Thompson's 34 points leads Merrillville to 54-48 win over Bulldogs at Crown Point

A USA-365.com Special Report  by Mark Smith
01-23-2020

Team /Record 1 2 3 4 Final
MERRILLVILLE (5-7) 15 15 12 12 54
CROWN POINT (6-6) 12 15 13 8 48

Friday, January 17, 2020 - Duneland Athletic Conference game at CROWN POINT, Ind.

Former Merrillville player Bo Patton talks to the team during his first CP-Merrillville game at the Pirates' head coach last Friday. (All photos by Mark Smith)
There are secret spots to watch the big CP-Merrillville contest last Friday but only CP students know them.
CP's David Brown (34) looks to move the ball against Merrillville sophomore Lavonta Ash (35). Brown had a solid game for the Bulldogs against Merrillville with 10 points and seven rebounds.
The riddle for anyone in the CP white uniforms was what to do with Merrillville junior Keon Thompson (5). Ty Smith (2) eyes the Pirates' star in second quarter action.
CP's Miles Lubbers (22) lines up a free shot against Merrillville. CP was only 8 of 17 from the foul line in a 54-48 loss.
Popcorn is a crucial aspect of basketball-watching and even intense game watchers needed some for the CP-Merrillville contest.
CP's Jake Oostman (42) sets a screen for junior teammate Ty Smith last Friday. Merrillville came into the game with a three-game losing streak.
CP's Ben Uran (31), David Brown (30) and Ty Smith (12) keep their eyes on Merrillville guard Keon Thompson (5) during the annual Merrillville-CP-Merrillville game last Friday night.
Merrillville senior Jaylen Bandy (0) chases CP guard Ty Smith (12) last Friday. Smith led CP, but with just 12 points.
Merrillville star Keon Thompson (5) rises up for a jump shot over CP's Miles Lubbers (22). Thompson scored 34 as the Pirates won 54-48.
The 'cell phone brigade' was in position up near the ceiling of the CP gym Friday night as Crown Point and Merrillville battled far below. They surely will be back this coming Friday when the Bulldog boys and girls take on Chesterton Friday night beginning at 5:30 p.m. (All photos by Mark Smith)
 

Copyright © 2019 USA-365.com and Meyer Multimedia Services, a division of Meyer Broadcasting Corp.  All rights reserved.
Revised: January 23, 2020 .

 

MERRILLVILLE (54) Juwan Bandy 1-0-3, Austin Powell 1-0-2, Dylan Coty 1-0-2, Dorian Harris 2-0-6, LaVonta Ash 1-0-2, Ajanen Dixon 2-1-5, Keon Thompson 12-6-34, Jaylen Bandy 0-0-0 . TOTALS: 20 (7-13) 54.

CROWN POINT (48) Ty Smith 5-2-12, Drew Adzia 2-0-6, David Brown 5-0-10, Jake Oostman 3-0-6, Miles Lubbers 1-2-5, Ben Uran 1-4-6, Darren Roach 1-0-3. TOTALS: 18 (8-17) 48.

FREE THROWS: MERRILLVILLE (7-13, 53.8%) Thompson 6-9, Dixon 1-4; CROWN POINT (8-17, 47.1%) Smith 2-3, Uran 4-11, Lubbers 2-2.

3-GOALS: MERRILLVILLE (7 of 27, 25.9%) Keon Thompson 4, Dorian Harris 2, Juwan Bandy. CROWN POINT (5-13, 38.5%) Ty Smith 2, Miles Lubbers, Darren Roach.

FOULED OUT: None.

 

 

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CROWN POINT (01-17-2020) When you play a team that makes seven of 27 three point shots and seven of 13 free throw attempts against you, your team should win.

So certainly, Crown Point let an opportunity get away in their Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) matchup with neighbor and rival Merrillville last Friday. But the Pirates had Keon Thompson, the 6-foot-2 junior guard who leads this part of the state in scoring. That plus a little hard-playing desperation let the Pirates (5-7) escape Crown Point with a much need 54-48 victory.

“Their defensive pressure bothered us,” said CP coach Clint Swan.” We had some shots that didn’t go down. They scored when they needed to and we didn't.”
 
“They mixed it (the defensive pressure up) more than Michigan City did. They went zone and man. But it wasn't what they did or we did before half-court, it was what we didn’t do in the half-court. There were good shots to be had and we didn’t get them.”

New Merrillville coach Bo Patton has clearly run out of superlatives for Thompson, who scored 34 of his team’s 54 points and grabbed nine rebounds on top of it.

“He’s very humble,” said Patton, the former Merrillville player who replaced longtime coach TJ Lux, who retired after last season. “He (Thompson) is unselfish. I know that sounds funny when he scores 34. But he’ll do whatever it takes to win. I'm just blessed to be able to coach a kid like that.”

“Tonight I thought he was a very willing passer. He put the other kids in position to score. Then when it's time for him to take the ball, he takes the ball.”

Thompson scored 20 in the first half against CP's man-to-man and zone defenses. CP led 10-2 early, but trailed 25-19 in the middle of the second quarter in a surprisingly slow-paced game between two teams that like to push the ball up the floor.

