(La Porte County, IN) - The boys’ basketball team from La Lumiere School appears to have an uphill battle this season for another chance at a national title.
Head Coach Pat Holmes said his team (12-6) is on the “outside looking in” right now for the Geico Nationals, which features just eight teams in the three day tournament beginning March 30.
The Lakers had four losses last season before being knocked out in the first round of the tournament in Fort Meyers, Florida.
Despite six losses, Holmes said most of the defeats were decided by five points or less against teams in what could be viewed as the toughest conference in the nation. The National Interscholastic Basketball Conference now in its second season has teams from states like Florida, New York and Arizona.
Several of the teams in the NIBC are considered a lock for invitations to the tourney. Currently, the Lakers are ranked No. 9 in the nation.
Holmes said his team cannot lose two of the dozen or so games left in the regular season and expect to receive an invitation.
“We got to continue to win,” he said.
Holmes said the team, which lost eight core players from last season, is beginning to show signs of peaking, though. He said this year’s brand new starting line-up and key players off the bench following a learning curve are playing better as a unit now.
“We got to be playing good team basketball to give ourselves the best chance to win,” he said.
Holmes said the team has also been hurt at times from sickness or injury.
“We’re close. We can compete with anybody, but we got to bring it every single day. Every possession matters,” he said.
The Lakers’ roster includes players such as Kaleb Glenn, a 6’7” forward heading to the University of Louisville next year and 6’9” center, Gus Yalden, who’s going on to play at the University of Wisconsin.