HAMMOND | Sometimes the guy you're up against just has one of those nights.
That's what happened Thursday in Wheeler's Greater South Shore Conference boys basketball game at Times No. 4 Bishop Noll.
Noll's Tyreon Gates, usually a beast around the basket, got hot early for the Warriors, nailing three 3-pointers in the first half in leading Noll to a 70-33 win.
“He always shoots great against us,” Wheeler coach Tom Johnson said.
Gates had a game-high 25 points. He had been shooting 14 percent from beyond the arc heading into the game.
He broke his foot June 30 and wasn't released until Oct. 31. A lot of down-time kept him off the court, so shooting practice was out.
“It's starting to come back,” Gates said. “It's getting better and better each game.”
The Class 2A No. 3 Warriors jumped out to a 35-19 halftime lead. Coach Josh Belluomini was happy with Noll's ball movement, but other than Gates, not many shots were falling in the first half.
It opened up in the third quarter as the game started to get away. Marquis Tarver scored 12 for Noll (7-1, 4-0) with six steals and five assists. Jasinto Carter scored nine for the Warriors.
“Hopefully today will get (Gates) going,” Belluomini said. “He missed a lot of shots this summer, so he's trying to get back to where he was.”
Austin Greiner led the Bearcats (3-4, 2-2) with 11 points, while teammate Jared Catherman added 10.
Johnson said his team lost by 30 in the first game against Noll last season but played the Warriors tough in March's madness.
“That is the goal again,” Johnson said. “We're a young team, and we haven't rebounded very well. This is an experienced team we played, and that was an issue. Our margin for error was small.
“We just want to get better as the year goes on and be in a position to play a team like this tough in the postseason.”