GARY | An angry Murray Richards wasn't available for comment after the game. He had too much to discuss with his team.
West Side beat Lowell 53-49 Tuesday night, but nobody left the gym feeling like winners.
Even the Cougars' crowd was praising Lowell's Zack VanHook after the game as the area's returning leading scorer poured in 39 points, including five 3-pointers.
The last shot from behind the arc found the net as the final buzzer sounded.
"It's not surprising. We know what he's capable doing," Lowell coach Nate Richie said. " I just wish that he would've got going a little sooner. We would've probably found ourselves in a better position at the end of the game."
West Side (1-2) stole the ball 14 times in the first half and held a double-digit lead through most of the first three quarters.
"For some reason, we came out and we played on our heels and let West Side be the aggressor to start the game," Richie said. "In the second half, we decided we could compete with them and put ourselves in a position to win and that was the difference."
Only VanHook scored for Lowell (0-2) until Jayson Savich tallied the Red Devils' seventh point on a free throw with 3:47 left in the second quarter.
No strategic changes were made at the break, Richie said. It was simply a matter of effort. The turning point was a VanHook breakaway dunk at 4:50 of the third frame that ignited the Red Devils bench.
"All we did was decide to start playing," he said.
Denzel Casson led the Cougars with 11 points. Christian Jacob had nine and 11 rebounds.