CHESTERTON | Senior night went from an apparent walk in the park to hanging on for dear life for Chesterton.
Up 13 on Boone Grove at the half Friday, the Trojans managed just 10 points after the break, having to survive a last-second 3 try by the Wolves to escape with a 38-35 victory.
"It's the sign of a good team to pull out a game like that," Chesterrton's Cole Teal said. "They passed the ball so many times. They make you play defense. They work it so much, when they get a basket, it's almost demoralizing. The second half, we just couldn't find any rhythm. It was one of those nights, especially offensively."
Teal's 13 points carried Chesterton (11-9) to a comfortable 28-15 halftime lead. He didn't score again until he hit a short shot in the lane with 1:02 left to put the Trojans up 36-32, that after Boone lost the ball on consecutive possessions down two.
After missing three free throws, Teal made a pair at the line with 16.3 left. The Wolves could manage only a fallaway 30-footer from Jon Hogg that landed well short in the last seconds.
"We certainly had our chances," Boone coach Matt McKay said. "I liked our defense in the second half, especially against one of the best players in the area in Teal. Our execution down the stretch just wasn't real good. A lot of that's being 6-13 and not being in a lot of these situations, especially against a team as strong and quick like these guys."
Hogg scored 15 to lead Boone. His seven in the fourth quarter included a deep 3 that cut the deficit to one, 36-35, with 18 seconds left. Ike Mioduski added 11.
"It looked like we were cruising there, and Boone had other plans," Chesterton coach Tom Peller said. "They played hard. They played smart. Emotionally, it's so hard playing between Valpo and another Valpo. We had a hard time getting up for it. We just missed a lot of shots. We didn't play well. It's over. We'll move on. We won't let it linger. Obviously, Cole came through."
The Trojans had just six points in the second half and two in the fourth quarter before Teal's pull-up 8-footer steadied the Trojans out of a timeout.
"The biggest thing is, if we pass the ball and work our offense, we get open looks," Teal said. "We're all good enough shooters that we can hit."
Boone will meet Hebron on Tuesday in the Class 2A Hebron Sectional.
"I was proud of the way we battled back," McKay said. "Maybe it makes the kids believe a little bit that we can compete with about anybody we face."
Chesterton will take on host Valpo on Wednesday.
"It's all about Valpo now," Teal said. "We want a sectional so bad."