WALKERTON — LaVille’s boys basketball team put together quite a first-quarter stretch Saturday at John Glenn.
It paled in comparison to the streak the Lancers terminated.
Propelled by sophomore guard Blake Berger and a 17-1 rampage to open the battle, LaVille ended a 19-game winless streak covering nearly 16 years against the Falcons with a 52-36 Northern State Conference victory at The Aerie.
“My statistician tells me the last time was February 14, 1997,” LaVille head coach Michael Edison said of the Lancers’ last conquest of the Falcons. “I have a lot of respect for John Glenn and coach (Travis) Hannah and the way they do things. I’m very happy for our guys; it’s a well-deserved win.
“We kind of got off to a good start,” Edison, whose team hit 8 of 9 from the field in the first stanza, added. “Blake Berger hit several nice shots early in the game. Glenn did a good job on some of our shooters and that gave Blake some opportunities; he did some amazing things. It’s nice when you can shoot the ball well as a team. It makes up for a lot of deficiencies.”
With Glenn locked down on LaVille’s perimeter shooters, Berger repeatedly curled into the lane and scored nine points during the first five minutes as the Lancers tipped off the game with 13 unanswered points. LaVille, which expanded the lead to 24 points in the fourth quarter, led by at least 10 points the rest of the way.
“We saw on film that (LaVille) set a lot of high screens,” Glenn assistant coach Jared Egger, speaking on behalf of head coach Travis Hannah, said. “We were right where we needed to be, and then they set curl screens. The curl screens made them more difficult to defend. It’s hard, especially with a young team, when you preach one thing all week in practice and then have to make an adjustment right away. We made that in-game adjustment and were much better in the second quarter.”
Senior guard Andrew Hostetler scored 13 of his game-high 17 points in the second half for the Lancers. Berger added 16 points, while senior forward Nick Amor contributed eight points, four rebounds, and a stellar defensive effort on Glenn leading scorer Jake Strong.
Also for the Lancers, senior center Jeff Haygood pulled in a game-leading six rebounds, and senior guard Landon Manuel dished out three assists and took a pair of charges.
“Jeff Haygood not only rebounded, but he had some tips to keep the ball alive,” Edison said. “I think he had a keep alive that Nick Amor stuck in. Landon Manuel took two big charges. I think that makes the other team a little more hesitant to take the ball to the basket when there’s someone there who’ll take a charge. Ryan Bettcher gave us key minutes off the bench. He hit a big 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter and played composed which is good to see from a sophomore.”
Meanwhile, LaVille held the Falcons scoreless from the field until Calvin Kretchmer’s jumper with 6:46 to go in the first half and allowed just a single basket – a Nathan Stegemiller triple – in the third frame.
“I was pleased with our defense on the ball, and one on one,” Edison said. “We were able to keep them on angles, especially Jake Strong whom I consider to be one of the better players in the conference. Our helpside defense was good. We defended the splits very well, we had nice rotation.”
Freshman Alec Runyan scored seven points off the bench for the Falcons, followed by six points apiece from Adam Stull, Austen Hayes, and Drew McDonald. Strong accumulated a team-best five rebounds for Glenn which turned the ball over 17 times and attempted 16 fewer shots from the field than LaVille.
“It was one of those nights where we had trouble scoring points,” Egger said. “You’re not going to win scoring one point in a varsity basketball quarter. It’s a tough thing to have to go through, but in the second quarter we battled back.
“The effort was there,” he added. “In the fourth quarter we’re down 20 and guys are trapping and diving on the floor for loose balls. They’re playing hard and we have some things we can build on. We’ve just got to hit shots.”
LaVille hosts North Judson-San Pierre Tuesday, while Glenn heads to Argos Wednesday.
• LaVILLE 52,
JOHN GLENN 36
Score by quarters
LaVille: 17 23 38 52
Glenn: 1 11 15 36
LaVILLE (52): Cameron Gurtner 0 0-0 0, Blake Berger 7 2-4 16, Landon Manuel 0 0-0 0, Ryan Bettcher 2 0-2 5, Kyle Kopetski 0 0-0 0, Jeff Haygood 2 0-1 4, Zach Hostetler 0 0-2 0, Andrew Hostetler 5 5-5 17, Alec Baker 0 2-4 2, Nick Amor 4 0-0 8, Isaac Eash 0 0-0 0; Totals: 20 9-18 52.
GLENN (36): Adam Stull 2 0-0 6, Alec Runyan 3 1-4 7, Austen Hayes 2 2-3 6, Tyler Prentkowski 0 2-2 2, Drew McDonald 1 4-5 6, Jake Strong 2 0-0 4, Calvin Kretchmer 1 0-0 2, Nathan Stegemiller 1 0-0 3, Levi Schleg 0 0-0 0; Totals: 12 9-14 36.
3-pointers: LaVille 3 (Hostetler 2, Bettcher), Glenn 3 (Stull 2, Stegemiller); Turnovers: LaVille 12, Glenn 17; Rebounds: LaVille 26 (Haygood 6), Glenn 19 (Strong 5); Assists: LaVille 11 (Manuel 3), Glenn 5; Steals: LaVille 7, Glenn 6; Fouls (fouled out): LaVille 12 (none), Glenn 19 (McDonald).
Records: LaVille 4-1 (1-0 NSC), Glenn 0-6 (0-1 NSC).