LAKEVILLE, IN. – The LaVille High School girl’s basketball program held its annual awards recognition recently.
It was an opportunity to celebrate several accomplishments and recognize the Class of 2018 one last time.
Coach Corey Duncan’s club finished 16-8 overall record and 4-3 in the Hoosier North Athletic Conference. It was the first winning season since the 2009-10 campaign.
Congratulations to the following award recipients:
Lindsey Aschenbrenner (Defensive Award), Aryn Eash (Most Assists and Best 3-Point Field Goal Percentage), Ashton Applegate (JV Co-MVP), Trynitie Cox (JV Co-MVP) and Trinity Strang (Heart Award).
Representing the Class of 2018 was Lindsey Aschenbrenner, Haley Berger, Haylie Cox, Aryn Eash, and Nina Sajdak.
“When seasons end, it’s always a tough thing for coaches,” said LaVille coach Corey Duncan. “You lose part of your family in the process. Each player leaves a unique mark on the program. This senior group has left a huge mark on the lady lancer basketball program. What are even more amazing about this group of young ladies is not only what they accomplished in basketball, but also what they have accomplished in other sports, in the classroom and just being great kids.
“They leave big shoes to fill (about 30 ppg will leave on the offensive end of the floor),” continued Duncan of her seniors. “Aryn and Lindsey have been our main scorers for the past couple of seasons. They both brought the ball up the floor so the point guard spot is the role that we will miss the most. Haley Berger gave us another 3-point scorer. If they took away Lindsey and Aryn, she could step up and get a much-needed score for us. Nina Sajdak was a leader in the post. She worked hard and did what was asked of her from getting rebounds to keeping the other team’s post player limited in scoring. Haylie Cox was our team spirit. She was always cheering on her teammates and getting the bench excited. When she was on the floor, she always battled and played hard.”
The Class of 2018 won a total of 42 games, which is the highest since the 2013 seniors won 41 games. The Class of 2004 won 44 games, including a sectional title.
While Duncan has just completed her third year, she has already witnessed growth in the program.
“We have seen so much growth from all the girls from the first year until now!” explained Duncan. “It was neat to not only see their basketball skills improve, but also their confidence on the court. The first couple of seasons we were able to compete with teams but struggled to get over the hump of winning those close games. This season we were running and executing plays on offense and being able to execute on the defensive end to keep teams from doing what they wanted.”
LaVille also won the Kankakee Valley Holiday Tournament, advanced to the championship game of the TCU Bi-County Tournament, and maintained a defensive average ranked in the Top 50 the entire season and finished as the 31st best defensive team, allowing just 37.0 ppg.
“The OD win early in the season was huge and set the tone for our confidence for the season,” said Duncan. “It took two overtimes, but the kids played hard and gritty and never gave up. Winning the KV tourney was so awesome. This particular group hadn’t gotten to the championship game of a tourney in basketball before and so winning it made it extra special. KV only had 2 losses (Valparaiso and Chesterton) at that point (and I believe only 3 losses for the season) and we were down quite a few at halftime. The kids didn’t come out defeated in the second half. We talked at halftime about how to chip away at the lead and they did just that!
“Another accomplishment was beating Bremen to get into the TCU Bi-County Championship,” continued Duncan. “That was probably the best game from start to finish that we played against a good opponent this season. Having a winning season always makes the year more fun. I hope and think the program can stay on that path for years to come. My favorite accomplishment was being in the top 25 of points given up per game in the state. I feel defense for us is a definite strength and we will look to continue to improve in that area.”
LaVille Lady Hoops will return several players with varsity experience during the 2018-19 season.
“Next years seniors Shelfie Zeiger, Julia Hall, and Kelsey Aschenbrenner have the capability to fill some of the shoes of our departing seniors,” said Duncan. “All three are good basketball players and can have stellar senior seasons. This will be the first year that I have a lot of replacing to do.
“It will be very competitive to get a varsity spot next season,” continued Duncan. “Emily Talaga, Trynitie Cox, and Ashton Applegate dressed and played in a few games this season. They have great potential to take on major varsity roles. The JV and the middle school had great seasons, so there is more talent coming. Let the competition for the next season begin!”