But the Bulldogs, who had won three in a row, made just 7-of-18 from the floor in the second half. Other than three baskets by 6-foot-4 junior David Brown, the home team couldn’t find a hot hand in front of about 700 fans on a cold, snowy January night.

Every time CP seemed poised to mount a threat, a turnover or a missed shot kept the Bulldogs (6-6) on the dark side of the scoreboard.

Thompson, who averaged 23 a game last season, scored nine in the fourth quarter and he got to the foul line multiple times. The Pirate star actually should have scored more than 34, but he was just 6-of-9 from the line.

Swan probably isn’t the first coach to be disappointed in his team’s defensive showing against Thompson.

“We let him get into space too much,” said Swan. “He hit some tough shots. He’s a great player. We failed. Hopefully we can do a better job next time.”

After wins over New Albany (8-5), Penn (6-5) and Michigan City (8-3), there was some Crown Point disappointment in losing to a Merrillville team (5-7) that has found wins hard to come by this season. Swan didn't want to hear that.

“We need to be careful that we don't put all our stock in what the other team does. We’re going to look at this one tonight and evaluate ourselves. We want to win tomorrow but we want to evaluate ourselves.”

DOG NOTES: Crown Point bounced back Saturday night with a 58-42 nonconference victory at Griffith.

The Bulldogs have a 7:30 p.m. rematch this Friday with Chesterton (13-1) as the nightcap of a girls/boys double-header. CP lost to Chesterton 44-35 in the Noblesville Holiday tournament. The girls game, a 5:30 p.m. dinner time matchup of Crown Point (21-0, 6-0 DAC) and Chesterton (16-3, 5-1), is the for Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) championship. A Chesterton upset would create a three way first place title tie with CP, Chesterton and Portage (16-5, 5-1).

Keon Thompson’s 34 points included the 1,000th point of his Merrillville career. The 6-foot-2 junior averages 32.4 points per game this season.

Merrillville senior Jaylen Bandy is a transfer from Gary West Side and this was his first CP-Merrillville rivalry game.

“I don’t believe in rivalries,” he said. “I want to beat everybody.”

I asked if he especially wanted beat nearby charter school Bowman Academy when he was at West Side. Bowman gets some students from the West Side school district.

“I wanted to beat all the Gary schools, Bandy insisted.”

USA-365.com/Indiana-Sports.com Broadcast Note: Our next USA-365.com/Indiana-Sports.com broadcast comes Friday, Jan. 24 when Crown Point hosts Chesterton for a DAC girls-boys double-header in high school basketball. Our live coverage starts with the girls pregame show at 5:15 p.m. and tip-off at 5:30 p.m. The boys game tips off at 7:30 p.m. CST.


CLASS SECTIONAL JOHNHARRELL.NET PAST YEARS
4A 2 COLORS: RED, WHITE MAP TO SCHOOL 7-6
TOURNAMENT HISTORY GYM: 3800
CROWN POINT
BULLDOGS
Coach: Clint Swan, 190-126 in 14th year at school, 328-198 in 23rd year overall
DATE OPPONENT CENTRAL TIME OA 55.2, DA 52.5
Nov. 27   Bowman Academy 2A L 51 60    
Dec. 7   Penn 4A W 71 67    
Dec. 10 at East Chicago Central 4A W 65 59    
Dec. 14 at Warsaw 4A L 38 50    
Dec. 20   Munster 4A L 28 41    
Dec. 27 at Noblesville 4A L 43 48   tournament
Dec. 27 N New Albany 4A W 62 54   tournament
Dec. 28 N Chesterton 4A L 35 44   tournament
Jan. 3   Kankakee Valley 3A W 88 45    
Jan. 4 at West Lafayette 3A W 61 50    
Jan. 10 at Michigan City 4A © W 70 68    
Jan. 17   Merrillville 4A © L 48 54    
Jan. 18 at Griffith 3A W 58 42    
Jan. 24   Chesterton 4A © 7:00 pm    
Jan. 31 at LaPorte 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 1   South Bend Washington 3A 7:00 pm    
Feb. 6   Portage 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 11   Andrean 2A 7:00 pm    
Feb. 14 at Valparaiso 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 21   Lake Central 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 22   McCutcheon 4A 5:30 pm    
Feb. 25 at Hammond Morton 4A 7:00 pm    
Feb. 28 at Lowell 4A 7:00 pm    
© DUNELAND CONFERENCE GAME

