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HIGHLAND — Fans would've thought the Highland Trojans would've been screaming and dancing and talking about going to Disney World about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday night.

The Trojans beat Lake Central 42-40, snapping a 12-game losing streak against the Indians.

But coach Jordan Heckard saw something different in the eyes of his players as they ran into their locker room after the win.

The cold, dead stare of an assassin with another job to do.

"We haven't beat Munster since 2001," Heckard said, "and we play them on Thursday."

It looked like Mike Hackett's entire staff took in the game at Highland and they saw a dandy.

The Trojans (8-5) jumped out to a 10-point lead midway through the opening quarter. The Times No. 5 Indians chipped away at the lead for the next hour and a half.

But when Justin Graciano's runner rimmed out inside of five seconds to go and Conner Tomasic's follow also bounced out, it was appropriate that Highland's 6-foot-3 senior forward Nick Thompson grabbed the winning rebound.

Heckard talked about this team coming to many rivalry games between the two schools and his players watching the Trojans getting pounded by 20 and 30 points.

"We knew the history," Thompson said. "Coach told us the last two days. We play Munster next and we haven't beaten them for forever. We have to take the same energy into that game.

"But this was really nice."

Thompson had 16 points and nine rebounds, leading his team. Tyler Scheidt added nine and Tyler Brankin had eight.

Lake Central, which had won 7 of 9 games, was 1 of 10 from beyond the arc in the first half and 1 of 3 in the second. The Trojans had five bombs in the game.

"Our ball movement was not good," a frustrated Lake Central coach Dave Milausnic said. "This has now become a week that defines us. How are we going to respond to adversity?

"I knew this game was going to be a grind."

Keon Sellers led the Indians with 12 points, Graciano added 11 and Tomasic had 10.

Lake Central shot 17 of 41 from the field.

Could this be the week where the Trojans snap two streaks? The Munster one is getting close to a Joe DiMaggio length.

"I can't even explain this," Thompson said. "I've lost a lot as you know. This is a very big win and we need to take the energy into that game.

"This was our biggest win of the year against a good team. (Munster) gives us another chance. Energy won this game, flat out.

"Now, we have to take that into Munster."


Sports Reporter

Steve has won awards during two different stints at The Times. In addition to being the Prep Beat columnist, he covers football, boys basketball and boys track. He is a long-suffering Cubs fan.