PORTAGE | Beauty was certainly in the eye of the beholder at Portage on Friday night.
Times No. 2 Lake Central used a quick start to take control over Portage and used strong efforts from Tyler Wideman and Tyler Ross to prevail 64-48.
Despite the win, Lake Central coach Dave Milausnic wore a serious look after the game while Portage coach Rick Snodgrass spoke with optimism a week after his team managed just 25 points against Valparaiso.
“I thought we started fast and then we coasted,” Milausnic said.
Lake Central (10-2, 2-0 DAC) scored the first six points of the game and led 19-7 after the first quarter.
Wideman scored his 11th point less than 90 seconds into the second quarter, but was sent to the bench shortly after with foul trouble.
The Butler recruit again made his presence felt in the fourth quarter when he helped hold off a Portage rally by scoring six points. Wideman finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
“We have a deep team,” Milausnic said. “I’m confident in the next guy stepping up (if Wideman is on the bench).”
Ross scored seven of his 16 points in the second quarter and added six steals as the senior helped silence the crowd by making multiple hustle plays. He added five rebounds and two assists.
“We had to keep our heads in it because we were playing a little down,” Ross said. “Portage always has a good crowd and we needed to make the hustle plays in order to keep our momentum.”
Snodgrass wore a wide smile after the game as he lamented on how close Portage may have been to getting back in the game.
The home team had numerous opportunities to get the deficit down to single digits, but could never get over the hump against the more-physical Lake Central squad.
“I really liked our effort,” Snodgrass said. “I thought our kids battled the whole game. We made strides this week and I think we can continue to improve the way we have been.”
Michael Lattanzi led Portage (7-6, 0-2) with 15 points while Luke Kizer scored seven of his 12 in the fourth quarter. Joe Bannister had 13 points for Lake Central and Tye Wilburn added eight points and four assists.