PERU — The Lancers have had to endure a tough two-game stretch in which the second half has not been their friend.
Their weakness became their strength Thursday as LaVille outscored North Miami 23-9 in the third quarter and 47-23 in the second half on its way to a 79-54 Peru Tournament-opening win over the Warriors.
The Lancers move on to face Whitko in the tourney championship tonight at 8 p.m. after the Wildcats beat host Peru in the nightcap Thursday.
“We haven’t done the best in the third quarter the last few games, so I don’t really know what to tell you the turning point really was for clicking it in with the guys,” said LaVille head coach Michael Edison. “We’ve been talking about how important the third quarter is to start off in a good way.”
“A lot of times when you hit some shots or things go your way it really helps with momentum,” he added. “It really helps our team. The last couple games we’ve had bad starts to the third quarter and then that momentum goes the other direction.”
The Lancers were led by balanced production from senior guards Andrew Hostetler and Jordyn Williams and junior forward Nick Amor, as the trio scored 21, 19 and 18, respectively.
Hostetler buried five 3s at a 5-of-13 clip at the contest en route to his game-high tally, while Williams dished out four assists and grabbed two steals in addition to his 19 points, and Amor also handed out four helpers with a double-double 12 rebounds as LaVille clutched 34 caroms in the victory.
“Jordyn, he’s maybe a spot-up 3-point shooter but maybe more of a slasher for us,” said Edison. “Then you’ve got Andrew, who can just spot of from 3 and can be deadly, man, he can hit six, seven in a row. And then you’ve got Nick, who’s more of a post player, offensive rebound, that type of thing, can hit some 15-footers. In a way, they’re kind of one- or two-dimensional, but they’re really good at what they do. Having all three of them together really gives you a lot of different looks or a lot of different options. Those three guys are some of our leaders and do a good job of trying to get our other guys on the same page and just defensively getting people to where they need to be and trying to be as focused and ready for the next defensive play so they can get that stop as possible. I was pleased with what they did tonight.”
LaVille snaps a two-game skid after tough losses to Northern State Conference foe John Glenn and Class 2A No. 6 North Judson with Thursday’s win.
The Lancers move on to face Whitko — which snapped its own three-game losing streak Thursday — and one of the state’s leading scorers in senior guard Logan Irwin at tonight’s championship.
“It’s always nice to get a win,” said Edison. “We’ve played a couple tough teams here recently, and I think tomorrow night’s game will be a test like those games. Nothing against North Miami, but Whitko’s a better team. They just have different types of weapons, and for us to get a win tomorrow night will be difficult, but that’s what our goal is.
“It is nice to be in a championship game and have a chance to win the tourney. It sure beats being in that consolation game, so we’re excited about that, but we know we have our work cut out for us.”
• LaVILLE 79, NORTH MIAMI 54
At Peru Tournament
Score by quarters
LV: 16 32 55 79
NM: 15 31 40 54
LaVILLE (79): Andrew Hostetler 21, Jordyn Williams 19, Nick Amor 18, Jason Duerring 6, Blake Berger 5, Landon Manuel 4, Jeff Haygood 4, Justin Baker 2; Totals: 23 25-31 79.
NORTH MIAMI (54): Ethan Beech 5, Alex Borse 4, Paul Hayes 14, Ty Musselman 5, Justin Prior 0, Cody Pugh 2, Jared Richardson 15, Keith Rouch 3, Austin See 3, Braden Timmons 3.
LaVille stats (Complete stats not available)
3-point goals: 8 (Hostetler 5, Williams, Duerring, Berger); Turnovers: 20; Rebounds: 34 (Amor 12); Assists: 15 (Williams 4, Amor 4); Steals: 7 (Williams 2, Baker 2); Fouls (fouled out): 20 (Williams).
Records: LaVille 3-3, North Miami 1-6