CROWN POINT | After Crown Point's 2-1 semistate win over Fort Wayne Canterbury, Bulldog forward Carmelo Morales took the necessary pictures and did little celebrating.
When talking to reporters afterward, one joked that it was OK to smile because his team was going to state for the second time in three years.
Morales cracked a little smile and got down to the task at hand of answering myriad questions. Every answer was short, sweet and to the point.
Morales knew that the season was not over yet and after last year's regional loss to Duneland Conference foe Lake Central, he knew not to take any game lightly and immediately prepare mentally for the next hurdle.
"Melo is the most solid mental player we have and he's one of the big reasons why we have responded from last year," Crown Point coach Mike Bazin said.
Last year, Crown Point headed into the postseason with just one loss. The team kept it rolling this year with a record of 20-0-1 with just one road block ahead in the Class 2A No. 2 Avon Orioles today at 5 p.m. at IUPUI in Indianapolis for the state championship.
Bazin has emphasized not going through the motions ever since the season started and even more so after his team's win over Bishop Noll back on Sep. 16.
"We didn't want to have any complacency or let up on our intensity, especially when the postseason came around," he said.
That part has not been a problem for the No. 4 Bulldogs, who have given up just nine goals all year. Morales has added a team-high 18 goals. His 10 assists are third highest on the team.
His goal in the waning moments of the semistate final is the main reason why the Bulldogs are sitting where they are.
Morales realizes what's at stake.
"This means everything to us, especially for the young guys that haven't been here before," Morales said. "You don't get moments like this all the time."