CLASS SECTIONAL JOHNHARRELL.NET PAST YEARS
4A 1 COLORS: PURPLE, WHITE MAP TO SCHOOL 5-8
TOURNAMENT HISTORY GYM: 2800
MERRILLVILLE
PIRATES
Coach: Bo Patton, 5-8 in 1st year at school
DATE OPPONENT CENTRAL TIME OA 62.5, DA 61.2
Nov. 29 at East Chicago Central 4A W 59 49    
Nov. 30   Fort Wayne Snider 4A L 56 81    
Dec. 7 at South Bend Riley 4A W 64 55    
Dec. 10   Hammond Morton 4A W 84 62    
Dec. 14 at Andrean 2A L 63 69    
Dec. 17 at Griffith 3A L 51 58    
Dec. 20 at Indianapolis Attucks 4A L 60 79    
Dec. 27 N New Haven 4A L 80 85   tournament
Dec. 27 N Warren Central 4A L 56 62   tournament
Dec. 28 N Jay County 3A W 91 31   tournament
Jan. 11   Chesterton 4A © L 53 56    
Jan. 17 at Crown Point 4A © W 54 48    
Jan. 18   Munster 4A L 42 60    
Jan. 24   Portage 4A © 7:00 pm    
Jan. 31   Valparaiso 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 1   Lowell 4A 7:00 pm    
Feb. 6   Lake Central 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 14 at LaPorte 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 21 at Michigan City 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 22 at Hobart 4A 7:00 pm    
Feb. 28 at Penn 4A 7:00 pm    
© DUNELAND CONFERENCE GAME

Crown Point's Next Opponent:

CLASS SECTIONAL JOHNHARRELL.NET PAST YEARS
4A 2 COLORS: MAROON, GOLD MAP TO SCHOOL 13-1
TOURNAMENT HISTORY GYM: 4886
CHESTERTON
TROJANS
Coach: Marc Urban, 69-21 in 4th year at school
DATE OPPONENT CENTRAL TIME OA 61.4, DA 46.4
Nov. 30   Andrean 2A W 61 48    
Dec. 4 at Hammond Morton 4A W 66 50    
Dec. 7 at Lowell 4A W 64 40    
Dec. 14 at Elkhart Memorial 4A W 65 49    
Dec. 17   East Chicago Central 4A W 57 30    
Dec. 20 at Gary 21st Century 1A W 50 48    
Dec. 21 N South Bend Washington 3A W 59 45    
Dec. 27 N Fort Wayne Blackhawk 2A L 56 67   tournament
Dec. 27 N Andrean 2A W 60 49   tournament
Dec. 28 N Crown Point 4A W 44 35   tournament
Jan. 7 at Hammond Noll 2A W 76 54    
Jan. 11 at Merrillville 4A © W 56 53    
Jan. 14   Hobart 4A W 78 37    
Jan. 17   LaPorte 4A © W 67 44    
Jan. 24 at Crown Point 4A © 7:00 pm    
Jan. 25   South Bend Adams 4A 5:30 pm    
Jan. 31 at Lake Central 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 6   Michigan City 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 14 at Portage 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 15 at Munster 4A 7:00 pm    
Feb. 18   Hammond 3A 7:00 pm    
Feb. 21   Valparaiso 4A © 7:00 pm    
Feb. 28   Gary West 4A 7:00 pm    
© DUNELAND CONFERENCE GAME

DUNELAND
ALL TIMES CENTRAL
  CONF AG OA DA AM Streak
Chesterton 2-  0 13-  1 61.4 46.4 15.0 Won 6
Michigan City 1-  1 8-  4 68.5 62.3 6.3 Lost 1
Lake Central 1-  1 9-  5 57.4 48.9 8.6 Won 3
Valparaiso 1-  1 9-  6 55.4 52.2 3.2 Lost 2
Crown Point 1-  1 7-  6 55.2 52.5 2.8 Won 1
LaPorte 1-  1 7-  6 63.4 63.9 -0.5 Lost 1
Merrillville 1-  1 5-  8 62.5 61.2 1.4 Lost 1
Portage 0-  2 5-10 57.3 57.2 0.1 Won 1
Tuesday, Jan. 14
Chesterton 78, Hobart 37
Hammond 78, Portage 44
Lake Central 53, Highland 34
LaPorte LaLumiere 89, Michigan City 54
Friday, Jan. 17
Chesterton 67, LaPorte 44 ©
Lake Central 69, Portage 52 ©
Merrillville 54, Crown Point 48 ©
Michigan City 64, Valparaiso 57 ©
Saturday, Jan. 18
Boone Grove 55, Portage 42
Crown Point 58, Griffith 42
Munster 60, Merrillville 42
Washington 77, Valparaiso 56
Tuesday, Jan. 21
Lake Central 63, Lowell 62, OT
Munster 63, Michigan City 42
Portage 94, Whiting 48
Friday, Jan. 24
Chesterton at Crown Point © , 7 pm
Michigan City at LaPorte © , 7 pm
Portage at Merrillville © , 7 pm
Valparaiso at Lake Central © , 7:45 pm
Saturday, Jan. 25
Adams at Chesterton, 5:30 pm
Friday, Jan. 31
Chesterton at Lake Central © , 7 pm
Crown Point at LaPorte © , 7 pm
Portage at Michigan City © , 7 pm
Valparaiso at Merrillville © , 7 pm
Saturday, Feb. 1
South Side at Michigan City, 4 pm
Hammond at Lake Central, 7 pm
LaPorte at Concord, 6:45 pm
Lowell at Merrillville, 7 pm
Munster at Valparaiso, 7 pm
Portage at Kankakee Valley, 7 pm
Washington at Crown Point, 7 pm
© Conference game