman. Slap the floor. Chop the feet. Help your team.
"I do whatever I can do to help my team win," Dickelman said. "Lyles is a great player. I was giving up six, seven inches to him. But I had to help to keep Tyler (Wideman) stay out of foul trouble. They got us in the fourth quarter.
"That put a chip on our shoulder. I'm glad we get to play them again."
The second-ranked Titans (26-2) beat No. 8 L.C. (22-3) 80-61 on Jan. 3. That's why many in Indy believes the only way Tech can lose is if the standout team with its three D-1 players beats itself.
The no-name team from Lake County has few believers in Central Indiana.
"Every team has a player who is the glue and Cory is our glue," Lake Central coach Dave Milausnic said after Tuesday's practice. "We would not still be playing basketball over spring break if not for his attitude and effort."
Dickelman is scoring only 5.9 points and grabbing 5.8 rebounds a game. But he is a steady starter for the Class 4A state finalists.
Tech is seventh in the state in scoring average at 77.04 points a game. Lake Central is 37th in the state in defensive average at 47.6 points allowed a game.
Dickelman grew up playing basketball and baseball in Schererville. He stopped playing baseball once he got to high school to concentrate on hoops. The senior is in his second L.C.'s varsity season.
"His defense and rebounding is unbelievable," Milausnic said. "Some people would be surprised by his ability to score. He would get more if he played on some other teams."
After L.C.'s 79-57 win over Homestead at Lafayette Jefferson, Milausnic said Dickelman had the biggest smile on his face during the on-court celebration. He didn't score a point. He didn't care.
"Everything you dreamed of as a kid has come true, it's unreal," Dickelman said. "We know Tech's good. They'll go on their runs. We'll go on our runs. We just have to stay calm when they're going good.
"We've got one game left in our careers. We do not want to lose."