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It was dubbed Pack the Place Night Friday at Lemont for its South Suburban Blue showdown with Bremen and the home stands were packed.
But the way things have been going for the Indians the past two seasons, every time they play at home the home side is packed.
“Quite frankly, I didn’t even notice a difference,” Lemont coach Rick Runaas said. “We’ve had this kind of support all year.”
The Indians won their 18th straight home game and put on a show with as 62-44 victory over the Braves. They led 61-28 with 5:44 left in the game before the coach emptied the bench.
The last time the Indians (18-2 overall, 7-1 in the conference) lost at home was in a regional contest against Julian Feb. 28, 2011.
“We feed off this crowd,” said Martynas Einikis. “Everyone here is on our side. We’re comfortable and we feel like we’re not going to lose.’’
Einikis scored 11 first-quarter points to give the hosts a 20-7 first-quarter lead and finished with 17 for the game. Mike Wisz added 17 points, Joe Hehir had 12 and Juozas Balciunas had 11.
The Indians racked up 16 steals on the night with Wisz and Balciiunas grabbing four each. Hehir, Wisz and Balciunas each had six assists.
After Hillcrest’s 68-47 victory over Thornton Fractional North, the top of the conference is crowded with contenders. Hillcrest is now 9-0, T.F. North is 8-1 and the Indians are right behind at 7-1.
The Indians face T.F. North on Feb. 8 and close out the regular season against Hillcrest Feb. 22 – both are road games.
“We’re not thinking of those games we have a lot of basketball to be played before then,” Runaas said.
Bremen fell to 7-10, 2-7 and didn’t put back-to-back baskets together until it opened the third quarter with three straight. Otis Lane had 16 points for the Braves.