Class 2A #7 LaVille led by double-digits into the third quarter before host Whitko rallied to take a 42-41 lead. The Lancers, however, rallied to start the fourth quarter by hitting three 3-point field goals en route to a 62-50 non-conference victory.
“I think we had some guys that shot the ball with confidence and did not want to be denied tonight,” said LaVille coach Michael Edison. “They found a way to get stops and to get high-percentage shots.”
Seniors Luke Beehler and Jared Beehler hit long-range jumpers to turn a 42-41 deficit into a 50-42 lead.
“We were able to turn a one-point deficit in to 11-point run on our end,” said Edison. “We were down 42-41 and then ended up going up 52 – 42. Some good shot selection and some defensive stops were the keys.
Up 10 and the clock ticking away, LaVille went to its patient offense, forced Whitko to foul and, for the second straight night, converted at the free throw line. The Lancers went 10-for-10 in the final period to secure the 16th victory of the season.
“Luke Beehler was steady from the line all night long,” said Edison of Beehler’s effort from the line. “He had a fabulous game. We had a lot of guys play really well tonight.”
During Whitko’s 21-11 third-quarter run, it was the Wildcat big man that sparked a momentum change.
“Their big kid (Sroufe) really got going and was able to build some momentum,” said Edison. “They also had some big shots from the outside. We were a little slow to the ball for long rebounds which gave them some extra chances.”
Luke Beehler and Rilye Cox led LaVille’s offense with 24 points each. Jared Beehler added nine points, including a pair of early 3-pointers.
“Luke and Rilye both had tremendous nights,” said Edison. “They both played well on both ends of the court and showed some outstanding senior leadership.”
LaVille improves to 16-3 overall and heads into a doubleheader weekend. The Lancers travel to Hoosier North Athletic Conference foe Caston (3-13) February 15. LHS then plays hits the road February 16 for a make-up date with South Bend St. Joseph (8-8).
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CLASS 2A #7 LAVILLE 62, WHITKO 50
At South Whitley
LaVille 19 30 41 62
Whitko 9 21 42 50
LaVIlle – Wieczorek 3, L. Beehler 24, Wagoner 0, J. Beehler 9, Czarnecki 2, Good 0, Doyle 0, Herbster 0, Cox 24, Fischer 0. Totals: 20 12-14 62
Whitko – Sickafoose 22, Ebbinghouse 3, Lewis 3, Coki 0, Blaine 0, Richerd 4, Sroufe 18. Totals: 17 10-12 50
3-point field goals: LaVille 10 (L. Beehler 4, Cox 3, J. Beehler 2, Wieczorek), Whitko 6 (Sickafoose 3, Ebbinghouse, Lewis, Sroufe)
Total fouls (fouled out): LaVille 14 (none), Whitko 18 (none)