TOPEKA, IN. – In a much-anticipated battle between Class 2A, No.2-ranked Westview and Class 2A, No.3 LaVille at the Westview basketball sectional, the game ultimately came down to which team could execute its game plan the best.
The Warriors were able to overcome a third-quarter rally by the Lancers and hold on for a 50-39 semifinal victory. With the win, Westview improves to 25-1 overall and will face Central NobleSaturday for the sectional title.
“Westview was just able to execute a little better tonight,” said LaVille coach Michael Edison after watching the Lancers lose for the first time this season. “It would have been nice to get a little lead on them and see how they reacted.”
The game was a defensive battle for 32 minutes.
Westview’s Charlie Yoder and Elijah Hales got the hosts off to a 13-10 lead after eight minutes. The Warrior duo combined for nine points as both teams played tough and physical throughout.
“Westview played us very tough defensively,” said Edison. “They fought through screens and made it very difficult for us to get open looks for our shooters. We had the most success down in the post with Jacob Good and Dalton Dove.”
The battle continued in the second quarter as the defense picked up and field goal percentage went down. Westview opened a nine point lead before Good hit a bucket to pull LaVille within 21-14 with 3:45 before halftime. The Warriors pulled ahead 24-14 before Good scored on an offensive put back to make it 24-16 Westview at the half.
LaVille started the third quarter strong, rallying to within a point three occasions.
Good, Dove, and Rilye Cox were instrumental in narrowing the gap to 28-27 before Westview’s Jeremiah Hostetler hit the games lone 3-point shot to end the third period.
“Our team has battled all season long and I knew tonight was not going to be any different,” said Edison of the LaVille rally. “As a unit of five we were able to string together some consecutive stops and were able to capitalize on the offensive end. We were able to get within one point, but just could not get over the hump.
Westview started the fourth stanza on a 5-0 mini run to go up 35-27. LaVille’s Luke Beehler hit a pair of free throws to cut it to 36-29 at the 5:15 mark and Good scored a bucket to make it 38-31 with 2:56 remaining. Beehler scored on a driving lay up to make 42-35 with 1:43 left and Connor Wieczorek a bucket to close within 42-37 with just over a minute left. That, however, was as close as the Lancers would get. Westview finished the fourth quarter 5-of-6 from the line, and Charlie Yoder was able to get a break away lay up to end the LaVille season at 23-1.
“I have five unbelievable seniors on this team!,” said Edison. “Jake Anders and Isaac Hall are some amazing managers! Jake is not only a manager, but he also practices with us when we need him, requests game film for me, and keeps on top of all the logistical items for us.
“Jacob Good, Dalton Dove, and Dakota Figg were all three amazing workers throughout the year,” he continued. “Jacob and Dalton improved so much from last year and both were phenomenal leaders for me! Dakota always had a good attitude and made other people better! I could not have asked for a better group of seniors!”
LaVille was also able to win the Kankakee Valley Holiday Tournament in December, the TCU Bi-County Tournament, and the Hoosier North Athletic Conference this season.
“The guys are going to look back on this season with fond memories some day!,” concluded Edison. “They have accomplished some great feats and have a lot to be proud of. Losing stings quite a bit right now, but I can’t speak enough about how I thoroughly enjoyed working with them each and every practice!
“I am most proud of the way all of the players on the team act in the hallways and classrooms at school,” continued Edison. “They treat people with respect, work hard, and truly care about one another. I consider myself very blessed to have been able to coach these guys this year!”
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CLASS 2A WESTVIEW SECTIONAL
WESTVIEW 50, LAVILLE 39
LaVille 10 16 27 39
Westview 13 24 31 50
LaVille – Connor Wieczorek 2, Luke Beehler 6, Riley Wagoner 0, Jared Beehler 0, Jacob Good 14, Rilye Cox 10, Dalton Dove 7. Totals: 17 5-8 39
Westview – Dennis Wingard 2, Charlie Yoder 13, Kenton Weaver 2, Elijah Hales 9, Jeremiah Hostetler 7, Sam Sharp 2, Josh Hostetler 4, Nicholas Rensberger 11. Totals: 19 11-15 50
3-point field goals: LaVille 0, Westview 1 (J. Hostetler)
Total fouls (fouled out): LaVille 15 (none), Westview 16 (none)