LOWELL — The Times No. 1 Chesterton Trojans needed a spark.
A scrappy Lowell team would not go away, like a fly at a summer picnic buzzing around a piece of apple pie.
Someone needed to step up and sophomore guard Tyler Nelson answered the call Saturday night.
He hit a 3-pointer on the Trojans final possession of the third quarter to extend their lead to 39-34, then had two steals and three assists in the fourth quarter to allow Chesterton to stretch their lead to 12 before eventually winning 58-50 inside The Pit.
"We wanted to bury them," said Nelson, who scored seven with a team-high three assists and two steals. "I just wanted to help my team. We were trying to stay connected and stay true to who we are. Our first two games we kind of jumped out on people. This one will give us more confidence because we needed to play hard at the end to pull away.
"We pulled it out after we started so slow."
The Red Devils (1-2) led 14-9 after the first quarter and 26-25 at halftime. Lowell was only trailing by two when Nelson hit the trey at the end of the third quarter.
"Tyler did a nice job for us," Chesterton coach Marc Urban said. "Being only a sophomore he's still growing and learning. He played great defense and caused a couple of turnovers that helped us. And he's only going to get better."
In much of the first half 6-foot-6 senior Austin Peterson got a lot of touches on offense. His 11 points in the second quarter kept the Trojans (3-0) in the game. But foul trouble to a couple of key teammates had Urban using different combinations.
Peterson finished with a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds.
"It's only game three and we've got a lot of time to figure things out," Urban said. "This was a good game for us. With our first four games on the road it's going to make is learn how to win in tough environments."
Ky Palombizio finished with 10 points and Jake Wadding had nine for the Trojans.
Lowell junior Dustin Hudak scored 52 points in his team's first two games for a program looking to find scoring after the graduation of two 1,000-point scorers from last year's team. He had 18 for the Devils with freshman Chris Mantis and senior Noah Durr scoring 10.
Coach Joe Delgado said it's going to take some time for his offense to find the go-to guy in the half-court set.
"Chesterton's the No. 1 team in the area for a reason,' Delgado said. "If we could've cut down on some turnovers and got a few more rebounds we could've turned it around. We were right there and honestly I felt like we beat ourselves."
In the four quarter, after the Trojans shifted into another gear, his Red Devils struggled to find good shots, or even open looks, against the Trojans defense.
"We're scoring by committee right now," Delgado said. "We can keep ot balanced for now. We'll have to see who emerges in the coming weeks."