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Lanesville pulls off 54-53 upset of No. 3-Orleans

From the pre-game prayer and a stirring rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by the host band, to a packed house and smell of freshly popped popcorn, Hoosier Hysteria was in full force Saturday night as No. 3-ranked Orleans hosted No. 5-ranked Lanesville in boys basketball action.
The brawl between two of Indiana’s top 1A teams didn’t disappoint. The largest lead by either club was 10 points, and the outcome was in doubt all the way until the final horn.
Lanesville senior all-state candidate Chris VanHoose, who was already 6-6 on free throws, toed the line for the front end of a one-and-one with eight seconds left in the game. VanHoose’s shot was just off the mark and the ball was rebounded by Stroud. The noise in the 2,500-seat fieldhouse reached eardrum-bursting levels as Orleans’ Jacob Smith raced the ball downcourt.
Smith passed off to Devin Parks, who was quickly double-teamed by VanHoose and sophomore teammate John Kissel. Parks dished the ball to 6-6 junior Michael Stroud, who caught the ball at ‘the elbow,’ then launched a shot with the outstretched hand of Kenton Acton in his face.
The ball hit the front of the iron, then the backboard, then slowly rolled off the left side of the rim to cap the win for Lanesville, which came away with the 54-53 upset.
The Eagles (11-2), who rebounded from a 58-47 upset of their own last Tuesday against West Washington, played one of their most complete games of the season against the Bulldogs (9-2).
‘I challenged (my players) tonight, and they answered the challenge,’ Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said. ‘The guys fought hard tonight, and about as hard as I can remember. We can’t take a night off like we did Tuesday, because we’re going to get everyone’s best game. If we can get the same effort that we got tonight, every night, we’re going to be tough to beat.’
Lanesville shot 51 percent (18-35) from the field while Orleans hit for 47 percent (20-43). Three-point shooting was close (2-7 for Lanesville; 3-9 for Orleans), as were total number of rebounds for each team (23-22 in favor of Lanesville). Turnovers were nearly awash, with Lanesville giving up the ball 12 times, and Orleans rebounding from a nine-turnover first half to mark just one miscue in the second half.
Ultimately, the free throw line decided the winner as the Eagles knocked down 16 of 19 attempts. Orleans was nearly perfect at 10-11.
Turnovers played a big factor early on as Orleans committed seven of their 10 in the opening eight minutes.
Orleans’ Chris Shoults opened the game with a jumper, but Lanesville proceeded to go on a 10-2 run.
Matthew Beckman had a steal and lay-in, followed by deuces by VanHoose and David Lieber.
Smith sandwiched a pair of jumpers around four points by Lanesville’s Kenton Acton, then Lieber capped the scoring in the period with a bucket in the high post to make it 12-6 at the end of one quarter of action.
Smith started the second period like he did the first, then VanHoose, who had picked up his second foul, countered with a three-ball.
In a strange play, the shoelaces of Beckman and an Orleans player became entangled after VanHoose’s trey. Play was halted as the two players tried to separate their laces. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Beckman’s were pulled so tightly that he had to leave the game.
With Beckman tending to his shoes, and VanHoose on the sidelines with two fouls, Lanesville was forced to field a green backcourt.
The Bulldogs took advantage of the situation by going on a 15-3 run. In fact, Orleans, which shot 8-12 in the period, held Lanesville without a field goal for the final 6:35 of the first half.
‘That was an odd situation for us, because even after we got Matthew’s shoe taken care of, we weren’t able to get him in the game,’ Miller said. ‘I thought Dave and John (Kissel) did a good job while they were handling the ball. We just weren’t able to get any shots to fall.’
Orleans, which had rallied to take a 23-22 lead into the locker room, saw the lead disappear midway through the third.
Two Acton free throws tied the affair at 28-all, then Beckman dropped in a single for a slim lead.
Ken Steward scored a deuce for the hosts with 5:02 showing, then the Bulldogs went cold offensively.
A stingy Eagles defense held Orleans without a field goal for the remainder of the quarter.
Along the way, Lanesville went on an 11-0 run with baskets by VanHoose, Acton and Taylor Hess.
The explosion gave the visitors their largest lead of the game, 40-30.
Despite a couple of three-balls by Orleans’ Evan Johnson, the Eagles were able to maintain their advantage two minutes into the final quarter.
A 12-4 run by the hosts set up the final flurry of baskets.
Defensive pressure on Smith in the second half was a big factor in the outcome, Miller said: ‘Smith got off to a red hot start on us and we were able to hold him to one second half field goal. That’s a tribute to the defense played by Matt, John and Seth (Jacobs). The key was being in his face when he caught it so he couldn’t get the good looks like he was getting in the first half.’
VanHoose scored 24 points on the night after notching just seven in the first half. Acton put in 14, Hess had six, Lieber put up five, Beckman scored three and Evan Hussung had two for the winners.
Orleans got 22 points out of Smith, 11 from Johnson, six from Steward and five from Shoultz.
The Eagles will try for their second consecutive sweep of county teams on Friday night as they travel to North Harrison. From there, Lanesville will host a potential sectional opponent in Christian Academy next Tuesday evening.
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