NORTH JUDSON – The varsity girl’s basketball team traveled to Class 2A, No.7-ranked North Judson for a key Hoosier North Athletic Conference contest. The Blue Jays entered the game without a conference loss, while the Lancers had just one conference loss.
The two teams battled, with LaVille taking a 28-24 halftime lead but fell in the final by a 55-44 score.
Senior Lindsey Aschenbrenner’s 3-pointer gave the Lancers a 25-24 lead with 2:22 left in the second period. Following a defensive stop, LaVille senior Aryn Eash canned a trey to make it 28-24 with 1:14 remaining. That score would stand through the first 16 minutes.
Eash scored 15 of her game-high 21 points in the first half, while Shelfie Zeiger and Lindsey Aschenbrenner tossed in six points each.
“I was really proud of how we played the first half,” said LaVille coach Corey Duncan.
The visitors struggled offensively in the third period, as the Blue Jays outscored LHS 14-4. Five Judson players hit the scoring column offensively, while defensive pressure interrupted the offensive flow of the Lancers.
“The third quarter hurt us and when (North Judson) tied it we missed two lay-ups on two straight possessions and then they bank in a three,” explained Duncan.
LaVille fought valiantly in the fourth stanza as Aryn Eash hit a pair of 3-pointers, Haley Berger canned a trey, and Shelfie Zeiger found the net from long range. Ultimately, too much balanced scoring and timely buckets by North Judson proved the difference.
“One of North Judson’s strengths is their transition game,” said Duncan. “We kept them from that and we also didn’t allow them to shoot and hit 3-pointers like I’ve seen them do in other games.
“Aryn played another great game for us,” continued Duncan. “She’s had 21 points the last two games. The rest of the team is doing a great job finding her since she’s had the hot hand. I thought Haley Berger stepped up and played tough for us tonight. I also thought Julia Hall came in physical in the second quarter and slowed down their post kid who was on fire in the first quarter.”
LaVille, now 12-5 overall and 3-2 in the HNAC, will play host to Knox Friday Jan. 12 in another key HNAC battle. The Redskins currently lead the HNAC standings.
“I’m proud of the kids and proud of our effort,” concluded Duncan. “We have some things to correct as we prepare for Knox Friday night. Once we fix the little things, big things will come.”
Lindsey Aschenbrenner dished out six assists, while Zeiger and Eash added three each. Eash also picked up three steals.
North Judson improves to 13-2 overall and 2-0 in HNAC play. The Blue Jays will play host to North Newton Thursday Jan. 11.
•NORTH JUDSON 55, LAVILLE 44
At North Judson
LaVille 16 28 32 44
NJSP 17 24 38 55
LaVille – Haley Berger 6, Shelfie Zeiger 9, Kelsey Aschenbrenner 0, Lindsey Aschenbrenner 6, Aryn Eash 21, Julia Hall 0, Nina Sajdak 2. Totals 16 3-5 44
NJSP – Macy Reimbold 7, Courtney Trusty 2, Adalynn Harper 2 Lilliann Frasure 14, Madeline Schumacker 11, Lauren Cox 19. Totals: 23 6-13 55
3-point field goals: LaVille 9 (Eash 4, Lindsey Aschenbrenner 2, Berger 2, Zeiger), NJSP 2 (Reimbold, Frasure)
Total fouls (fouled out): LaVille 11 (none) , NJSP 7 (none)