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Lanesville soars to topple Evansville DS

Boys’ Basketball • Class 1A Loogootee Regional • Semi-final
Lanesville soars to topple Evansville DS
Lanesville soars to topple Evansville DS
Lanesville senior Mason Miller contorts for a shot against Evansville Day School’s Grant Bivins in the second half of the Class 1A Loogootee Regional semi-final Saturday afternoon. Photo by Alan Stewart
Alan Stewart, Contributing Writer

Fans were still filing in the doors at Jack Butcher Arena in Loogootee when Evansville Day School called its first timeout of its regional semi-final against Lanesville Saturday morning.

To that point, Ethan Schickel and Jacob Wernert hit deuces and Ashton Smith bombed a corner three for a 7-0 lead. The offensive onslaught continued to the end of the first quarter, with a score of 20-5, and Lanesville went on to sail past Day School, 73-51.

The 73 points were Lanesville’s most points ever scored in a regional game and most in a tournament game since a 2013 sectional tilt against Rock Creek Community Academy (a 75-64 win for the Eagles). Day School came into the affair averaging 72.5 points per outing, but Lanesville’s stifling defense had the Vanderburgh County Eagles struggling.

Seniors Jacob Wernert shredded Day School with 20 points, point guard Mason Miller sliced through the lane multiple times en route to a 15-point afternoon and Ashton Smith bombed a pair of first-half triples on his way to an 11-point game. Sophomore Kameron Walter came off the bench for 14 points, with many of those as wide-open layups coming by way of his team breaking the press.

As it did the previous week in sectional play, Lanesville was tough on defense, not allowing a field goal by Day School until the 3:13 mark on a bucket by its star sophomore, Tyler Myers, who was held in check to the tune of 13 points.

Lanesville’s defensive bookends were a definitive asset to the victory as it held its opponent to 2 of 13 shooting in the first quarter and 4 of 11 in the fourth.

“I felt like the game-plan defensive was that you had to contain those guards, the dribble penetration and cutting that off and limiting their good looks from the outside. I thought really for the majority of the game we were able to do that,” Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said. “Obviously, with the way they run their defense with a lot of trapping and scrambling around that, if we could get a lot of ball movement — and especially get it to the middle of the floor, whether in the full court or the half court — that would probably put us into some positions where we might be able to get some easy baskets. We got a lot of baskets in the paint and anytime you can score down there like that good things can happen.”

Lanesville shot well all afternoon, going 31 of 49 (63%) overall. The club had only 10 three-point attempts and hit three. Lanesville won the battle of the glass, 38 to 28, while turnovers were nearly even (15 to 16). Day School was 21 of 55 (38%) from the field and a respectable 6 of 17 (35%) from distance. Neither team was efficient at the foul stripe, with Lanesville a frosty 8 of 19 (42%) and Day School not any better at 3 of 8 (38%).

Rounding out Lanesville’s scoring, Ethan Schickel scored six, Collin Baumgart dropped in three and two points each came from Carter Smith and Jonas Powers.

Coach Miller said the quick burst by his ball club helped calm any nerves that may have been in place coming in and, conversely, Day School’s misfires may have tightened its shooters.

“I think a few of our kids having been here a couple of years ago helped us get off to a pretty good start. When you miss some open shots and stuff that you normally make, I think it can maybe make you a little bit hesitant,” he said. “Those kids kept shooting, though, and hit a few in the third and a few in the fourth. The start was really important. There have been many games this year where we didn’t get off to a good start like that.

“I felt like early and for a majority of the game we were engaged and really locked in and following our game plan that we talked about,” the coach said. “I really think having previous regional experience helped Mason and Jacob, and I think that helped calm and settle down some guys who followed along. Defensively, all year that’s given us a chance in every game. We feel fortunate to win and move on, and tonight is another storm so we’ll see what happens.”

Lanesville                          20   20   16   17 – 73

Evansville Day School     5   16   18   12 – 51

Lanesville (18-7) – Wernert 20, Mas. Miller 15, Walter 14, A. Smith 11, Schickel 6, Baumgart 3, Powers 2, C. Smith 2.

Evansville Day School – Myers 13, B. Bivins 11, B. Wilsey 10, Rugani 8, K. Wilsey 7, H. Rimawi 2.

3-point goals – Lanesville 3 (A. Smith 2, Baumgart 1); Evansville Day School 6 (Bivins 3, B. Wilsey 2, K. Wilsey 1).

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