LAKEVILLE, IN. – It’s a basketball night for LaVille Basketball!
LaVille returns to North Side Gym in Elkhart for the first since the 1986 Elkhart Regional as the Lancers play Elkhart Memorial on Saturday, January 18. Back in the day of single-class basketball the Lancers won back-to-back sectional titles in 1985 and 1986. LaVille is 1-2 in games played at NSG. In 1985 the Lancers lost a thriller to Concord, 49-45. Then, in 1986, LaVille beat the Minutemen 65-53 in the first round before dropping a 72-57 decision to Warsaw in the Elkhart Regional championship.
Admission will be $5 at NSG and patrons may enter Gate #1 or Gate #3 at “The Big House”. Gate 1 is located off Lawrence Street on the South Side of North Side Gym. Gate 3 is located off Bristol Street. There is no charge to park.
“Memorial is extremely athletic and play an extremely tough schedule,” said Edison of the Chargers. “With the tough schedule comes a lot of battle tested players on their team. They have one really good shooter in the Miller player and have several players that have a strong inside presence.
“Memorial likes to drive and their defense and pressing creates offensive opportunities for them,” Edison continued. “They like to get up and down quickly and play at a fast pace.”
LaVille is coming off a 61-46 Hoosier North Athletic Conference over conference-leading Knox Friday, January 17.
Connor Wieczorek’s career-high 23 points led the Lancers. Leyton Czarnecki and Austin Dove added 10 points each. Bobby Good chipped in with nine points. The Lancers dominated the boards, hauling in 22 offensive rebounds and ultimately winning the war on the glass, 38-31.
Good and Jimmy Fischer had eight rebounds each, while Dove and Andrew Dill added six boards each against Knox.
Though it has been a few years since playing at North Side Gym as a Plymouth High School player, Coach Edison is no stranger to NSG.
“My sophomore year we played at North Side Gym against a pretty good Memorial team,” recalled Edison. “We were down by two points with about 1.5 seconds left. They had the ball and were taking it out under our basket. During a timeout my dad told us that they may throw the ball long and if that were the case we needed to try to box them out so that they could not touch it and therefore we would get it out under our own basket without any time being lost. Memorial did throw it long and Mike Kershner boxed his man out and the ball went out of bounds just like we had thought could happen. My dad then called another timeout and we ran an OBU play in which I got the ball passed in to me. I would like to say that I was able to drain that shot and run off the court as the hero, but if I did I would be lying. I got a shot at the top of the key for a 3 pointer and missed the shot right as the buzzer rang and the sting of defeat started to set in.
Looking back at that game it was neat to see our team fight back when we were down in the 4th quarter and to see my dad give us every opportunity to succeed with his coaching and intuition,” continued Edison. “Sometimes teams fall a little short and that is exactly what happened to us on that particular night during the 1992-1993 season against Memorial. Hopefully the Lancers are able to pull out a victory against the Chargers on Saturday night.”
Coach Edison knows this can be a special weekend for his squad, who is 4-1 in the friendly confines of Dale E. Cox Gymnasium and 2-2 on the road.
“We know this is going to be a very tough weekend,” said Edison. “The Knox game was best game that we have played all year and we really needed it. I’m just really proud of the way our guys stepped up and played. I don’t think the fans realize how good Knox is. They are a solid team. Knox is definitely one of the best teams in our conference.
“Memorial does not deny in the passing lanes a whole lot, but they do pressure the basketball after it is caught,” Edison continued of Memorial. ” They play a man to man non-switching defense. They will also press a decent amount.”
This is the first-ever meeting between LaVille and Elkhart Memorial. The JV game will tip at 6:15 p.m., with the varsity game to follow.
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G A M E D A Y
Teams: LaVille (6-3) v. Elkhart Memorial (6-6)
Site: North Side Gym, Elkhart, IN.
Time: JV – 6:15 p.m. * Vartsity – 8 p.m.
Coaches: Kyle Sears (66-66 in sixth year at Memorial). Michael Edison (169-94 in 12th year at LaVille)
Last Game: LaVille defeated Knox, 61-46. Elkhart Memorial defeated Wawasee, 59-51.
Series Last 35 Years: First-ever meeting