In good hands with 'All State'

Photo by Jim PetersLawless won the LTG Summer League title, defeating BRICK Squad 113-67 in Tuesday's championship at Michigan City High School. Pictured, front row, from left: Shereff Knight, Vic Walker, Vontrell Jones and Jalyn Orzech. In the back, from left: Jaleel Carson, Antonio Hurt, CJ Milsap, Marquse Burks and Will Walker.

MICHIGAN CITY — Lawless was in good hands with 'All State' in the championship of the LTG Summer Basketball League on Tuesday at the Wolves Den.

Vontrell Jones, who actually picked up the nickname for his prowess as a roofer, was dropping shingles on a short-handed BRICK Squad in the final, drilling seven 3s in the 113-67 rout.

"I did roofing at Arnell and got pretty good at it. I was helping other crews. It was kind of like a joke, 'You're in good hands,'" Jones said of his moniker. "I can shoot, but I don't really shoot a lot, jumper-wise. I like going to the basket. People don't really play me so I just go outside."

The game was over before half as the final didn't match up to the intensity or drama of last Thursday's semifinals, when BRICK Squad knocked off regular-season champion Entyce. The difference was its lineup didn't have nearly the same muscle, minus former City star Jarrod Jones and Purdue freshman Brandon Newman on Tuesday.

"I knew Jarrod wasn't going to be here," league director Will Walker said. "I asked him not to play on Thursday, but he's on the team, he can play if he wants to. I didn't know Brandon wouldn't be here until after the (Thursday) game. That was news to me. It would've been a different game. Thursday, we had about 125 (people), but word got around Brandon and Jarrod weren't going to be here. I didn't want this to be the situation."

Not that it mattered to Jones, who grew up in City watching the former midnight league.

"It still would've been the same outcome," he said. "We kind of knew. We just went out to have fun."

While most of the rosters in the seven-team league fluctuated game to game and week to week, Lawless had pretty much the same group that plays in a winter league.

"It's good to keep that cohesion," Walker said. "We tried to tell people going into it, get people who are going to be around."

All told, Walker was happy with how the league went in its first year and the interest that's already developed going forward.

"The league as a whole was a success," he said. "I'm excited how the community interest grew as the weeks went along. There's a lot of momentum into next year. A couple teams asked to do a winter league. There are too many winter leagues in the area. Two days a week is a whole lot of work."

Plans for next season include a slightly shorter schedule with an earlier start in June and an earlier finish in August.

"We want to give a good opportunity for the college kids to be here for the whole thing," Walker said.

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