Faltering in the fourth: City falls at Munster
MUNSTER — Michigan City boys basketball coach John Boyd is a believer in his team making pressure its friend.
For more than three quarters of Wednesday night’s non-conference road contest against Munster, the Wolves were grace under pressure, dictating the offensive pace of the game and carrying a seven-point lead into the final period.
However, City was unable to close out the game – committing its share of turnovers down the stretch and scoring just two points over the final eight minutes, which allowed the Mustangs to rediscover their offensive edge and come away with a 51-46 victory over the Wolves.
Lost in the effort for City (4-10) was a 19-for-39 shooting performance, which featured a game-high 16-point performance from senior Alex Thomas and a 12-point effort on four 3-pointers from sophomore Daijon Reddix.
“I told the kids that you have to invite pressure,” Boyd said. “You have to make pressure your friend so that you can learn to handle it. If you’re ever going to win against good teams, there’s a lot of pressure. We turned the ball over a lot toward the end; you have to be patient.
“For three quarters and with three minutes left, we were right there. But Munster is a team that knows how to win. You have to be able to find the open man at the end of games, and Munster was able to do that. We were less aggressive toward the end of the game.”
By contrast, the Wolves were aggressive almost immediately. They took their first lead at 4-3 and regained the lead at 10-9 with 2:17 left in the first quarter and held that lead until Munster (11-3) regained the lead for good at 47-46 with 3:01 to play in regulation.
City held a 15-9 lead after the first quarter, a 25-23 advantage at halftime and led 44-37 after three periods of play.
When the Mustangs began their recovery, it came on the heels of seven fourth-quarter points by Josh Davis (14 points) who canned three of Munster nine three-point baskets. The behind-the-arc shooting was about the only consistent thread in the Mustang offensive until the closing minutes of regulation.
“Michigan City was giving it to us for three quarters and scoring at will,” said Munster coach and Michigan City alum Mike Hackett. “For whatever reason, we were lacking intensity and energy. It picked up in the fourth quarter, especially on the defensive end.
“It was like pulling teeth in those first three quarters; I couldn’t my kids to play hard. You have to give City credit. They made a lot of good shots. We anticipated that City would play at a faster pace, and they didn’t do that. It threw us for a loop, but I’m happy we were able to pick it up in the fourth.”
Boyd said playing a local Indiana team, albeit more than 30 miles away, was a nice change of pace from the plethora of out-of-state schools that Wolves have played as of late.
“What I will say is that it’s good to take a step forward,” he said. “This our first game back taking on a local team after traveling across the country. For the first three quarters we were in attack mode, but our lack of experience is something we have to keep working at overcoming. We’re fighters.”
MUNSTER 51, MICHIGAN CITY 46
Michigan City`15`10`19`2`– 46
Tyler Zabrecky 4 2-3 14, Eric Jerge 0 2-2 2, Jevon Morris 4 0-0 9, Josh Davis 4 3-3 14, Greg Charles 0 0-0 0, Tommy Maloney 1 3-4 6, Luka Balac 0 0-0 0, Blake Stepanovich 1 0-0 2, Nick Fies 2 0-0 4, Scott Farmer 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 10-12 51.
MICHIGAN CITY (46)
Keyshawn McGill 0 0-0 0, William Haynard 1 0-0 2, Chamar Sherrod 1 0-0 2, Donye Grant 0 0-0 0, Jaivion Reed 2 2-2 6, Alexander Thomas 7 2-2 16, Daejon Reddix 4 0-0 12, Rayshon Howard 3 0-0 6, William Hanyard 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 4-4 46.
3-pointers: (M) Zabrecky 4, Davis 3, Morris 1, Maloney 1; (MC) Reddix 4.