Lemont’s Martynas Einikis (35) drives the lane while teammate Jack Shereck watches and Bremen’s Steven Vaughn defends. | Jeff Vorva~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 28, 2013 6:42AM
It was dubbed “Pack the Place Night” on Friday at Lemont for its South Suburban Blue showdown vs. Bremen, and the home stands were packed.
The way things have been going for the Indians the past two seasons, every time they play at home the host 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 No. 9 Indians won their 18th straight home game, putting on a show with a 62-44 victory over the Braves. Lemont led 61-28 with 5:44 left in the game before Runaas emptied the bench.
The last time the Indians (18-2, 7-1) lost at home was Feb. 28, 2011, in a regional vs. Julian.
“We feed off this crowd,” Lemont’s Martynas Einikis said. “Everyone here is on our side. We’re comfortable, and we feel like we’re not going to lose.’’
Einikis (17 points) scored 11 first-quarter points to give the hosts a 20-7 lead. 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 Balciunas grabbing four each. Hehir, Wisz and Balciunas each had six assists.
With Hillcrest’s 68-47 victory over T.F. North, the top of the conference is crowded with contenders. Hillcrest is 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 the regular season Feb. 22 vs. Hillcrest. Both of those games are on the road.
“We’re not thinking of those games. We have a lot of basketball to be played before then,” Runaas said.
Bremen, which fell to 7-10, 2-7, 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.