Warriors nears perfection
Twenty down, one to go. Bishop Noll cleared its penultimate hurdle to an undefeated regular season with an 82-69 victory over East Chicago in front of a house that was both packed and raucous.
The Warriors now have just one remaining game against rival Andrean standing between them and a perfect regular-season record. If the Warriors (or Munster) can run the table, it will be the first time a region boys team has accomplished that feat since Valparaiso did it in 1994.
"To be honest, it would be nice to run the table," said Bishop Noll coach Drew Trost. "But Andrean is a big-time rivalry and this is one time I don't think it's a cliché to say that we're only going to be worried about beating Andrean."
The unblemished record looked rather precarious early as East Chicago scored the first nine points of the game. The Cardinals looked anything but intimidated in the Bishop Noll gym. It wasn't until Adonis Filer hit a pair of free throws at the 4:56 mark of the quarter that the Warriors were finally able to crack the scoreboard.
Bishop Noll took its first lead at 18-16 when Filer scored the first two of his 14 second-quarter points. Filer accounted for half of the Warriors' 28-point outburst in the quarter and it included a pair of 3-pointers and a thunderous dunk. Filer's only misstep was a miss off the back of the rim on a second dunk attempt that sailed into the rafters, but Noll still claimed the 41-33 halftime advantage.
"Filer went to the hole at will," said EC coach Abe Brown. "Somebody had to man up. I told the kids that us five coaches can't do it, you've got to do it."
The Warriors blew the game open in the third quarter with 21 more points in the quarter. The Cardinals actually cut the lead to just four points at 43-39 early in the quarter, but Filer responded with another basket, then a steal and an assist on Ronnye Beamon's 3-pointer and East Chicago never got any closer.
"We didn't play well in the beginning and we didn't play well at the end, but there was bout 20 minutes in the middle of the game where I though we played really well," Trost said.
Filer led all scorers with 26 points, while Beamon finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. East Chicago (12-6) got 22 points from Anthony Williams, who hit 13-of-14 from the free-throw line.