HAMMOND | No one can fault Bishop Noll for compiling a daunting schedule at the end of its regular season.
Playing point for point with Class 4A teams such as Valparaiso, E.C. Central and Michigan City is a little like running with ankle weights and then shedding the weights just before the Class 2A playoffs.
Michigan City, likewise, didn’t hesitate to schedule a 2A behemoth before the Class 4A playoffs. With potential rematches off the table, such a matchup with a team like Times No. 3 Noll allows the Wolves to see who’s ready for the imminent Hoosier Hysteria and what fixes need to be made.
On Wednesday night as Michigan City and Bishop Noll met for a pre-sectional tuneup, the Warriors showed they had the teamwork and balance to put four quarters together and overcome an 18-point deficit for a 59-54 win over the visiting Wolves on Wednesday night at Mysliwy Fieldhouse.
The win avenged a 2013 loss by Noll at Michigan City and helped the Warriors (17-3) finish the regular season with a 3-0 record against the Duneland Athletic Conference.
Marquis Tarver led the way for Noll with 18 points.
Bishop Noll caught fire with a huge third quarter. Tarver had eight points in the frame, including a pair of 3-pointers. Roman Penn also fueled the comeback with a pair of treys.
Tarver’s first 3 cut City’s lead to 39-36, and his next one put the Warriors up 41-39.
Once Noll came back, City imploded. Noll ran off 11 consecutive points from the end of the third to the start of the fourth and withstood several late 3s by the Wolves in the final minute.
Michigan City’s Keenan Simmons scored 20 points in the first half as the Wolves ran to a 32-18 halftime lead and at one point in the third quarter led 36-18. The Wolves outscored the Warriors 18-5 in the second quarter as Simmons put home tip-ins, scored in transition and had a 3-pointer from the elbow
Simmons finished with 31 points but went cold during a dismal second half that saw the Wolves (12-8) collapse and lose their fifth game in their last six after the best start to a season in school history.