LAKE STATION | Anyone remember a game where Michael Jordan didn't start?
Heads were scratching on Saturday night when Bishop Noll's Larry Crisler didn't come out for the opening tap against Lake Station in a Greater South Shore Conference showdown.
The Warriors' top player was sitting on the pine.
“He's had some medical issues and he had a doctor's appointment and missed practice,” Noll coach Drew Trost said. “That's a team rule. You don't start.”
The Eagles battled hard on their home floor and were only down two midway through the opening quarter. That's when Crisler came into the game. He scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the final 12 minutes of the first half.
The 65-47 win for Times No. 8 Noll showed something else – how much depth Trost has on his roster.
“That was the difference in the game,” Lake Station first-year coach Robert Burke said.
Tyeron Gates had 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals in the win.
Some of the faces and names have changed in the last year of this rivalry, but the Bishop Noll-Lake Station boys basketball showdown is still one of the area's best. This was as much of a hockey game as a hoops battle.
With 1.8 seconds left in the game a scrum started in front of the Noll (5-0, 3-0) bench. The Lake Station (2-2, 1-2) bench received two technical fouls.
“We had a hard time putting them away,” Trost said. “They scrapped and fought until the very end and that's a credit to them.”
“We don't underestimate anyone,” Gates said. “We just come out and try to play our game. I knew (Crisler) would eventually get into the game and play. I was just trying to help my team, whether its rebounds, assists or points.”
The Times No. 8 Warriors led 38-25 at halftime. Matt Sandoval hit three 3-pointers in the opening 16 minutes and had 11 at the break and 13 for the game.
Lake Station's Elias Williams and Kody Lemley each scored 11 to lead their team.
“We want to take something from every game we play,” Burke said. “From the first guy on the floor to the last guy on the bench our kids fought and never quit.”