Marc Urban isn’t a
Cubs fan, but he understands.
“I’m glad I’m not a
Cubs fan,” Urban said. “I know it was 100 and some years for them. It had
been a long time for this community too.”
The Chesterton boys
basketball team ended a 32-year drought of its own in picking up a 35-30
IHSAA Sectional Championship victory over Valparaiso at Portage High School
“I’m really proud
of our guys,” Urban said. “There was no doubt after we lost the first time
to these guys that this was our goal. To these guys credit, they did it
together and made it happen.”
The Trojans lost
67-39 on Feb. 15 to the Vikings.
“We were really
honest after the first game,” Urban said. “We told them they weren’t going
to like what they were going to hear, but they had to man-up and get better.
They listened. Then it was ‘why not us’?”
In a slugfest,
defensive game, the Trojans threw the first punch in building an 11-1 first
quarter lead. Travis Grayson scored five points and Drew Vanderwoude scored
four in the period.
“I didn’t think it
had to be 35-30, but it was going to be a possession game,” Urban said. “I
thought the score didn’t matter, it was going to come down to what we did
The Vikings rallied
back in the second quarter to get its only lead of the night, 17-16, before
Jake Wadding scored the final four points of the half for a 20-17 Chesterton
“Jake is a team
player,” Urban said. “He plays within what we do and he kept it simple
tonight. He made plays when he had to.”
defensive lockdown continued in the third quarter as they held Valpo without
a basket and allowed just four shots from the field.
“We got in some
early foul trouble and our guys that came off the bench had to step in and
make plays, and they did,” Urban said. “In the second half, Jack Eaton did a
great job individually on (Valpo’s Brandon Newman), but our guys off the
ball really kept everyone in front of us. And we did a heckuva job on the
The lead grew to
28-21 after a Vanderwoude free throw before the Vikings made another charge
and got within 31-30 with 37.1 seconds to play.
Eaton’s two free
throws with 32.1 seconds left pushed the lead to 33-30. Newman’s triple from
the right wing bounced high off the rim and sent Tyler Nelson to the line
with 4.7 seconds left.
Nelson buried both
free throws, sending the raucous crowd into a frenzy.
possession by possession,” Urban said. “We made some timely plays and as a
group they just weren’t going to lose tonight.”
a full-court Valpo pass and dribbled out the final ticks on the clock.
“It’s a big deal to
the school, the program and the community,” Urban said. “We have a great
community and it’s a great town. I know there are people that have played
here in the past that are really excited this happened tonight.”
The Trojans hit on
11-of-27 shots (41 percent) from the floor, turned the ball over just eight
times and outrebounded Valpo 23-22.
“Valpo is so good
in transition and we were turning it over at such an incredible rate coming
into tonight, I told the guys ‘just get a shot’,” Urban said. “As stupid as
it sounds, if we could get a shot they couldn’t throw a home run ball on us.
“We’ve shot the
ball great in practice and horrible (at Portage). We told them they just
have to keep shooting and ring the bell. If you’re open and in rhythm, let
it fly. We hit some big ones.”
Valpo hit on just
9-of-34 shots (26 percent) from the field.
“We tried to force
guys not named Newman and Aerts make plays and be uncomfortable doing it,”
The Trojans will
face off against Penn on Saturday in the IHSAA Michigan City Regional at 10
a.m. Northridge and Munster will follow.
Travis Grayson 3-6
0-0 7, Kolton Cardenas 2-3 0-0 5, Jack Eaton 1-1 4-4 7, Nick Mullen 1-2 0-0
2, Jake Wadding 2-7 2-3 6, Tyler Nelson 0-3 2-2 2, Sean Elliott 0-1 0-0 0,
Alex Schmidt 0-2 0-0 0, Jake Warren 0-0 0-0 0, Drew Vanderwoude 2-2 2-4 6.
Totals 11-27 10-13 35.
Brandon Newman 1-11
7-8 9, Colin Walls 0-1 0-0 0, Max Otterbacher 1-2 0-0 2, Nathan Aerts 3-11
3-3 9, Jacob Evans 1-1 0-0 2, CJ Opperman 1-2 0-0 3, Cooper Jones 1-3 0-0 2,
Colton Jones 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 9-34 10-11 30.
goals: Chesterton 2-8 (Grayson 1-2, Cardenas 1-1, Mullen 0-1, Wadding 0-1,
Nelson 0-1, Schmidt 0-2); Valparaiso 2-13 (Newman 0-6, Walls 0-2, Aerts 0-3,
Opperman 1-1, Col. Jones 1-2). Rebounds: Chesterton 23 (Wadding 9);
Valparaiso 22 (Newman 10). Assists: Chesterton 5 (Vanderwoude 2); Valparaiso
4 (Newman 3). Steals: Chesterton 1 (Vanderwoude 1); Valparaiso 5 (Newman 2).