CHESTERTON | The comeback trail was a long one for the Trojans on Friday night.
Chesterton (5-3, 2-1 Duneland Athletic Conference) trailed 9-1 after the first quarter against DAC-rival Portage, but Caroline Puntillo and Jocelyn Lipscomb combined for 31 points – outscoring the Indians together – as the Trojans rallied for a 40-27 win.
“They’re both tremendous competitors,” Chesterton coach Jack Campbell said. “They feed off each other well. Besides being good friends, they’re both great kids and obviously very good basketball players.”
Puntilllo played a major role in the closing minutes, going 6-of-7 from the free-throw line down the stretch to close out the win.
“We wanted the ball in her hands,” Campbell said. "She finished it off for us."
Lipscomb swayed the momentum of the game with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer heading into halftime, cutting the Portage lead to 16-13.
“We ran a designed play to (Lipscomb),” Campbell said. “The funny thing is they started it the wrong way, but corrected it and she was able to hit it and the buzzer.
“As poorly as we played, we were only down by three. Our defense kept us in the game – which was good, because we didn’t have too many open looks (early on).”
A full-court defensive press in the second half played havoc on the Indians and drew the offense to nearly a halt. Portage (5-3, 1-2 DAC) scored just three points in the third quarter and 11 points total in the second half.
With just over six minutes left in the third quarter, Puntillo’s steal and layup drew the Trojans within one at 16-15. Chesterton took its first lead of the game 18-16 on Kassidy Scott’s 3-pointer just over two minutes later. The Trojans never trailed again in the game.
Puntillo finished with a game-high 18 points and went 13-for-14 from the free-throw line. Lipscomb added 13, shooting 5-for-6 from the floor and 3-for-4 from behind the arc.
Kaitlin Doud led Portage with 11 points in the loss and was the only Indians player in double-digits. Kaitlyn Steers added nine points and five rebounds.