PORTAGE | Michigan City coach Michael Megyese had some glowing things to say about Tuesday's game, but most of those comments were about Crown Point.
The Times No. 2 Wolves struggled at times and escaped with a 56-44 in the opening round of the Class 4A Portage Sectional.
"Give Crown Point credit," Megyese said of the Bulldogs. "They came in with nothing to lose and played like it.
"We didn't play very well, and we still won by 12."
The defending champion Wolves (18-3) broke the game open in the third quarter by draining three 3-pointers, extending the cushion to 36-25 on Clifton's 3-pointer -- the final of the frame for M.C. -- with 1:55 left in the quarter.
Toni Murphy led Michigan City with 20 points, scoring eight in the fourth quarter. Keshyana Cooper added 14 points, 15 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.
Despite those numbers, Megyese knows his team cannot have a repeat performance in the semifinals.
"We have to play better," he said. "It's nice to have a game like this and win."
Freshman guard Hannah Albrecht led Crown Point (5-16) with 19 points -- 12 in the fourth -- and three steals.
"I was impressed with Albrecht," Megyese said. "She had a lot of skills and kept them in the game."
Crown Point coach Anne Equihua was impressed with Albrecht's maturation on the court.
"She no longer plays like a freshman," Equihua said of Albrecht. "She can take the game over. She played with a lot of confidence."
Katija Tarailo added 10 points, but the Bulldogs shot just 19-for-56 from the field. Abby Kvachkoff had just two points, going 1-for-13 from the field.
"I couldn't be prouder of them," Equihua said. "We did a great job on defense. We just couldn't hit our shots."
Kelsey Gushrowski had a team-high 20 points to lead LaPorte over Chesterton 47-31. Delanie Alcorn added four 3-pointers and 12 points for the Slicers.
Caroline Puntillo scored a team-high 20 points for the Trojans.