Lancers step up again

LAKEVILLE — On another night, LaVille head coach Michael Edison might have worried about a letdown.
After all, the Lancers were coming off a big win against Rochester Tuesday, their first in 14 years to be exact. And it was Homecoming week in Lancerland, with all the distractions that entails.
But Edison’s players flashed him a pre-game look that he’s come to recognize in his two-plus-year tenure at LaVille, and there were no letdowns Friday as Jordyn Williams and Andrew Hostetler combined for 44 points, and the Lancers rallied past Culver for a 51-47 Northern State Conference win in front of a packed house at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium Friday.
“I thought Culver was going to be even tougher for us (than Rochester) tonight,” said Edison. “But yeah, that’s one thing we are trying to build, that consistency. This group has just kind of come together, and it’s not like I can always tell it in their eyes before the game, but sometimes they’ve just got a different look about them and it’s a good different look.
“It’s nice to get some big wins because it gives our guys some confidence, and I think every team needs that.”
Friday’s NSC contest was a back-and-forth affair that featured four lead changes and three ties.
Trailing 40-38 midway through the final stanza, Hostetler and Williams hit back-to-back triples at the 4:27 and 3:41 marks, giving LaVille its last lead of the night, 44-40. With that two-possession lead, the Lancers pulled the ball out and made Culver come after them.
Codee Kimbel took Culver’s Larry Clingler one on one in the paint, and Hostetler split a pair of free throws on an A.J. Neace foul, but Collin Stevens gave Culver new life with a trifecta from the corner to bring Culver back within two at 47-45 at the 1:11 mark, and the two teams traded turnovers to whittle 26 seconds off the clock.
Williams buried two free throws in the bonus as Scotty Brown fouled him to stop the clock with just 25.7 to go, and Stevens converted two charity tosses in the bonus on the ensuing Cavs possession to keep the game within two before LaVille sophomore Nick Amor knocked down both freebies in another one-and-one situation with only 11.5 seconds remaining, bringing the score to its final margin.
“Free throws were obviously a big key down the stretch: We missed four free throws there and one of them was on the front end of a bonus, and they go 7 of 8 at the free throw line,” said Culver head coach Kyle Elliott. “But around the four and half minute mark, we’re up two and have the ball and get fouled and come away with nothing, and then they come down and hit two straight 3s. That was the turning point of the game.”
Hostetler scored the majority of his points from beyond the arc with an eye-popping six 3s against Culver, while Williams scored off dribble penetration in the lane and on the baseline.
With LaVille trailing 26-19 at the start of the third quarter Williams exploded with six points and a dish to Hostetler as the Lancers rattled off a 14-5 run to take a 33-31 lead at the 2:52 stop. The slim 6-foot junior guard went 7-for-7 from the field in the second half Friday on his way to a game-high 23 points, his most productive outing since a Jan. 4 loss to NorthWood.
“We tried to isolate him a little bit to where he could penetrate, and if nothing’s there and they cut him off he can kick to one of our shooters, so we ran that type of play a few times in a row,” said Edison of Williams’ second-half play. “He does have that quick first step. As long as he’s doing it under control, we’re all right with that.”
After a slow start, Culver outscored its hosts 18-5 in the second quarter to take a seven-point lead at the half. Micah Budzinski went 3-for-3 in the post in the stanza on his way to a team-leading 16 points for the night, but LaVille shut down Culver offensive engine Zoe Bauer’s dribble penetration in the second half, stifling the Cavs’ production.
“In the second quarter I thought our dribble penetration was the key,” Elliott said. “We had some nice post feeds with Budzinski down inside; we also had a couple nice kick-out looks for 3s with Stevens as well. The second half we got a little bit more hesitant. Credit their defense as well in taking away that dribble penetration, but even so, like I told the kids afterwards, we had our opportunities.”
An under-the-weather Bauer finished five points below his average but still managed 14 points and five assists at LaVille, including the highlight play of the night, an offensive rebound and assist from the his back as he grabbed his own rebound after some contact in the lane and kicked out to Stevens for a 3-pointer that tied the game up at 16-all at the 4:13 mark of the second frame.
“Zoe shouldn’t have even played tonight, and a lot of kids probably wouldn’t have,” Elliott said. “He knows how big this game is for our team, and he didn’t want any part of coming out or not playing. He’s just a competitor.”
“He missed some shots that he normally hits,” noted Edison of Bauer. “If you’ll ask Kyle, he’ll probably tell you that Zoe hasn’t been feeling the best. He’s probably under the weather. I’m just pretty sure he wasn’t at his full strength tonight.
“I’m not necessarily sure that we held him, but sometimes guys have that type of night if you kind of stick them from the beginning. If you can kind of get them off balance a little bit... and I did think we did some good things on him at the beginning to kind of keep him from just going off on us.”
Culver slips to 9-5 and an even 2-2 in the NSC following a 2-0 start in conference play, and LaVille improves to 8-6 and 2-2 in the conference. The Cavs will attempt to bounce back with another NSC match-up next Friday when they host John Glenn, while the Lancers look for their third straight win against NSC-leading Triton Saturday.
• LaVILLE 51,
At Lakeville
Score by quarters
Culver: 8 26 32 47
LaVille: 14 19 33 51
CULVER (47): Scotty Brown 1 0-0 2, A.J. Neace 0 1-2 1, Collin Stevens 2 2-2 8, Zoe Bauer 5 2-4 14, Trent Elliot 1 1-2 4, Patrick McBee 0 0-0 0, Micah Budzinski 7 2-4 16, Larry Clingler 1 0-1 2; Totals: 17 8-15 47.
LAVILLE (51): Jordyn Williams 9 4-4 23, Drew Dutoi 0 0-0 0, Jason Duerring 0 0-0, Codee Kimbel 1 0-0 2, Landon Manuel 0 0-0 0, Andrew Hostetler 7 1-2 21, Nick Amor 0 4-4 4, Justin Baker 0 1-2 1; Totals: 17 7-18 51.
3-point goals: Culver 5 (Stevens 2, Bauer 2, Elliott), LaVille 7 (Hostetler 6, Williams); Turnovers: Culver 10, LaVille 13; Rebounds: Culver 21 (Clingler 5), LaVille 27 (Amor 8); Steals: Culver 6 (Stevens 2, Bauer 2, Neace 2), LaVille 5 (Hostetler 2, Amor 2); Assists: Culver 8 (Bauer 4), LaVille 11 (Hostetler 3, Kimbel 3); Blocked shots: Culver 1 (Budzinski), LaVille 1 (Amor); Total fouls (fouled out): Culver 10 (none), LaVille 15 (none); Records: LaVille 8-6 (2-2 NSC); Culver 9-5 (2-2 NSC).