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LaChance named NOW Player of Year

Brookfield Central’s Riley LaChance goes up for a basket against Chester High School at the Brandon Jennings Invitational earlier this year. LaChance received a special award at the tournament for his contribution to his team’s win.

Brookfield Central’s Riley LaChance goes up for a basket against Chester High School at the Brandon Jennings Invitational earlier this year. LaChance received a special award at the tournament for his contribution to his team’s win. Photo By Angela Peterson

March 31, 2014

Fans of Brookfield Central senior guard Riley LaChance will always remember the final basket of his high school career.

Trailing Milwaukee King by 3, LaChance drilled a 3-point shot from deep in the left corner to send the game into overtime.

It wasn't enough, however, as the Lancers lost the sectional semifinal in overtime to end perhaps the best season in school history.

LaChance not only earned a spot on the 2013-14 NOW All-Suburban Boys Basketball Team, but he was named the NOW Player of the Year for his efforts.

The Lancers' now-retired basketball coach, Mark Adams, summed it up best when asked about LaChance.

"He is the most talented basketball player I have ever coached," he said.

Stats tell the tale

LaChance, the Lancers' Most Valuable Player and captain, was named to the 2014 WBCA All-Star team, was a two-time first team choice and was a unanimous selection this season.

He also was a member of the All-Greater Metro Conference team for the last three seasons.

"Riley had a fantastic year," Wauwatosa East coach Tim Arndorfer said. "He is very gifted in almost every aspect of the game. Central's success this year was without question attributed to him having the ball in his hands, a lot, not only to score, but to get others involved as well."

LaChance left his name all over the Lancers' record book. He became the all-time leading scorer, finishing with 1,643 points. He is the all-time leader in most points scored in a season with 574.

He tied the school record for most points scored in a conference game, 44, during a match against second-place West Allis Central with Elijah Goodman sitting out with a sore back.

"He has in-the-gym range," Brookfield East coach Matt Malett said. "We had our guys guard him when he crossed half court.

"He's a game-changer. He's unselfish. They had so many weapons this year, but, if he wanted to, he could have scored a lot more."

He was the all-time leader in steals with 188, the all-time leader in defensive deflections with 217 and he finished fourth on the all-time assist list with 267.

He also was the fifth four-year letter winner in school history, starting all four seasons.

This season he scored in double figures in all 25 games, with 17 games with 20 or more points and three games with 30 or more points.

An excellent shooter, he shot 51 percent from the field, 49 percent from 3-point range and 82 percent from the free-throw line.

This year he average 23 points, 2.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game, as he helped lead the team to a 24-1 record, back-to-back conference championships and a 14-0 conference record — the first undefeated team in conference in school history.

Playing with heart

But despite all the impressive stats he left behind, when asked about what was most memorable to him, it had nothing to do with numbers.

"What I will remember most is playing with guys who truly cared about one another," LaChance said. "No egos, just guys who love playing with one another. Every year, freshman, sophomore, juniors and seniors, the team chemistry was really good.

"To see a new group of guys come together, become better, it was special. It was a good group, all like brothers."

LaChance will attend Vanderbuilt University in the fall.

"The academics was second to none," he said. "To play coach (Kevin) Stallings is a tremendous honor. I felt they would best utilize my skill set.

"I need to improve my defensive ability, my strength. I need to get bigger, stronger. I will be facing more athletic guys from day one. I want to work on my ballhandling because I am going to continue being a point guard."

LaChance enjoyed playing for Adams during his prep career.

"It was great. I wouldn't have wanted to play for anyone else," he said. "I learn a lot, on and off the court, from him.

"He has been great for this community. He set the standard. He will always be remembered for the amount of time and effort. He does things that only some of us saw. In fact, he has done work that not even we have seen."

One of the people Adams has credited for his team's success was LaChance's dad, Tom, who ran the off-season program. LaChance also talked about his dad's help growing up.

"In regards to my dad, he's done everything for me," he said. "It was nice to have a person to motivate you, kick you in the butt. He knows what to say. For 18 years I played for him (AAU), worked with him. He always was there to help me and answer questions."

Local coaches are looking forward to his college career.

"I am now a huge fan of Vanderbilt," Malett said. "Because they took him out of our scouting reports next year."

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