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NORTH JUDSON â€” It was an all-too familiar theme for the Lancers.
Already on a two-game skid after a 3-0 start to the season, high turnovers plagued LaVille a third straight game, and the result was their third straight loss as the Lancers fell 77-61 to undefeated North Judson-San Pierre at the North Judson Winning Edge Holiday Basketball Tournament Tuesday.
"That's been our story the last couple games," said LaVille head basketball coach Michael Edison. "If we take care of the ball, we have a chance. I think our last game we took care of the ball was against Clinton Christian. We maybe had six turnovers the entire game. After that we had Howe Military, turned it over about 32 times, then against Glenn it was about 30 times, then tonight it was around that same amount. That's one of our keys on offense, we've got to take care of the ball."
"I talked to our guys that we just needed to come out with a lot of energy, and we just needed to play our butts off, and I thought early on it was good," said North Judson head coach Ryan Bales. "We were getting buckets off our pressure. Very good ball pressure. Kendall Hochstedler set a tremendous tone."
The host Bluejays opened the game on a 10-0 tear as LaVille turned the ball over against Judson's full court press on six of their first seven possessions. The Lancers went on to cough up as many turnovers as shots taken in the first frame with 10, and Judson grabbed a 23-8 lead at the quarter break.
LaVille fared better in the second quarter but still trailed by 11 headed into the break, and the Lancers eventually pulled within single digits at 60-51 after a pair of Jordyn Williams free throws at the 4:09 mark of the fourth, but LaVille couldn't get over the hump as Judson closed out the game 17-10.
Complicating matters for LaVille was the fact that usual starters Williams, Codee Kimbel and Justin Baker â€” who finished with eight, eight and two points after sitting out two quarters Wednesday â€” were sidelined in the first half after missing practice over the holiday break.