Coach Jordan Heckard stressed the importance of a good start before Friday’s game at Crown Point. He got the opposite. La Porte was held scoreless until the 3:13 mark of the first quarter while the Bulldogs were scoring the game’s first 15 points. La Porte ran off the next 5, cutting the lead to 10 but that was as close as the Slicers would get all evening falling 68-51.
Crown Point sharpshooter AJ Lux scored 14 of his game-high 26 points in that first period, hitting 4 of his 6 three-pointers in the opening quarter. La Porte trailed 24-9 after one.
The game evened out in the second and third quarters with CP leading 35-18 at the half and 50-31 after three quarters. Both coaches substituted liberally in the fourth period.
The Slicers were led in scoring by Ja’ Meriyon Cross’ with 10 points. Kyle Kirkham, saddled with foul trouble before fouling out halfway thru the fourth, had 9 points. Malik Corley and Dylan Salisbury each finished with 8, RJ Anglin chipped in 5 while Tommy Samuelson had 4 points. Brennan Balka, hit a three-pointer and Dominic Thomson hit both of his free throws.
This was Crown Point’s ninth straight win over La Porte. The Slicers last defeated the Bulldogs 58-53 in 2014. LP’s last win at Crown Point was in 2010.
The Bulldog’s Conner Cotton had 9 points. He is the son of Slicer baseball Hall of Famer and basketball standout Jason Cotton.
Crown Point honored their 1998 regional championship team, the first year of class basketball. They are the only Bulldog team to win a regional. La Porte was in that semi-state, falling to Elkhart Central in the morning game. Crown Point lost to Marion in their semi-state opener.
Dylan Salisbury was named the Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Player of the Game.
The Slicers, who are 10-6 and 1-3 in the DAC, get right back into it tonight at Slicer gym. The Concord Minutemen come to town JV tipoff is 5:15. The Varsity game follows with a scheduled 6:45 start.
JV TEAM FALLS 66-40
The Junior Varsity game was a preview of the Varsity game. La Pore fell behind 21-4 after one quarter and never challenged before falling 66-40. Kevin Konieczny led LP with 10 points, Sawyer Tonagel had 9, and Eli Taylor finished with 8.
Photos courtesy of Susan Anglin.