GARY | Lake Central's Glenn Robinson III knew his team had to get this game. His demeanor and actions on the court spoke louder than any words.
When it was all said and done, Robinson got to taste the feeling of winning postseason hardware for the first time.
Robinson utilized both his quickness and size advantage over Highland all night long, finishing with 24 points on 8-for-10 shooting to help Lake Central rout the Trojans 63-37 in the championship game of the Class 4A West Side Sectional, the Indians' first sectional title since 1997 and first ever in class basketball.
"It's just a great feeling," Robinson said. "My freshman year, I could never imagine anything like this. Cutting down the (net), you get up there and everybody's screaming for you. It's a crazy environment and I'm just blessed and happy to be a part of it."
The Indians (21-2) held a 41-28 advantage going into the final quarter, and went back to the bread and butter of their inside game. That resulted in Tyler Wideman (18 points) and Robinson finding easy layups and dunks to pull away and put the game completely out of reach for Highland.
"We knew we had to do that," Robinson said. "We had a lot of confidence coming into this game. We got down low, got a couple easy baskets and they couldn't seem to stick with us. I thought we played great as a team together."
With Highland (17-7) unable to do anything inside during the first half, the Trojans went to their outside game, utilizing Brandon Reyes. The senior guard went 3-for-5 from 3-point range to lead Highland with nine points, but Lake Central countered with a strong inside game.
Lake Central cruised to an 11-0 lead early on, as Tyler Wideman connected on his first four inside shots.
However, the Trojans would cut the lead 12-9 before a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Tye Wilburn put L.C. ahead 15-9 going into the second quarter.
Highland coach Eddie Fierek mentioned Lake Central's players as "big, strong and fast," but L.C. coach Dave Milausnic offered something more.
"I think they play the game well, too," he said. "Too big, too fast, too strong doesn't help their passing abilities. Our kids play the game well, too."
Highland ended the 2011-12 season above .500 for the first time since 1995-96.
"I told the kids with 17 wins, we did a lot of positive things on the floor," Fierek said. "A lot of people were surprised by that and a lot of people were surprised with us playing tonight."