WALKERTON — Just consider the John Glenn Lady Falcons a rapid response team.
The Falcons, led by two triples apiece from Kyler Columbia, Carah Ochs and Natalie Shetler in the final 10 minutes of the game, quickly answered every LaVille second-half threat en route to a 65-46 Northern State Conference girls basketball victory at The Aerie Saturday.
With the victory — Glenn’s eighth straight — the Falcons doubled last season’s win total.
“The biggest message we’ve had for the girls this year is respond,” Glenn head coach Kyle Amor said. “They hear ‘respond’ every day in practice. Respond to adversity. Respond to any negative situation. They’ve been through enough negative situations over the past year and a half that they’re mature enough when they encounter something negative to respond.”
Columbia, a sophomore guard, scored a game-high 19 points and handed out six assists for Glenn, which finished 7 of 14 from 3-point range in its first contest after a big win over Plymouth Tuesday.
“The term I used was ‘hangover game,’” Amor said. “I told them not to let this be a hangover game. After the Plymouth game we reminded them that we had a conference game coming up against a big, strong, physical team. Playing LaVille, it’s always an intense rivalry; they beat us twice last year by a point, so it’s good to get this win.”
Ochs, a senior guard, added 14 points off the bench. She and Columbia drilled back-to-back treys to give the Falcons a 47-34 lead with 1:17 left in the third quarter. After LaVille’s Katie Berger connected from deep to trim Glenn’s edge to seven, 47-40 with 6:48 left in the game, senior forward Katie Dreessen located Ochs for another 3-pointer that kicked off a 13-0 run to seal the Glenn victory.
“We become very dangerous when (the shots) fall,” Amor said. “But we’re still a blue-collar team. We’re not a team that can just show up and walk over teams, and until then we’re possession by possession scrapping for everything we can get.”
Sophomore guard Shetler contributed 10 of her 11 points in the second half, highlighted by a couple of fourth-quarter triples, and also pitched in a game-best seven assists.
“Our shot selection was good,” Amor said. “We’ve gotten to the point where we know when to take a shot. When all three guards are hitting we become a high-powered offense.”
Also for the Falcons, sophomore forward Loren Vukovits produced a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. She scored three baskets off LaVille turnovers during a 12-1 game-opening Glenn spurt that left the Lancers chasing for the duration.
“We knew if we got behind and had to chase that it would be difficult for us to win with the kind of shooters Glenn has,” LaVille head coach Kevin McCullough said. “Glenn’s won eight games in a row. They didn’t win those games by messing around. If we’re behind by 10 in the fourth quarter they can shoot free and easy. I’m giving Glenn the credit. They shot extraordinarily. (The 12-1 run) was the game.”
Berger topped the Lancers’ scoring chart with 12 points off the bench, but LaVille hit just 15 of 58 from the field, including a boatload of missed putback chances under the basket.
“No complaints about our effort,” McCullough said. “The effort was good on defense, good on offense. We had plenty of good shots; 58 shots, that’s enough to win a game. I feel for the girls. You get there, get set, get what you want and miss a shot.
Also for LaVille, sophomore reserve Lauren Hostrawser chipped in 11 points — five from second-chance opportunities — and pulled down four offensive caroms, Hannah Herbster scored 11 points, and Kelsey Gurtner secured 11 rebounds.
“Lauren Hostrawser hooped it up,” McCullough said. “It’s a good thing she got on the bus or we might have been dead at halftime. I’m proud of her effort.”
Glenn hosts South Bend Clay Tuesday, while LaVille welcomes Buchanan (Mich.) Thursday.
• JOHN GLENN 65,
Score by quarters
Glenn: 12 31 47 65
LaVille: 6 23 34 46
LaVILLE (46): Kelsey Gurtner 1 0-1 2, Paige Hawkins 0 0-0 0, McKenzie Leed 2 3-3 7, Kyla Coblentz 1 0-0 3, Hannah Herbster 4 3-9 11, Katie Berger 5 0-0 12, Lynae Hostrawser 0 0-0 0, Amanda Carbiener 0 0-0 0, Heather Dorn 0 0-0 0, Sydney Good 0 0-0 0, Lauren Hostrawser 2 7-7 11; Totals: 15 13-20 46.
GLENN (65): Carah Ochs 3 6-6 14, Kyler Columbia 8 0-0 19, Dillynn Schleg 0 1-2 1, Natalie Shetler 2 5-6 11, Katie Dreessen 3 0-0 6, Hannah Strange 1 0-0 2, Loren Vukovits 5 0-0 10, Morgan Eggleston 1 0-0 2, Erin Patterson 0 0-0 0; Totals: 23 12-14 65.
3-point goals: LaVille 3 (Berger 2, Coblentz), Glenn 7 (Columbia 3, Ochs 2, Shetler 2); Turnovers: LaVille 17, Glenn 13; Rebounds: LaVille 40 (Gurtner 11), Glenn 32 (Vukovits 10); Assists: LaVille 4, Glenn 17 (Shetler 7); Steals: LaVille 4, Glenn 7; Fouls (fouled out): LaVille 13 (none), Glenn 15 (none).
Records: LaVille 4-6 (2-1 NSC), Glenn 8-1 (3-0 NSC).