CULVER — The second quarter has been a real Achilles heel for Culver Academy so far this season.
The Eagles lost their opener after falling behind in the second quarter against Indianapolis Homeschool last week. And on Friday night, visiting LaVille held them to two points on 1-of-9 shooting in the second frame to grab a 20-point halftime cushion.
CMA played dead even with the Lancers in the second half, but it was already moot as LaVille handed the Eagles a 48-27 loss at Fleet Gymnasium.
“We won three out of the four quarters that first game, but the second quarter really hurt us… Tonight we tied them in the third and we tied them in the fourth, but we dug ourselves too big of a hole,” said CMA head coach Mark Galloway.
LaVille outscored CMA 14-2 in the second period to push a 20-11 lead at the quarter break to an insurmountable 34-13 lead at the half. Much of the Lancers’ defensive game plan centered on 6-11 Chorley, England import Bradley Fisher, who was limited to just three points in the first half and eight for the game — a Culver team-high — after collecting 21 points in the Eagles’ opener.
“He’s got to be able to become a better passer and be able to read the defense better,” said Galloway of Fisher. “We’ve got to keep working with him on how to face up. If he doesn’t completely face up and see the entire floor then it’s tough. But yeah, they did a good job on him. They doubled him, they had a guy sitting in the lane ready to come and double and it’s tough when you’re not able to pass out of it the right way, and we’ve got to keep working with him on that.”
“I thought we did a good job with the big guy. We really tried to get two guys on him right away, just kind of make him feel uncomfortable with that ball and get him to maybe take a lower percentage shot than he’s used to,” said LaVille head coach Michael Edison. “Being 6-11 he gets three or four feet away from that basket and it’s pretty high percentage. I was just real happy with our focus level and just the way we seemed to come out and just be with it. I said to the guys I liked how there were four, sometimes five sets of eyes looking over at me, just looking for the next play, looking for what we were in defensively. That they were thinking one step ahead, that they were with it.”
While the Lancers put the clamps on Fisher down low, LaVille’s shooters lit it up from outside with 6-of-11 3-pointers in the first half. Senior guard Andrew Hostetler knocked down 4-of-5 after missing his first two attempts from deep on his way to 15 first-half points and an eventual game-high 19 for the night.
Between CMA’s own offensive woes and the Lancers’ 12-of-24 shooting in the first half, the outcome was all but a foregone conclusion by the intermission.
“It never hurts. Good shooting makes up for a lot of other inadequacies, and we’ve got a couple guys that if they can get their feet set underneath them can knock in a shot or two here and there,” said Edison. “So it is nice to have that as a weapon.”
“It’s been tough for us to score at times, and we know that, but then when you don’t defend,” Galloway said. “The Hostetler kid, he made one 3 that was a contested, tough, step-back 3, but by that time we had already lost him three times, he’d made three 3s before that, and those were wide open shots. We didn’t do a good job getting out. They set a lot of good screens for each other, and we just didn’t get out and contest.”
The Eagles stepped up their intensity in the third quarter, playing to a 4-4 stalemate with the Lancers in the third quarter as the two teams combined for 3-of-19 shooting from the floor and evening up the battle of the boards after being out-rebounded 15-8 in the first half.
The two teams went back and forth again in a 10-10 fourth quarter, but it was already too late for CMA as the Eagles slipped to an 0-2 start while LaVille moved to 2-0 on the young season.
Along with Hostetler’s game-best 19 points, Blake Berger finished with eight points and three assists, and Nicholas Amor recorded four points with eight rebounds and a pair of steals. Sophomores Ryan Bettcher and Alex Baker scored seven and six points, respectively as the Lancers subbed early and often, going six deep off bench in the win.
After opening 2-0 on the road, LaVille will host its home opener next Tuesday against Argos.
“It’s hard to know where I feel like we’re at. I just like to take it one game at a time, one practice at a time,” said Edison. “You’re only as good as your next opponent. I tell the guys our goal is to play for 32 minutes. You’ll have highs, you’ll have lows in that time, but just playing nice and steady… We’re getting ready and focused for Argos next. We’re just going to try to get ready for them and try to be as prepared and focused for them as we can be.”
Fisher finished with four rebounds and three assists, while Eljay Murray, one of just a few CMA holdovers from last season, finished with five points behind Fisher’s eight, and Lorenzo Ricks chipped in four points for the Eagles. The team faces a week break before traveling to Elkhart Memorial next Friday.
“You want to play well and gain some confidence, but you’ve got to earn confidence and play well every day in practice and be consistent,” said Galloway. “That’s what we need to work on this next week is being good every day in practice.”
• LaVILLE 48,
CULVER MILITARY 27
Score by quarters
LaVille: 20 34 38 48
CMA: 11 13 17 27
LaVILLE (48): Cameron Gurtner 0, Blake Berger 8, Landon Manuel 2, Ryan Bettcher 7, Kyle Kopetski 0, Jeff Haygood 2, Andrew Hostetler 19, Alec Baker 6, Nicholas Amor 4; Totals: 18 6-11 48.
CMA (27): Hayes Barnes 0, Alec Proeh 0, Eljay Murray 5, Nick Zalduendo 3, Rayford Dexter El 3, Lorenzo Ricks 4, Bradley Fisher 8; Totals: 10 5-8 27.
3-pointers: LaVille 6 (Hostetler 4, Berger 1, Bettcher 1), CMA 2 (Murray 1, Zalduendo 1); Rebounds: LaVille 33 (Amor 8), CMA 20 (Fisher 4); Turnovers: LaVille 13, CMA 17; Steals: LaVille 8 (Amor 2, Bettcher 2), CMA 5 (Fisher 2); Assists: LaVille 8 (Berger 3), CMA 7 (Fisher 3); Fouls (fouled out): LaVille 9 (none), CMA 16 (none).
Records: LaVille 2-0, CMA 0-2.
JV score: CMA 34 (Sam Concannon 7, Aaron Marshall 7), LaVille 20 (Isaac Eash 7).