MERRILLVILLE | With 31.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Chesterton's Rhyss Lewis went to the free- throw line to shoot the front end of a one-and-one. His Trojans led by two against a fired-up Andrean team.
The ball left his fingers and hit iron and rimmed out. Then, the whistle blew. Andrean's Amari Sherrod was called for a lane violation. Of course, Lewis hit the next two free throws and The Times No. 6 Trojans survived the 59ers 61-56.
Chesterton coach Tom Peller, a 1979 Andrean grad, was happy to come home, but even happier with the win.
"This game was like a roller coaster," Peller said. "Some good. Some bad. But we had enough good to get the win."
Peller, a teammate of 59er great Dan Dakich, said he is always happy to return to his alma mater. But he was probably wondering why he was there when the 59ers (5-6) took a 16-9 lead after one quarter.
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But the Chesterton defense picked it up a notch in the second quarter. And Ray Yagelski started hanging the nets off Broadway. He nailed two 3-pointers in the second quarter and hit another in the third to get a little breathing room.
But the 'Niners would not go away.
"I love this gym," Chesterton's Niles Dilosa said after scoring 11 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter to give the Trojans (9-5) a boost. "It's small. The crowd is always loud. It's a fun place to play.
"I was thinking about this game all day. And I really didn't want to lose this game."
Evan Galindo hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter for Andrean, while Curtis Jones and Sherrod were scoring points in the frame as well. But coach Scott Hicko didn't get what he wanted defensively.
"We've got to get out on their shooters," Hicko said before the game. "And they've got a bunch of them."
Lewis hit one 3-pointer, Dilosa had two and Yagelski had three, which was big.
"We got a lot of good things from some guys, Ray hitting those shots in the second quarter was big," Peller said. "We've just got a lot of work to do and we'll get to it."
Yagelski scored 12 for the Trojans and Lewis had nine, but missed a lot of shots in the game.
Sherrod scored 15 points for the 59ers, Colin Flowers had 11 as did Jones and Galindo had 10.