LAKEVILLE, IN. – For the first time since the 2012-13 high school basketball season, LaVille will renew its series with Westville.
LaVille comes off a 19-4 season a year ago, including co-champions of the Hoosier North Athletic Conference. Westville, meanwhile, enters the 2019-20 season after a 10-13 campaign last season, including 4-3 in the Porter County Conference.
Graduation hit the Lancers, as 72% of the offense is gone. Among those with varsity experience from a year ago for LHS are Connor Wieczorek returns as the floor general. Wieczorek averaged 6.7 ppg to go with 3.1 rebounds per game, and 3.0 assists per game. Leyton Czarnecki, Andrew Dill, Jimmy Fischer, and Bobby Good. Austin Dove returns after taking a year off from basketball.
“They have a couple of starters returning from last year who averaged 14 and 12 points per game respectively,” said Edison of Westville. “They have some size and will mix their defenses up throughout the game.
“We will need to take care of the ball and take high percentage shots,” continued Edison. “Any second chance opportunities will be key for us as well. With us having so many new faces this year we will really have to start right away as a team learning each other’s tendencies and playing to our strengths.”
Edison’s squad averaged 61 points per game a year ago, but lost Jared Beehler, Luke Beehler, Rilye Cox, and Riley Wagoner who averaged 44.3 ppg of the Lancer scoring.
“We lost a lot of key players from last year,” said Edison. “Luke Beehler brought a huge amount of experience as he started every single game his freshman through senior year. We probably lost at least 40 to 50 of our points per game from last year’s crew. Rilye Cox will be extremely tough to replace as he was such a versatile player and Jared Beehler was one of the best three-point shooters I’ve ever coached. Riley Wagoner brought a grittiness and tenacity that is second to none. It will be extremely difficult to replace those guys. We will have to be creative and find a way to beat teams in a different manner.”
Key returnees for Westville include Josh DeChantal (14.2 ppg.), Jace Woods (12.6 ppg.), Carlin Young (3.6 ppg.), Jaron Hannon, Alec Hannon. Daijon Reddix, who averaged 5.2 ppg at Michigan City, will also be key for the Blackhawks.
“We have five guys pretty interchangeable as far as matchups,” said second-year Westville coach Drew Eubank said. “Josh is a tough guard for a lot of teams because he’s a 6-3, 6-4, strong kid who can shoot, finish inside. Josh and Jace are going to carry a lot of the scoring load. They’re dangerous outside, can beat people off the dribble and get their own shots. Carlin can be that microwave off the bench. He’s a very good one-on-one player. He can play point guard, which can free up Jace. Both Hannons are guys who can get hot. Jaron is pretty good around the basket. When Alec gets it going, he can shoot it with anybody else. They’re both hard-nosed defenders, which is invaluable.”
Edison looks forward to the new mix of players on the LaVille squad this season and looks forward to start of the season.
“I always feel like there is so much to get in at the start of a season,” said Edison. “We have been trying to get ready for all different kinds of scenarios that may be thrown our way. We are trying to be as ready as possible against a very good Westville team.
“This time of year is always fun as the season gets under way,” concluded Edison. “We really want to have the right mindset and focus and we embark on a new season. I am looking forward to a new group of guys to work with.”
* * * * *
G A M E D A Y
Teams: Westville (0-1) at LaVille (0-0)
Game Time: 6 p.m.
Site: Dale E. Cox Gymnasium, Lakeville, IN.
Coaches: Drew Eubank (10-14 in second year). Michael Edison (163-91 in 12th year).
Series Last 35 Years: LaVille leads Westville, 8-6.
Last Meeting: LaVille defeated Westville, 73-47, November 24, 2012.