CULVER — Culver Community’s boys basketball team showed its sharing side Friday.
Displaying unselfishness and patience on the offensive end, the Cavs recorded assists on 22 of their 26 field goals, shot a blistering 63 percent from the field, stepped up to the foul line 37 times, and deposited four players in double figures in an 81-61 victory over LaCrosse at John R. Nelson Gymnasium.
“I thought we were patient,” Culver head coach Kyle Elliott, whose team dissected LaCrosse’s man-to-man and 2-3 zone, said. “We shared the ball. I was very pleased overall with our offense. We ran lanes well, pushed the ball well.
“It was definitely one of our more balanced games,” he added. “We scored four kids in double figures and had another with eight. I’m pretty pleased.”
Trent Elliott — the coach’s son — powered the Culver rout with a game-high 26 points, knocking down 9-of-14 tries from the field and 8 of 11 at the charity stripe.
The 6-foot-4 junior forward, who added six boards and four assists, scored three times on inbound lobs from senior point guard Collin Stevens, picked up a couple of more baskets on backdoor lobs, and highlighted a 9-0 first-half run that put the Cavs in charge 22-8, with a fast-break dunk off a feed from Stevens.
“He’s hit the weight room,” the Culver skipper said of his son. “He’s a junior and he’s started to understand that it’s time to step up. The first couple of years he was more of a perimeter player, but physically he feels more comfortable playing inside now. That versatility has also led to more success in getting to the free-throw line.”
Culver’s Micah Budzinski, a 6-6 senior center, recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out midway through the final stanza. The big post player wrapped up the first half with eight points and eight rebounds as Culver, which led wire to wire, ran out to a 38-19 halftime cushion and led by at least 15 points the rest of the way.
“Micah’s been working in the post and he’s starting to progress,” Kyle Elliott said. “He’s more confident. Anytime we can get a post presence early on that’s to our benefit. He made some nice basket cuts, and our guards had several assists with post feeds.”
Stevens chipped in 13 points and seven assists, and junior guard Jordan Sanders dished out six assists for the balanced Cavs.
“Collin Stevens played a great game,” Elliott said. “I thought Jordan Sanders broke down the defense, and both did a nice job getting the ball to Budzinski and Elliott inside.”
Also for the Cavs, freshman Everett Krueger contributed 12 points in a solid effort off the bench. Culver welcomed the production from the rookie with veterans Jacoda Anderson and Tucker Schultz out with injuries.
“I’m very pleased with Everett’s progress,” Elliott said. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence. He sees the floor, and has a good understanding of the game.”
The Tigers landed three players in double figures, led by 20 points from Bryce Guse. Riley Charlesworth registered 15 points for LaCrosse, and Sam Culver checked in with 13 points.
A subpar second-half defensive performance, complete with 22 trips to the charity stripe for LaCrosse, marred an otherwise solid effort for the Cavs.
“Defensively, our foot speed, we just looked a step slow,” Elliott said. “We talked about taking away the drive, but instead we’d foul. It took away any flow of the game. It’s different from the first two ballgames when we defended pretty well.”
Culver, now 3-0, heads to Morgan Township tonight.
• CULVER 81,
Score by quarters
LaCrosse: 6 19 38 61
Culver: 13 38 54 81
LaCROSSE (61): Alex Metts 0 1-2 1, Matt Bennett 2 1-1 5, Bryce Guse 5 7-8 20, Sam Culver 5 3-5 13, Riley Charlesworth 4 7-7 15, Zach Brown 0 1-2 1, Bobby Claypool 1 2-2 4, Nate Rhodes 1 0-0 2, Jared Spoljaric 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18 22-27 61.
CULVER (81): Kyle Vlach 3 1-2 8, Everett Krueger 4 4-5 12, Jordan Sanders 1 1-2 4, Collin Stevens 2 8-8 13, Preston Hansel 0 0-0 0, Trent Elliott 9 8-11 26, Chris Zehner 0 1-2 1, Alex Graham 0 0-0 0, Micah Budzinski 6 3-7 15, Bradley Beaver 1 0-0 2, Brendon Pinder 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 26 26-37 81.
3-point goals: LaCrosse 3 (Guse), Culver 3 (Vlach, Sanders, Stevens); Turnovers: LaCrosse 16, Culver 14; Rebounds: LaCrosse 17 (Charlesworth), Culver 28 (Budzinski 11); Assists: LaCrosse 7, Culver 22 (Stevens 7); Steals: LaCrosse 3, Culver 6; Fouls (fouled out): LaCrosse 26 (Bennett, Charlesworth), Culver 23 (Budzinski); Records: LaCrosse 1-2, Culver 3-0.
JV score: Culver 44, LaCrosse 25.