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A ‘perfect’ scenario

A ‘perfect’ scenario
A ‘perfect’ scenario
Lanesville senior guard Chris VanHoose drives baseline against South Central's Cody Simpson and Brad Holmes during Friday night's opening game of the South Central Holiday Tourney. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

Even a less-than-perfectly healthy Lanesville ball club proved to have enough firepower to capture this past weekend’s South Central Holiday Tournament.
With several players, including the team’s leading scorer, fighting either the flu or a stomach virus, the Eagles ‘ ranked fourth in Class 1A ‘ remained undefeated at 9-0 heading into Saturday afternoon’s monumental showdown against No. 1-ranked Barr-Reeve (6-0) at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in the Super Hoops New Year’s Classic.
Lanesville outlasted a strong effort by rival South Central in Friday’s opener, 76-67, then had to churn out a 30-24 victory over Shawe Memorial on Saturday. To wrap up the round-robin tourney, Lanesville drubbed Austin by 20 points, 60-40.
With nine wins now under its belt ‘ tying the start by the 72-73 team and one away from the 1944-45 team, which posted a 10-0 start before losing to New Albany’s ‘B’ squad ‘ Lanesville turns its focus to Barr-Reeve for a battle at the legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indy.
The Vikings, who went 19-5 last year before losing in the sectional final to North Daviess, came into the season with high expectations and have delivered head coach Bryan Hughes an undefeated mark thus far.
The squad’s go-to player is 6-6 senior swing Nicholas Duncheon, but help comes in a variety of forms: 5-11 senior Mark Rohrer, 5-10 sophomore point guard Ethan Knepp and 6-3 senior forward Josh Pielemeier.
The matchup against Lanesville is the fourth in a slate of six games to be played at Hinkle Fieldhouse. All but one of the boys teams are ranked.
Other games in the Classic are: ‘ Girls ‘ Evansville Bosse (8-2) vs. Pike (2-7) at 10 a.m.; New Castle (9-1) vs. Pendleton Heights (7-4) at noon; Boys ‘ Evansville Bosse (4-0) vs. Connersville (6-2) at 2:30; Evansville Reitz (3-2) vs. Forest Park (5-0) at 6:15; Tri-West (5-1) vs. North Montgomery (8-0) at 8.
Lanesville 76, S.C. 67
South Central head coach Rob Murawski said he knew his club had to play nearly perfect basketball to topple highly-favored Lanesville. For three quarters, the Rebels did.
South Central trailed at the first two stops, 21-18 and 35-32, but thanks to good shooting and low turnovers, hung around to take a 53-50 lead late in the third quarter. Three free throws by Lanesville senior Chris VanHoose with no time on the clock made it 53-all heading into the final eight minutes.
Lanesville’s David Lieber and VanHoose, along with South Central’s Randall Hertle, swapped baskets to kick off the period.
Then the Rebels went cold, hitting just one field goal during a four minute stretch that allowed Lanesville to build a 68-60 lead.
South never recovered from the dry spell as VanHoose sealed the deal from the foul stripe (14 of 16) to pull out the victory.
‘We had five turnovers and missed the front end of two one-and-ones in the fourth quarter, and from there we kind of fell apart,’ South coach Rob Murawski said. ‘I thought we pushed the ball well and did a good job on VanHoose until the fourth quarter. We just can’t make the kind of mistakes that we made late in a game against a team like Lanesville and expect to win. That’s the bottom line.’
The Eagles looked like they would take control early in the game after Seth Jacobs came off the bench to bury a couple of threes, but a deuce by Hertle and a trey by South’s Cody Jobe made it a one-possession game, 21-18.
South’s Hertle, who had several blocked shots in the first half, scored again, which was followed by a goal by Travis Higdon to give the hosts a lead. The two clubs went back and forth until Taylor Hess and David Lieber came through late for their club, which held a 35-32 lead at halftime.
Both teams shot well in the first half, with Lanesville going 15-31 and South hitting for 13-25.
After swapping baskets through the midway point of the third period, South Central went on a 9-2 run ‘ on points by Jobe, Brad Holmes and James Crosier ‘ to take its biggest lead of the game, 51-46.
The battle-tested Eagles hung tough, however, and countered with a 7-2 run in the final 37 seconds; four points by VanHoose and a three-ball by Beckman.
After Lanesville moved out to a 62-59 lead, Hess made a big play to tip in a missed free throw to make it a five-point advantage.
The Rebels never got any closer the rest of the way.
‘With Chris as sick as he was, I thought Dave and Tyler and Kenton and Seth and John (Kissel) all did a great job for us,’ Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said. ‘The last three minutes, it seemed like all of the plays we went our way.
‘South Central did a good job, and we’re fortunate to come out of the game with a win.’
VanHoose, who looked (and felt) weak from a stomach bug, finished with a game-high 24 points. Lieber scored 13, followed by 12 from Beckman, 11 from Kenton Acton and 10 by Hess. Jacobs finished with six points.
Jobe paced the Rebels with 23 points, Hertle had 20 and Holmes came through with 16 points.
Murawski applauded the home crowd for its effort in the game.
‘They really got into it late when we were up on Lanesville and it helped us out a lot,’ South’s coach said.
Lanesville 30, S.M. 24
After getting a lead, the Eagles used a delay game to fend off the Hilltoppers.
The Eagles were behind, 4-3, by the end of the first period, then doubled up Shawe in the second, 14-7.
Nary a player from either club reached double-figures in points for the game. Shawe’s Lauster paced everyone with eight points, with Bump and Lanesville’s Beckman each marking six apiece.
Lanesville 60, Austin 40
Lanesville outscored Austin 15-8 in the second period of the blowout to solidify its holiday tournament championship.
Ten players scored for the winners, paced by the 14 points of VanHoose, 10 by Acton, seven by Jacobs and five each from Beckman and Jordan Hall.
The leading scorer for Austin (2-7) was Jacob Parker with 12 points.
Austin 45, S.C. 39
Only one player hit double figures for the Rebels, who squandered several early scoring opportunities.
‘We just didn’t click,’ Murawski said.
South, which trailed at every stop, was led by Hornickel’s 12 points.
Donald Conner had 13 points to lead Austin.
S.C. 39, S.M. 36
A trey by Jobe with two seconds remaining lifted the Rebels past Shawe in a 39-36 upset.
Jobe wound up with 12 points, Hertle had 11 and Holmes carded 10.
‘After we lost the morning game, we went over into the other gym and practiced in simple things like lay-ups,’ Murawski said. ‘There wasn’t a whole lot said because we knew we lost a game we should have won, and it was nice to see us play as a team, almost a family, rather than the way we did against Austin.’