LAKEVILLE, IN. – It’s a basketball night in Lakeville!
LaVille Lady Hoops, fresh off a season-opening victory against Jimtown, is set to square off against Class 2A state-ranked South Central. The JV game is set for a 6 p.m. tip, with the varsity game to follow.
LaVille rallied from a 19-12 deficit against Jimtown November 7 for a 35-31 victory for first-year skipper Daniel Pleninger. Freshman Lucy Sherk collected a double double to lead the Lancers. The 5-foot-10 post player scored a career-high 11 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Allison Medors added career-high nine points and 15 rebounds as LaVille outscored Jimtown 23-12 in the final stanza.
“Those two have been vocal leaders in practice,” explained Pleninger of his post players. “I was hoping they would have big games. That third quarter they decided to talk to each other. It was team basketball, especially there late in the third quarter and the fourth quarter.”
Starting the season off with a come-from-behind victory for the varsity and a sweep on Cox rededication night seemed to top things off for Pleninger.
“It feels good,” said Pleninger of getting his first ‘W’. “Some pressure is off now. But it wasn’t me. It was definitely the girls tonight. They played hard and found a way in the fourth quarter.”
After struggling through a third quarter shooting slump, it was a corner lay up by LaVille’s Madelyn Fuchs that sparked what turned a 19-12 deficit into a 35-31 victory for the Lancers Thursday at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium.
“The girls saw someone do something good and that inspired them to do something good,” said Pleninger. “We were 0-for-something there in that third quarter. Madelyn hit the corner lay-up and we stepped up our defense.”
South Central is coming off a 19-7 record a year ago to go with a sectional title.
The Satellites move to Class 2A with four of their top five scorers. Coach Wes Bucher has employed an up-tempo style of play in which this particular group of athletes excels. “The people who wanted to be here are here. The others moved on,” he said, as a program has a total of 12 players overall. “We have five, six guards and five, six post players, and so we’re balanced. We have kids with specific skills who fit into specific roles, some impressive height, kids who are impressive on the defensive end, kids who are strong on the offensive end. I could see us having a different high scorer every night.”
South Central has the post play, shooting and playmakers to produce in a half-court game. It is, however, the other end of the floor that led to success for the Satellites – a withering 1-3-1 trap. “We’re embracing the kind of basketball the kids like to play — pressing, in your face defense,” Bucher said. “They love it. We have the mentality that we’re going to turn defense into offense. We have to be ready to be tough in the fourth quarter. They’ve been grinding, they’re in great shape, and they’re ready for it.
“The environment has been extremely positive,” Bucher said. “What (the numbers) have done has made it really competitive.” With Wade (ankle) out for a few weeks, 5-foot-8 freshman Olivia Marks will step into the lone open spot in the lineup.
Key returning players: Amber Wolf (12.5 ppg), Abbie Tomblin (9.8 ppg), Faith Biggs (8.3 ppg), Dalanie Gale (5 ppg), Lexy Wade (2.2 ppg).
G A M E D A Y
Teams: South Central (Union Mills) (0-0) at LaVille (1-0)
Site: Dale E. Cox Gymnasium
Coaches: Wes Bucher (28-20 in third year at South Central). Daniel Pleninger (1-0 in first year at LaVille).
Series Last 15 Years: Tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: South Central defeated LaVille, 66-25, November 3, 2018