GIRLS BASKETBALL

LaPorte wins girls hoops battle of DAC unbeatens

2014-01-10T21:45:00Z 2014-01-11T23:45:09Z LaPorte wins girls hoops battle of DAC unbeatensHillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

LAPORTE | Ringing the LaPorte gym are white and black pieces of paper with the No. 3 on each one.

They take up two rows there are so many.

"We're missing about 25, because we ran out and had to print more," LaPorte girls basketball coach Skeeter Heath said.

Each paper represents a 3-pointer hit by the Slicers team. There are orange and black 3s on the other end of the gym for the boys, but not quite as many.

The 3s also represent the Lake Central game plan against LaPorte.

"They've got a lot of good 3-point shooters, and we were trying to take them away," Indians coach Marc Urban said. "They've got a lot of good guards, too."

In the first half of Friday's No. 1 Lake Central vs. No. 2 LaPorte matchup, the Indians limited the 3. In the second half, the Slicers adjusted. 

With a second-half comeback and the forcing of 14 turnovers, LaPorte topped L.C. 61-57 for a Duneland Athletic Conference win.

"I don't think anyone lost the game. I think we just won," Heath said. "It wasn't that anyone made any big mistakes. It was a great girls basketball game."

LaPorte's offensive turning point came after Lake Central (13-2, 4-1) turned the ball over with 3:25 left as the Slicers (13-0, 5-0) had tied the game at 51-51. LaPorte scored the next four points and held the Indians scoreless for 3 minutes, 14 seconds.

LaPorte's final 10 points -- including those that tied the game -- came from the free-throw line. Freshman Nicole Konieczny hit the final six as the Slicers finished the game 18-of-20 from the line. Lake Central was 13-of-24 from the free-throw line.

"We had to be tougher and find our man in the second half," Knoieczny said. "We were a lot better. We needed to find the shooters."

Konieczny led all scorers with 25 points, followed closely by Lake Central's Tara Zlotkowski, who scored 21, including 3 from 3-point land.

"I've very proud of them," Urban said. "There's not a team right now I'd rather be coaching. We came out on the short end, but we got better tonight."

Kelsey Gushrowski added 12 points for the Slicers, including six in the third quarter. Jaclyn Heath chipped in 10 points.

Lake Central's Gina Rubino added 12 points, and Lindsay Kusbel's seven rebounds led all players.

The Slicers have five more 3s to put up in their gym after Friday night. If the Indians kept the same tally, they'd be adding six.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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