Lancers win season-opener
LAKEVILLE — LaVille head coach Michael Edison didn’t feel he said anything particularly inspiring at his team’s first time out.
The Lancers sure came out of the break like a team on fire, though.
Edison burned his team’s first time out at the 6:04 mark of the second quarter after a 4-0 quarter-opening mini run by visiting Westville cut LaVille’s lead to a single point, 15-14. When play resumed, the Lancers ran out the half on a 22-7 tear to take control of the game for good in an eventual 72-56 season-opening win over the visiting Blackhawks at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium Friday night.
“I didn’t get too riled up at that point. I think they kind of took it into their own hands,” said Edison. “We were just one pass, two passes and a shot, not really working them a lot. I can’t take too much credit for that. Jordyn Williams was slicing and dicing through. I just thought some of them started making big plays and we got some stops and just kind of got momentum.”
Williams scored eight points during the game-changing second quarter run and pretty much dictated the tempo the rest of the night. The LaVille senior point guard finished with a game-high 24 points — earned at an efficient 10-for-16 rate from the field and 4-for-5 clip from the free throw line — slashing to the basket and dished out a team co-leading four assists off the dribble to power his team to the year-opening win, which gave the Lancers their third straight victory versus Westville and evened up the all-time series between the two teams at 7-7.
“What he’s improved on a lot from last year is control,” said Edison of Williams. “He’ll go hard and if it’s not there he’ll pull it back out and maybe take them again or maybe just pull it out and get a quick reversal. So I think his decision-making was at a pretty high level, which really helps with your point guard.”
While Williams pushed the pace, LaVille junior forward Nick Amor held the Lancers down in the paint with a balanced 15 points, team-leading nine rebounds and co-leading three steals. Those stats were made even more impressive in light of the fact that Amor had already collected three fouls at the 6:38 stop of the third frame and was forced to sit out intermittent spells at the game.
“Getting close to a double-double there and that’s him being in foul trouble most of the game,” Edison said. “He had two fouls in the first half and I took him out; he had three fouls early, then his fourth one. It seemed like I was always taking him out because of his fouls. I thought that Nick did a really good job.”
While LaVille’s offense pushed the pace up the floor for some easy transition buckets off the steal and the outlet pass to finish at 58 percent (29 of 50) from the field, the Lancers’ team defense created 21 Westville turnovers while holding the Blackhawks to just 36.8 percent from the floor (21 of 57) at the Cox Box.
“Jason Duerring didn’t do anything spectacular on the offensive end, but he and Blake Berger, I thought that they kept the ball on one side of the floor for us,” said Edison. “They’re playing defense and they don’t let their guys get around them, whereas some other guys, it’s tougher for them. It’s critical for our defense because we’ve got all our help coming from the baseline side so we want to keep that ball on one side and not let it get reversed.”
LaVille stretched its 37-21 halftime lead to 55-33 by the end of the third period but the Blackhawks battled back tenaciously in the fourth, outscoring LaVille 23-17 and even cutting their deficit back down to single digits at 55-46 with 4:46 remaining in the contest. But the Lancers began working the clock in the game’s waning minutes to stifle Westville’s momentum and seal the win.
“At the end here in that fourth quarter, we’re up by 22 — 55-33 when I glanced up — and that’s just a momentum shift. Then you’ve got to see what your guys are made of and see if you can’t control that ball just a little bit and make them work, which I thought we did,” said Edison.
“It’s our first game. I noticed in our halfcourt defense we’ve got some things we need to work on, we’ve got to shore some things up. They were just getting a lot of wide open buckets that I wasn’t real happy about, but part of that just goes with the flow of the game. It was a real up and down type of game.”
Westville was led by senior forward Kevin Stone-Tharp’s 21 points — including 10 during the momentum-changing fourth frame — and 11 rebounds, as well as senior guard Dan Warnke’s all-around strong performance of 15 points, six assists and three steals.
LaVille will take the weekend off before traveling to Mishawaka Marian Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“My opinion is Mishawaka is the team to beat in the area. They’re the team of teams,” said Edison with a smile. “Last year it might have been Riley. This year, my prediction is Marian for being the team in the area to beat. That’s going to be a huge undertaking. They’ve got Demetrius Jackson, he’s being recruited by Notre Dame. He’s a junior, plays like a senior at Notre Dame already. And he’s not the only guy they’ve got. They’ve got some other guys that aren’t just cast members but role players for them, so that’ll be a big test.”
• LAVILLE 72, WESTVILLE 56
Score by quarters
WV: 10 21 33 56
LV: 15 37 55 72
WESTVILLE (56): Christian Porter 4 0-1 9, Dan Warnke 5 2-3 15, Brian Popp 1 0-0 2, Drake Wood 0 0-0 0, Kevin Stone-Tharp 7 6-6 21, Glen Cole 0 1-3 1, Skyler Rippe 3 0-0 8, Mike Grylewicz 0 0-0 0, Eric Quinn 0 0-0 0, Dylan Perney 1 0-0 2, Collin Walker 0 0-0 0; Totals: 21 9-13 56.
LAVILLE (72): Blake Berger 4 0-0 9, Jordyn Williams 10 4-5 24, Jason Duerring 0 3-6 3, Landon Manuel 0 0-0 0, Jeff Haygood 3 1-5 7, Andrew Hostetler 3 1-5 8, Nick Amor 7 1-2 15, Justin Baker 2 2-2 6; Totals: 29 12-25 72.
3-pointers: Westville 5 (Rippe 2, Porter 1, Warnke 1, Stone-Tharp 1), LaVille 2 (Williams 1, Hostetler 1); Turnovers: Westville 21, LaVille 16; Rebounds: Westville 32 (Stone-Tharp 11), LaVille 30 (Amor 9, Hostetler 8); Assists: Westville 12 (Warnke 6), LaVille 12 (Williams 3, Hostetler 3); Steals: Westville 8 (Warnke 3), LaVille 12 (Hostetler 4, Amor 4); Fouls (fouled out): Westville 21 (Cole, Rippe); LaVille 16 (none); Records: LaVille 1-0, Westville 0-1.
JV score: Westville 59 (Collin Walker 16, Alex Henn 14, Shawn Gerron 13), LaVille 44 (J.T. Saylor 10).