WESTVILLE – Jordan Kindred's Chrisman teammates know the senior guard is going to attract more than his share of attention from opposing defenses. They also know that when that happens they must step up and knock down shots.
Now if the Cardinals can just figure out how to close out games, coach Shawn Nugent and his staff would sleep much easier.
Kindred and his teammates did their job offensively Tuesday night in a Vermilion Valley Conference game against Westville. Chrisman (8-0, 3-0) built double-digit leads three times against the Tigers only to see them roar back to within six points twice in the second half before posting a hard-fought 70-62 victory.
Kindred tallied a game-high 28 points on 6-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc and junior Logan Ross added 19 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, to help hold off Brandon Glascott and a Westville team still trying to find its legs.
"It's always a tough game with Westville, especially up here," Kindred said. "We always have those letdowns, and it just kills us. We talk about it all the time in practice. We'll get better."
Eliminating the lapses like the one that allowed Westville (3-1, 2-1) to climb back into the game is a top priority for Nugent and his team. The Cardinals led 33-24 at halftime and 37-24 one minute into the third quarter, but Westville whittled the lead to six on a Glascott layup late in the quarter.
The Cardinals went on another run, powered by three Kindred treys, to claim a 60-41 advantage with 5 minutes, 17 seconds to play.
The Tigers again clawed their way back, closing to within 10 twice, but they ran out of steam in the final minutes.
"We laid back a little bit, and they came up on us," Ross said. "That's what we've been working on in practice. We slack off at the end every day. We need to close strong."
Sophomore Zack Parsons added 10 points for Chrisman, which forced 21 Westville turnovers. Kindred added seven assists and five steals.
"They (Westville) are a lot better this year, and I'm kind of glad we got them here early because once those guys get their court legs underneath them they are going to be pretty good," Nugent said. "We have been talking to our guys lately about how we've got to do a better job of staying focused to the end. That's something we're going to continue working on."
Glascott led three Tigers in double figures with 25 points and added eight rebounds. Dustin Billings netted 15 points and Derek Elliott 13.
Westville coach Jeff Millis ex-pects the Tigers to play better once they get into basketball shape. Most of the team still is running on football legs after the Tigers' extended playoff run.
"Offensively I thought we were about a 50-50 team tonight," Millis said. "When we executed, made three or four passes, we were able to score. The problem was we turned the ball over. That comes down, in my opinion, to a lack of repetition in practice. We're going to get better."
Salt Fork 61, A-P 57
The score was tied at the end of the first half (25-25), third quarter (36-36) and regulation (53-53), but the host Storm ended the stalemate in overtime.
The Storm's Jon Knoll scored 10 of his game-high 19 points in the second period. Teammates Bryn Eakle (14 points) and Joel Learnard (11 points) also reached double figures.
Kalob Creighton led Armstrong-Potomac with 16 points, and Matt Carter chipped in with 14.
G-RF 47, Oakwood 41
Chase Vire's 12 second-half points helped Georgetown-Ridge Farm erase a 28-18 halftime deficit. He finished with a game-high 16, and Brandon O'Hair added 12.
Justin Jones paced the visiting Comets with 14 points.
Hoopeston Area 52, Schlarman 46
The Cornjerkers' Clayton Snyder posted a game-high 16 points, and Brock Baker finished with 14.
Brian Payton scored 10 points to lead the Hilltoppers.