FORT WAYNE – After winning the school’s first-ever regional title last week, the arrangement won’t change much for Homestead in preparation for its first-ever semistate appearance.
The Spartans (20-7) face No. 8 Lake Central (21-3) in the Lafayette Jeff Semistate after upsetting No. 3 Hamilton Southeastern and Kokomo in the Marion Regional last week.
It’s been a pretty simple formula for Homestead.
Coach (Chris Johnson) watches film and he tells us the tendencies of the players and the plays they run, Homestead sophomore Tahj Curry said. We just go out there and do what he tells us, and we play hard.
The players may not know a lot about the Indians, who are riding an eight-game winning streak that includes a 57-55 win over Penn in the regional finals, but Johnson certainly does.
Johnson said he sees Lake Central as an experienced team with seven seniors, quick guards and one big-time big man in Butler recruit Tyler Wideman.
They are very similar to what we saw in the last two games, Johnson said of Hamilton Southeastern and Kokomo. Their kids are playing hard, playing together and playing hard defensively. They are playing with a lot of intensity. Add that with a lot of talent, and you are going to find success.
The 6-foot-7, 245-pound Wideman is averaging 15.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
I know they have a good big man who is going to Butler, that’s about it, Homestead sophomore Ben Skowronek said of Lake Central.
Skowronek said the coaches will prepare a detailed scouting report, with the team going through it during a walk-through.
The Spartans just haven’t been intimidated by any of their postseason opponents en route to making school history.
I am not surprised, Curry said of the team’s postseason success. We believe we can compete with anybody in the state. Our seniors, Ryan (Cotter) and Joe (Ault), help us get through a lot of things. We believe in each other, and we believe in ourselves.
Lake Central built a 15-point lead against Penn in the regional finals before the Kingsmen tied the game. The Indians won it, 57-55, when Wideman, who scored 16 points, got a layup with three seconds remaining.
We are confident right now, but we still aren’t satisfied, Skowronek said.
We still want to win state. We have faced adversity, but we haven’t let that bother us. We just fight through that, and we came together at the right time. We definitely build on the positive things. That’s been great for us.
So far, so good.