LOWELL | Star players are good to have, but defensive stoppers are even better.
Katie Bobos, meet Jessica Bell.
The Lake Central senior held Lowell's leading scorer to nine points on 3-of-15 shooting and two rebounds Tuesday night as the Indians won 40-16.
Times No. 4 Lowell was outscored 28-4 the second half and outrebounded 31-12 for the game. Bobos came in averaging more than 15 points.
"Bell's a Division II player and acted like it tonight," L.C. coach Marc Urban said. "She did a good job on a very good player, locking her down by herself."
Bell led the Indians (10-6) to their fourth consecutive win with 11 points and nine rebounds. Tara Zlotkowski chipped in 10 points and Lindsay Kusbel also had nine rebounds.
"That was definitely one of the toughest matchups I've had," Bell said of the 6-foot Bobos. "We've played against each other and together since seventh grade and know each other's game so well.
"I knew I had to keep her off the boards and prevent her from driving. She has a great pullup jumper and I had to keep a hand in her face because she's taller than me by an inch or so.
"I had to get taller," Bell said, giving credit to the 5-foot-11 Kusbel for helping to shut down the middle.
"We challenged them to step up and defend, take it to the next level, and they did," Urban said.
Both first-year coaches still have much work to do.
"I've been pretty demanding on them," Lowell's Matt Welsh said before tip-off. "When I took over, I told them I wouldn't be coaching girls basketball; I'd be coaching basketball.
"Any time you take over and change things, it's a year-long program but it didn't take them too long. They bought into it top to bottom."
Still, the Red Devils (12-3) barely shot 20 percent for the game and had 24 turnovers, as did L.C.