HEADLINE: Tuskan plays big for his father
INDIANAPOLIS | Jeffrey Tuskan died two years ago after a tough battle with cancer. But he left something on the earth that had Lake Central fans dancing on Saturday night inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
His son, Chris Tuskan, came off the bench and was part of an unbelievable comeback for Lake Central. The Indians were down 23 at one point of the Class 4A state championship game against Indianapolis Tech, but got it within three with 10.9 seconds left.
Tuskan was on the floor on an 11-0 run that got the game close.
“I was playing for my dad,” Tuskan said. “I know he'd be very proud of me. I know he's up there smiling. Crying.”
With 4:02 left in Saturday night's Class 4A state championship game, Lake Central's Tuskan walked over to the bench tugging on his jersey.
The No. 34 in blue on white was pounding up and down. It belonged to the 6-foot-3 bench player for the Indians.
He was tired. Extremely tired.
Tech held a 49-29 lead. That's when L.C. started an 11-0 run to get within nine. Tuskan was out there guarding All-American Trey Lyles, among several hustle plays, before holding on to a 63-59 win.
The Indians only had 12 points at halftime and were scrambling to get back in it for much of the game. But history gave them a shot.
In Tech's semistate win over Bloomington North, the Titans held a 28-point lead inside of four minutes remaining. Coach Jason Delaney pulled his starters and the celebration began.
But North got within three in the final minute and had the ball with a chance to tie before a turnover ended the historic comeback attempt and Tech prevailed 75-71 at Richmond.
On a day where over 28,000 fans watched four state championship games at Indianapolis' Bankers Life Fieldhouse, a kid with limited playing time played big for the Indians.
In 16 minutes of play, Tuskan scored two points with one rebound and one assist.
“He was huge,” L.C. coach Dave Milausnic said. “We've always said 'Next man up.' Chris went out there and battled. All of our guys did.”
Tuskan said being on the floor during the comeback was a thrill.
“I was motivated to keep him out of the paint,” Tuskan said of All-American Trey Lyles. “I tried my best. I'm happy I could play my heart out. We all did. We almost had it.”