Big picture: The Valparaiso boys basketball team overcame foul trouble and a stubborn Michigan City squad to pull out a 51-45 win on the road Friday in Duneland Athletic Conference action. Bethel College recruit Nate Aerts led the Vikings with 15 points and seven rebounds while Purdue recruit Brandon Newman added 14 points in just 21 minutes of action. Newman picked up his fourth foul less than a minute into the third quarter.
Turning point: Michigan City trailed 36-30 to start the fourth quarter, but the Wolves scored the first five points of the quarter to cut the deficit to one.
With the lead slipping away, Newman delivered his biggest shot of the night, knocking down his lone 3-pointer to push the lead to 39-35. The Wolves wouldn't go quietly, but Newman shook off his foul trouble and continued to make plays down the stretch, including a nifty entry pass to a cutting Colton Jones that gave the Vikings a five-point lead with less than two minutes remaining.
Valparaiso player of the game: Senior point guard Colin Walls - While Newman and Aerts dominated the scoring, Walls made all the little plays for the Vikings, The Times' No. 1 team. Walls had five points, three rebounds and five assists, plus he drew four fouls. On a night where fouls wrecked havoc on the lineup, Walls led the Vikings with 29 minutes.
Michigan City player of the game: Senior forward Jaivion Reid - He led the Wolves with 14 points and two assists. Reid connected on all seven of his free-throw attempts and hit a key 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter to bring the Wolves within one.
Quote: "We called for base hits. It was about getting stops and scores, not trying to make any hero plays," Newman said of holding off Michigan City in the fourth quarter.
Beyond the box score: The Vikings displayed offensive balance as eight of their nine players scored. With Michigan City doing everything it could to take Newman out of the game, Valparaiso's role players delivered in the early stages of the game.
Up next: South Bend Washington (7-6) at Valparaiso (10-4, 2-0), 6:30 p.m. Saturday; Munster (11-1) at Michigan City (7-7, 0-2), 7 p.m. Tuesday.