LAKEVILLE — To beat Jimtown is always a challenge.
Beating the perennial Northern State Conference powerhouse twice in one season — in one week in fact — is going to be an uphill climb.
LaVille (9-9) will try to do just that as the Lancers finish out their NSC and regular seasons at home against the Jimmies (9-10) Friday, then turn around and face them again in the first round of the Class 2A Westview Sectional Tuesday.
"We play them Friday and then we'll turn around and play them again Tuesday so we'll play them twice in a row within four or five days," said LaVille head basketball coach Michael Edison.
"I don't really know who will get the most out of it. It's almost like you want to do bad the first time and not show them anything, but we need every win we can get so we're not going to do that. But if we lose then I'll say we did it on purpose,"
he added with a laugh. "I'm joking, we're going to give our all, but we might want to save a few things back. Maybe we might not run all our sets or maybe a few key out-of-bounds plays that we run. It kind of just depends on whether you get up or down or what the situation is, but in the same regard they're probably going to be doing the same thing."
Jimtown specializes in playing a deliberate, slow-tempo game with strong halfcourt defense and patient offense, a kind of basketball known in some Indiana high school circles as "DeShone basketball" after 20-year head coach Randy DeShone.
In Marshall County circles, that style is more commonly associated with longtime Plymouth head coach Jack Edison, the father and former coach of Michael Edison and current assistant coach at LaVille.
The Lancers have shown greater and greater improvement in playing that game in Michael's two-plus-year tenure as head of the program, and the Jimmies will provide them with the perfect test to see how far they've come.
"I do feel like each year I've been here we've gotten a little bit better at those things like taking care of the ball and maybe getting better selection of shots, but I do feel like from game to game it'll vary," said the LaVille boss. "We might have one game with over 30 turnovers and then we might have 10. It just depends on the other team's ball pressure and maybe how focused we are going into the game. But it will be a big test against Jimtown because they've got good halfcourt defense; they're patient on defense, they're patient on offense, and they will just be a tough match-up for us with the guards that they have and the post players they have."