Basketball (GV)

LaVille Lady Hoops Hoist First TCU Trophy Since 1993

By Scot Shearer | Jan 24, 2023 1:57 PM

LAKEVILLE, IN. - It has been a goal for a long time. In fact, it's been 30 years since for the LaVille girls basketball program since hoisting the prestigious TCU Bi-County Basketball Tournament trophy. The TCU Bi-County basketball tournament championship game featured defending champ Bremen against the Lancers. When the buzzer sounded, it LaVille coach Nicholas Amor's squad that knocked off the Lions, 43-40, to win LaVille's first TCU title since 1993. "It means everything," said Amor, minutes after watching his club pick up its 15th victory of the season. "This tournament, to this community, sometimes means more than sectionals. It's something that we always strive for every year. I've been striving for this since third grade. I know I'm not playing in it but I am living vicariously through them." Amor, a 2013 graduate of LaVille High School, talked to the players and his staff back in June following his hiring as the new head coach about winning a TCU Bi-County championship. Now, roughly seven months later, Amor witnessed his club hoist that long-awaited trophy. Did Amor have a crystal ball? "No crystal ball," said Amor. "I just wanted it. I know the girls wanted it. I fed off of that. They fed off of that. I've been telling everyone all season long this is a great group of girls. They fight, they compete. I've been a part of teams before that you have to teach kids to compete. You don't have to teach these kids to compete." And compete they did. From the opening tip it was a dogfight as both teams displayed tough defense. Shots were challenged, there was ball pressure, diving after loose balls, and physical play inside the paint. The defense came to the forefront by both teams, as LaVille led 4-0 at the end of the first quarter and 19-13 at halftime. Lancer sophomore Brooke Edison came off the bench to give the hosts a boost, hitting a big 3-pointer from the right wing to start the LaVille scoring in the second quarter. She finished with nine of her game-high 16 points in the period. With the help of Edison, LaVille would build a 19-13 halftime lead. "She just gave us great minutes," Amor said of Edison. "She was patient when we needed her to be patient, stepped up to the free throw line, got some offensive rebounds when we needed her to. Just a great effort tonight by Brooke Edison." The two rivals continued with the defensive intensity and the Lakeville hosts clung to a 27-26 lead heading into the final eight minutes. Lily Smith and Mikalah Kuskye played a big role down the stretch. Smith canned two big free throws with 21.5 seconds left, while Kuskye iced the victory with two more free throws with just 2.8 seconds. A three-quarter court pass by Bremen was intercepted by Sherk and time ran out. "We knew Bremen was tough," said Amor. "They put up a heckuva game Thursday night against New Prairie. We knew we had to get out on shooters, we knew they had abilities to score and we knew that we would have to be dogs on defense and we just had to find a way. We did a really good job." LaVille came in with one of the best defensive units in the state, checking in at No. 12 in the statewide average. "They played beautifully," Amor said when asked about his defense. "They were communicating, switching, talking, with their hands up, stances, not taking plays off and just finishing strong with hands up and making them hit tough shots. That's all it takes." Sherk, who was also named the TCU Bi-County Tournament most valuable player, finished with 10 points. Heaylyn Kwiatkowski and Kuskye added six points each, Smith four, and London Kwiatkowski one for LaVille. It ended up being a historic day for LaVille. Not only did the Lancer girls basketball team, a couple hours later, the LaVille boys basketball team hoisted the TCU trophy high from mid-court. It was the first time in LaVille history that both girls and boys basketball teams won the TCU Bi-County title. John Glenn was the last school to win both championships in 2005. "We've got four seniors and they are leaders and they wanted it," said Amor. "They (LaVille kids) wanted it. Every bit of it." LaVille improves to 15-6 overall and closes the 2022-23 regular season with a pair of road games. The Lancers head to Argos on January 26 for a rematch of their TCU semifinal contest won by LHS, 49-41. Then on January 28, LaVille will finish up the regular season and Hoosier North play at Culver Community. * * * * * 58th TCU Bi-County Basketball Tournament LaVille 43, Bremen 40 (Championship) At Lakeville Bremen 0 13 26 40 LaVille 4 19 27 43 Bremen – Kila Foster 11, Emma Lawmaster 0, Mikayla Shivley 32, Chloe Miller 9, Katie Moyer 13, Emma Kincaid 2, Eliana Grubbs 2, Naomi Moyer 0. Totals: 16 5-12 40 LaVille – Lily Smith 4, Heaylyn Kwiatkowski 6, Brooke Edison 16, Mikalah Kuskye 6, Lauren Edison 0, London Kwiatkowski 1, Lucy Sherk 10. Totals: 14 13-20 43 3-point field goals: Bremen 3 (Miller 2, Foster), LaVille 2 (B. Edison 2) Total fouls (fouled out): Bremen 22 (Foster, Shively, Grubbs), LaVille 16 (H. Kwiatkowski, L. Kwiatkowski)

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