LAKEVILLE — John Glenn freshman Jake Strong lived up to his last name Tuesday, and the rest of the Falcons followed his lead.
The 6-foot-2 forward posted 21 points and eight caroms — both game-highs — and the Falcons’ defense left LaVille little room to breathe in a 57-47 first-round Bi-County Boys Basketball Tournament win at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium.
The Falcons return to LaVille Friday to take on two-time defending tourney champion Triton at 8 p.m.
“(Strong) has to be that kind of player,” Glenn head coach Travis Hannah said. “I’ve got two starters (Tom Knape and Tyler Prentkowski) not even dressed. From Jake’s numbers he had a good game, but I could go down the line, and everybody who played gave a good effort.”
Strong drilled a game-opening triple as Glenn, which led wire to wire, raced out to a 12-1 advantage. After LaVille pulled to within a point at halftime, Strong kicked off the second half with another trey for Glenn, which hit 57 percent from the field and sank all six of its 3-point tries.
“When you play against (LaVille’s) open offense, you can’t play from behind,” Hannah said. “It was very important to get off to a good start. Give LaVille credit; they cut it to one at the half. Then we came out and built a 10- to 12-point lead, and they kept making runs.”
Glenn senior point guard Josh Anderson battled through foul trouble to score 11 of his 15 points in the second half. His 3-pointer with 14 seconds left in the third quarter put the Falcons on top 36-26, and he followed that with an 8-for-8 showing from the foul line in the fourth stanza.
“The game really changed in the third quarter,” LaVille head coach Michael Edison said. “We were under the basket fighting for a loose ball, it got away and Anderson hit a 3.”
Sophomore forward Austen Hayes chipped in 15 points as well for Glenn, which never attempted its initial free throw until the fourth frame but still managed a 19-for-23 finish from the stripe.
Defensively, the Falcons repeated the same effort that shut down the Lancers Dec. 16, even with LaVille leading scorer Jordyn Williams on the floor this time around. With Glenn fighting through LaVille screens and cutting off driving lanes, the Lancers finished 15 of 46 from the field — 5 of 24 from behind the 3-point arc — even with the already shorthanded Glenn bench made even shorter by foul trouble. Senior post Charlie Dreessen, who recorded three steals, neutralized 6-4 LaVille forward Nick Amor, and Nathan Stegemiller corralled a key fourth-quarter steal to help the Falcons pull away late.
“Overall, we didn’t give (LaVille’s Andrew) Hostetler many open looks,” Hannah said. “I thought we did a good job curling through, and we did a great job on Williams. He’s such a good player, and we closed out really well. You can see the difference Charlie Dreessen makes. He was hurt the first time we played them, and they just went over the top to Amor. He did a real nice job on Amor. With Charlie it’s not so much size as his strength and physicality.
“Nathan Stegemiller didn’t come off the floor; Jake Strong didn’t come off the floor,” he added. “We’re exposing guys like Michael Schmeltz to pressure situations that should hopefully make us a deeper team when Tom Knape comes back. Even though you never like injuries, that can be a positive.”
Williams notched a team-high 17 points for the Lancers, including a steal and conventional 3-point play to pull LaVille within four points, 40-36, with 4:31 left in the game.
“We battled back,” Edison said. “I wasn’t unhappy at all with the effort. We played hard to the end, and that’s turning the corner for LaVille. Some LaVille teams in the past would have probably given up. We stress playing for 32 minutes and being mentally alert and focused.”
Amor added 11 points and five rebounds, and Hostetler sank three treys, highlighted by a second-quarter buzzer-beater off a feed from Williams to trim Glenn’s edge to 21-20 at halftime. Jeff Haygood contributed five rebounds off the bench for LaVille.
“They hawked some of our cutters,” Edison said. “They got on our shooters, and we missed some shots. If you can hit some shots, that makes up for a lot of things.”
LaVille takes on Culver Community Friday in a consolation game in the Lancers’ auxiliary gym.
Glenn’s JV also beat LaVille 59-42 in the boys JV opener Monday. The JV Falcons play Triton, which beat Culver 49-29 in the semis at the JV tourney Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the main gym at LaVille.
• JOHN GLENN 57,
At Lakeville (Bi-County first round)
Score by quarters
Glenn: 17 21 36 57
LaVille: 5 20 26 47
GLENN (57): Nathan Stegemiller 0 3-4 3, Pat Wolff 0 0-0 0, Josh Anderson 3 8-8 15, Adam Stull 0 0-0 0, Austen Hayes 5 2-2 15, Jake Strong 7 5-6 21, Michael Schmeltz 0 0-1 0, Charlie Dreessen 1 1-2 3. TOTALS: 16 19-23 57.
LaVILLE (47): Blake Berger 0 0-0 0, Jordyn Williams 5 6-8 17, Jason Duerring 1 0-1 3, Landon Manuel 0 0-0 0, Jeff Haygood 2 1-1 5, Andrew Hostetler 3 0-0 9, Nick Amor 3 5-8 11, Justin Baker 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 15 12-18 47.
3-point goals: Glenn 6 (Hayes 3, Strong 2, Anderson), LaVille 5 (Hostetler 3, Williams, Duerring); Turnovers: Glenn 19, LaVille 18; Rebounds: Glenn 22 (Strong 8), LaVille 26 (Haygood, Amor 5); Assists: Glenn 10 (Anderson 3), LaVille 6 (Berger, Williams 2); Steals: Glenn 7 (Dreessen 3), LaVille 7 (Williams); Fouls (fouled out): Glenn 22 (none), LaVille 18 (Williams).
Records: Glenn 6-5, LaVille 6-5.