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LAKEVILLE â€” Triton and LaVille wanted a momentum boost going into the postseason, and the visiting Trojans got it Friday night.
Megan Howdeshell, Emily Duff and Lindsey Ganshorn all scored in double figures with 15, 13 and 12, respectively as Triton notched a 53-38 victory, its 11th in the last 12 meetings between the Northern State Conference rivals.
"We finished the season strong winning three games in a row, and they were three conference wins, which makes it even better," Triton coach Adam Heckaman said. "We played a more complete game tonight from beginning to end as far as intensity. That's what we're looking for, because if we come out and play hard, we're going to give ourselves chances."
Playing without leading scorer Jesse Feitz, who was attending a funeral, LaVille yielded a 16-6 run in the fourth quarter to drop its fifth game in its last six outings. Lynae Hostrawser finished with 12 points and was the only Lancer to score more than six.
"Triton was just better than us tonight," LaVille coach Kevin McCullough said. "We knew they'd be quicker than us, and they did a good job executing. They've had our number. But it's a new season now."
A 3-pointer by Duff capped a 10-3 spurt by Triton (10-9) to start the game, and the Trojans led 12-9 going into the second quarter.
LaVille (8-11) clawed back and took a 16-15 lead on a basket by Elaine Schmeltz with 5:30 left in the second quarter, but the rally didn't last. LaVille didn't make another field goal the rest of the first half, as Triton took a 24-18 lead to halftime.
LaVille's shooting woes continued in the third quarter. The Lancers ended a 10-minute shooting drought with a basket by Kelsey Gurtner to cut Triton's lead to 32-20, and the Trojans led 35-26 at period's end.
LaVille cut its deficit to 37-30 early in the fourth quarter, but five different Triton players scored during the finishing run to put the game away.
"We knew they'd make some runs at us, but we settled back down and did what we needed to," Heckaman said. "We were able to push the ball on them well in the second half as they got kind of worn down."
It wasn't the Senior Night LaVille had in mind, as the Lancers honored Schmeltz, Kaitlyn Kopetski and Katie Bettcher.
"Katie has battled back from the JV to varsity, got injured and is still competing out there at less than 100 percent health-wise," McCullough said. "(Schmeltz and Kopetski) have been out there for 84 straight games. I'm proud of all of them. I wouldn't trade them for anybody."
Triton will meet South Central Tuesday in the Class 1A Oregon-Davis sectional. The Trojans will try to avenge a 49-46 November 19 loss to the Satellites.
"The sectional is going to be tough, and obviously (Oregon-Davis) is the favorite," Heckaman said. "If we're able to get by South Central, then we'll look at Argos, and those are two teams we've lost to. We have to come out and give our best effort, and I think the girls are ready to do that."
LaVille will face Jimtown next Friday in the 2A Fairfield sectional semifinals. The Lancers lost to the Jimmies 42-38 December 4 but knocked them out of the postseason last year in a 41-40 thriller.
"Our last two with them have been real close," McCullough said. "The Jimmies are a tough tournament team and we hope we can battle them and have some success. It's sectional time, and that's why you play the game."
â€˘ TRITON 53,
Score by quarters
Triton: 12 12 11 18 â€” 53
LaVille: 9 9 8 12 â€” 38
TRITON (53): Hannah Downing 1 0-0 2, Allison Thacker 0 0-0 0, Emily Duff 3 6-7 13, Sarah Stichter 1 0-0 2, Lindsey Ganshorn 5 0-0 12, Aundrea Sellers 2 1-4 5, Shana Anderson 1 2-4 4, Megan Howdeshell 6 3-3 15. Totals: 19 12-18 53.
LAVILLE (38): Leigha Manuel 1 0-2 2, Zoe Bulick 1 0-0 2, Elaine Schmeltz 1 2-2 4, Kyla Coblentz 0 0-0 0, Katie Berger 2 2-3 6, Lynae Hostrawser 4 4-4 12, Kaitlyn Kopetski 2 2-5 6, Amanda Carbiener 0 0-0 0, Katie Bettcher 0 0-0 0, Hannah Herbster 0 1-2 1, Kelsey Gurtner 2 1-3 5. Totals: 13 12-21 38.
3-point goals: Triton 3 (Ganshorn 2), LaVille 0; Rebounds: Triton 28 (Ganshorn, Howdeshell 6), LaVille 28 (Schmeltz 8); Turnovers: Triton 19, LaVille 20; Fouls: Triton 18, LaVille 16; Records: Triton 10-9, LaVille 8-11.