BOYS BASKETBALL

Michigan City hands Bishop Noll first loss

2013-01-26T21:30:00Z 2013-01-26T23:48:06Z Michigan City hands Bishop Noll first lossAllison Buell Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 26, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

MICHIGAN CITY | It's safe to say Bishop Noll hadn't seen a player like Keenan Simmons until Saturday night.

The 6-foot-6 junior center/forward scored 17 points in the first half on 7-of-10 shooting and converted 3-of-4 free throws as Michigan City handed Times No. 3 Bishop Noll its first loss, 65-59.

"He played a great game," Warriors coach Drew Trost said. "He made some tough shots over people."

Simmons scored in the paint on pull-up jumpers, drove the lane and hit from outside as the Class 4A Wolves ran up a 37-22 lead at the half on their home court.

He finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Simmons' first half also included two blocked shots, eight rebounds and an assist.

"He was a more skilled player than we thought," Trost said.

The game proved a physical battle as six fouls were called in the first two minutes of the game. Bishop Noll was in the bonus with 2:40 left in the first, and both teams combined for 58 fouls.

"It was a physical game and we let it get the best of us," Trost said. "We didn't stay calm under pressure, but once we calmed down, we played great."

The Wolves and Warriors roughed each other up for 15 fouls in the third quarter. Bishop Noll settled down, holding Simmons scoreless and cutting City's lead to 49-39. James Nabors III led the charge with six points and a rebound.

"We switched up in the second half and put Larry (Crisler) on Simmons," Trost said. "It's a Catch-22 because you take your best offensive and defensive player and put him on their best player, but you want him to stay fresh."

Crisler, who was quiet in the first half and showed no signs of fatigue, would not let the Warriors fade away.

The 6-3 junior guard took over the fourth quarter by doing what he does best: driving the lane. He got to the free-throw line five times and converted 7-of-12. He scored twice on layups and hit a 3-pointer. It wasn't quite enough to overcome the 15-point halftime deficit.

Crisler finished with 21 points and nine rebounds.

"We tried to beef up our schedule by adding Michigan City this year and Merrillville next year," Trost said. "You have to play the best to beat the best. "

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