CHESTERTON | There are no coaching secrets for Chesterton's Jack Campbell.
It's simple, really. Put the ball in the basket and everything else falls into place.
"I don't care what level you're at, when you start making baskets it's easier to do other things like playing defense," Campbell said.
It worked Friday night for his squad that desperately needed a victory after four consecutive losses, as Chesterton dominated Valparaiso 56-30 in the first game of a girls-boys Duneland Athletic Conference doubleheader.
Chesterton (3-5, 2-5) shot 56.4 percent from the field, outscoring the Vikings by 25 points over the final three quarters.
Junior guard Caroline Puntillo led the Trojans with 13 points, six rebounds and three steals. Her buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave Chesterton a 39-22 lead and the Trojans coasted the rest of the way.
Kelsey Conway added nine points and six steals for the Trojans, who forced the Vikings into 27 turnovers. Nine out of 13 Chesterton players broke into the scoring column.
"We played really well defensively," Campbell said. "The kids played really unselfish and we had balanced scoring."
Valpo sophomore Grace Withrow hit a 3-pointer with 36 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give the Vikings an 11-9 lead. It didn't last long, as Chesterton held Valpo scoreless for the next 5 1/2 minutes.
That's when the Trojans took control, outscoring the Vikings 16-4 in the second period. Valpo committed 10 turnovers in the quarter, and didn't make a field goal until an Andi Sarkisian putback with 1.3 seconds remaining.
Valpo continued to struggle in the third quarter, turning it over on five consecutive possessions against Chesterton's full-court press. Conway had three of her six steals during that stretch, leading to six points for the Trojans.
"Chesterton played really well," Valpo coach Jeanette Gray said. "They hit their shots and they just did more things right than we did."
The Vikings made just 11 of 32 shots to go with the turnovers. Yasmin Carrillo had eight points and nine rebounds to lead Valpo, while Withrow was just 2-for-10 from the floor for seven points.
"It's just confidence shooting the ball," Gray said of her team's overall offensive struggles. "We have to get our shooters opportunities to get shots, and we're getting shots but they're not going in."
Chesterton plays two games today in a tournament at Goshen, starting at 11:30 a.m. against DeKalb. Tipton faces Goshen in the second game, with the consolation set for 3 p.m. followed by the championship game.
Campbell was pleased to come away with a conference win after falling to Portage and DAC heavyweights Merrillville, Michigan City and Lake Central.
"This was the best game we played this year," Campbell said. "It was a good time to do it."