CROWN POINT | Saturday matinees apparently agree with Crown Point.
The Bulldogs, facing Chesterton in an early-afternoon game resulting from Friday's postponement, were balanced on the floor and on the score sheet, picking apart the Times No. 7 Trojans 72-58 in the Duneland Athletic Conference.
"They handled it all better than I did," C.P. coach Clint Swan said. "My head was spinning. It's the best game we've played all year. It's the biggest win we've had in quite a while from the standpoint they're a really good team."
Crown Point (7-3, 2-1) shot 43 percent from the arc with five players connecting on 3s, led by Grant Gelon's four. It hit at a 51 percent clip overall and made 18 of 20 free throws.
"Our team has such confidence in our ball handlers, they're willing to wait and take the best shot," Swan said. "They're being patient. They're not rushing. We took care of the basketball. We really did a fantastic job of following up misses with easy shots, rebounds, getting fouled and getting to the foul line."
It happened on three straight possessions in the second quarter when Bret Barclay and Noah Burkholder teamed on a string of put-backs, highlighted by a Barclay follow-up dunk during an 8-1 C.P. stretch. Freshman Sasha Stefanovic bottomed a pair of treys late in the half to send the Bulldogs to the break up 35-28.
"It's the first he hasn't played any JV," Swan said. "I think he's played the last JV game of his life. He's a great player and he's got a great career ahead of him. Those were two huge shots."
A 12-1 run in the third quarter pushed C.P.'s lead to 15.
"We saw the third quarter of (Chesterton's) Andrean game," Swan said. "They went on a ridiculous run. We were worried about their run. We said, 'How about we make our own run?'"
Chesterton (9-4, 2-1) edged within 10 a couple times in the fourth quarter, but Crown Point secured the win at the foul line.
"They shot well. They hit 3s. They had an inside game. We couldn't get stops," Chesterton coach Tom Peller said. "They played a really good game and we weren't at our best and if you're not at your best in a DAC game, you're going to have trouble."
Chris Palombizio registered a game-high 20 points but shot just 5 of 16 with only one field goal in the second half. Jake Wasielewski notched 15 points and Corey Rusboldt 13 for the Trojans, who lost for the first time in six games.
"When we needed consecutive stops, we got them," Swan said.
C.P. (7-3) put four players in doubles figures with Gelon and Barclay (nine rebounds) both posting 15. Blake Bonin and Nick Jeffirs followed with 12 and 11, respectively.
"We had everybody play well," Swan said. "Guys came in off the bench and made big plays."