LAKEVILLE, IN. – It’s been said before …. records are made to be broken.
So far during the 2017-18 LaVille Basketball season, the Lancers have been on a record-setting pace.
Following a 60-43 victory at Tippecanoe Valley on Dec. 22, the current edition of LaVille Basketball tied the best record to start a season at 9-0.
The 1984-85 team, coached by Larry Radecki, started the season with nine straight victories before a 56-49 loss at Concord. The ’84-’85 Lancers included one senior – Troy Gurtner. Gurtner led that team with 481 points his senior year and finished his career with 919. Juniors on the team were Pat Adkins, Jeff Gaines, Robert Haas, Rodney Jacobs, Mike Sauer, Kirk Snyder, and Daryl Zartman. Sophomores were Rod Fritter, Dave Herbster, Bob Kowatch, Kerry Palmer, and David Sauer
That LHS team lost to John Glenn in the TCU Bi-County finals. However, the Larry Radecki-led Lancers won eight straight to close the regular season and begin the IHSAA state tournament. Among the eight consecutive wins was a 57-52 win against John Glenn in the Plymouth Sectional championship, and a 65-53 win over Concord in the regional semifinal. The season concluded with a 72-57 Elkhart Regional championship game loss to Warsaw. The ’84-’85 LaVille team still holds the best record – 19-6 – all-time.
The 2017-18 version of Lancer Basketball continued their winning ways at the Kankakee Valley Holiday Tournament.
Following a hard-earned 45-40 victory over Rensselaer Central in the opening round of the KV Tourney, LaVille broke the record to win its 10th straight game to start a season. In the championship game, the Lancers jumped out to a 12-0 lead and never looked back to win their 11th straight game to start a season, 65-41.
Senior Dalton Dove and junior Luke Beehler were named to the Kankakee Valley Holiday Tournament all-tourney team.
The 11 victories to start a season is not only a school record for victories to start a season since the school opened, but is the longest consecutive winning streak in LaVille Boys Basketball history.
“It is pretty neat what this year’s team has been able to accomplish so far,” said 10th year LaVille coach Michael Edison. “While we are glad to have gotten off to a good start I can say with certainty that this group is not interested in just having a good start to the season. They are focused on getting better each day in practice and finishing this season off on a strong note. In order to beat some of the tougher teams in the second half of the season we are going to need to get better in our half court defense. That has been one area of focus for us over Christmas Break.”
Beehler, the 5-foot-11 junior, scored 48 points to lead the Lancer offense en route to being named to the all-tourney team.
“Winning the (KV) tournament was a very exciting moment,” said Beehler. “But now we have to stay focused and continue to take one game at a time.
“I felt very honored to be selected to the all-tourney team,” continued Beehler. “We work really hard and push ourselves everyday at practice. It’s a great feeling to be 11-0, but we got to continue to take each game one game at a time.”
Edison, in his 10th season at LaVille, has a nice mix of younger players mixed with seasoned players this year. Beehler and Rilye Cox are both juniors, but have quite a bit of varsity playing experience. Edison has relied on them heavily. The post, meanwhile, has a pair seniors in Dalton Dove and Jacob Good. Both have gotten stronger in the off-season and have been key aspects. Jared Beehler and Connor Wieczorek have also continued to improve in the off-season and are integral parts of what the Lancers do on the floor.
Dove’s solid play in the post helped him earn all-tourney team honors.
Dove finished with nine points and 10 rebounds inside the paint.
“I have been very privileged to be able to coach this great group of young men,” said Edison. “They are extremely unselfish and work very hard for me. I have a nice blend of seniors and younger players who all have done their part to make this season a success so far.”
Good has also been solid in the post area. Good hit for 14 points, 18 rebounds, two assists, a steal, and three blocks.
“Jacob Good has really improved over the last year and has really made strong strides,” said Edison of the 6-foot-4 senior. “He has such a nice touch around the basket and he has a knack for blocking shots when he is on defense. Luke Beehler has really stepped up his offensive output this year. He has become more confident and has been a quiet leader for us. Each of our players on the team has been a positive contributor thus far and I am very excited to us finish up the season with the right mindset.”
Good says that the coaching staff expects a lot during practice and it is paying off.
“Our practices are very hard and Coach Edison demands a lot out of use because he knows what we are capable of,” explained Good. “So that has helped us to reach the level we are at.
“It felt good to win the championship because it was two games in the same day and it showed all our conditioning has paid off,” continued Good. “Stepping up and being a leader has made it important that I know what’s going on on the floor at all times, which requires a lot of focus.”
With the 11-0 start so far, the Lancers have made a steady climb in the Associated Press high school basketball poll. LaVille started the season off at No.23, jumped inside the Top 20, and in the most recent AP Poll (Jan. 2, 2018) climbed to No.8.
“As a team it is nice to win games and to move up in the polls,” said Edison of the Lancers steady climb. ” But we also realize that we need to be focused and intent on each possession of every game. If we lose focus of the here and now then complacency begins to set in and that is something that this team does not want to have happen. Our biggest game of the season is always the next team we play. Our players have done an outstanding job thus far keeping their eyes fixed on the goal.”
Good, the 6-foot-4 senior, summed up this weeks Class 2A, No.8 ranking like this: “It feels good to know people are realizing how we’re doing. We still have a long way to go though, so hopefully were able to continue our success.”
Next up for the Lancers is a Jan. 6 Hoosier North Athletic Conference game at North Judson. The JV game begins at 6:30 p.m., with the varsity game to follow.