BOURBON — The Lady Trojans started off Homecoming night with a big 52-37 win over Northern State Conference foe Culver Community, but the Cavaliers earned the split with a nip-tuck 46-42 boys win over the host Trojans in an NSC doubleheader at the Trojan Trench Friday night.
CAVALIERS 46, TRITON 42
The Culver Community Cavaliers got a big win over conference foe Triton, 46-42 at the Trojan Trench behind 57 percent shooting from the field.
The Cavaliers were led by senior Collin Stevens and junior Trent Elliott, who combined for 6-of-9 shooting from behind the arc and 12-of-19 total from the field, scoring 15 and 17 points respectively. Even with a good shooting night like that, Culver coach Kyle Elliott said that it was his team’s defense that won this game.
“We talked coming over here that no one individual was going to beat that team,” he said. “They are well-balanced and obviously well-coached. It took a team effort to get the job done. Defensively executing what we wanted to do, where we wanted to send double teams from, and when we were going to send them.
“I think our defense inspired our offense. They took some pride in it tonight.”
It was a tight match all night with neither team really getting an edge. Culver held a one-point lead after one at 14-13, with Stevens hitting two of his four 3s in the quarter.
The second quarter was much of the same as Culver was able to get out to a five-point lead with about four minutes remaining, but Triton came right back and took a three-point lead into halftime behind junior Darren Harrell’s buzzer-beating triple.
Triton played a much more balanced first half with six different players scoring, but the second half was another story. Trojans Coach Jason Groves was frustrated with the lack of execution in the second half.
“They played really well,” he said of Culver. “They executed and did what they needed to do to win. It frustrates me because we didn’t execute our sets. There were times where we didn’t know what we were doing out there.
“The frustrating part was we weren’t getting the ball inside. At halftime we talked about getting the ball inside, and we didn’t do it at all. The first possession we came in and did what we wanted to do. We got the ball inside, but then we went away from it. We went 0-for-9 from 3 in the second half.”
While Triton was unable to convert from downtown, Culver started the second half with two big 3s from Elliott to keep the momentum going on offense. The Cavs never trailed from that point on leading 35-34 at the end of the third quarter.
Yeo tried to will the Trojans to a win, scoring 15 of his 23 in the second half, but he didn’t have enough as senior Kyle Vlach hit two big free throws with 1:05 remaining to put the Cavaliers up 45-42 and seal the eventual victory.
“Clay Yeo is one of the best players in northern Indiana for sure. We knew we were going to have our hands full,” said Coach Elliott. “We saw them three times last year, and he even hit a buzzer-beater to beat us on our home floor. Our seniors remembered that. This was a chance to come back here and maybe get a little pay back for that. I was really pleased with our effort.”
With the win, Culver is now 8-3 overall and 2-2 in the NSC while Triton is now 7-4 overall and 2-1 in the NSC. Both teams’ next games will be the opening round games of the Bi-County Tournament Tuesday.
• CULVER 46, TRITON 42
Score by Quarters
Culver: 14 22 35 46
Triton: 13 25 34 42
CULVER (46): Trent Elliott 17, Collin Stevens 15, Kyle Vlach 8, Micah Budzinski 4, Tucker Schultz 2, Everett Krueger 0, Jordan Sanders 0; Totals 17 8-14 46
TRITON (42): Clay Yeo 23, Tanner Shepherd 6, Joey Corder 3, Darren Harrell 3, Skyler Reichert 3, Seth Glingle 2, Cody Shively 2, Drew Mosson 0; Totals 17 3-6 42
3-pointers: Culver 8 (Stevens 4, Elliott 2, Vlach 2), Triton 5 (Yeo 2); Rebounds: Culver 16 (Elliott 4, Budzinski 4), Triton 24 (Yeo 9); Assists: Culver 14 (Stevens 9), Triton 10 (Harrell 4); Steals: Culver 5, Triton 2; Turnovers: Culver 6, Triton 7; Fouls (fouled out): Culver 11 (none), Triton 12 (none)
Records: Culver 8-3 (2-2 NSC), Triton 7-4 (2-1 NSC)
LADY TROJANS 52,
LADY CAVS 37
The Triton Lady Trojans were able to defeat the Culver Community Lady Cavaliers 52-37 on homecoming night at the Trojan Trench.
Triton’s defense was the primary reason for the win, shutting Culver out and only allowing two shots the entire second quarter. The game was tied early, and Culver junior Kayla Shaffer got into early foul trouble, picking up her second foul with 4:25 still remaining in the first quarter.
With Shaffer on the bench for most of the second quarter, Triton knew it was time to attack.
“Shaffer is a big key for what they do, and she got into foul trouble in the first half and that helped us out,” said Triton coach Adam Heckaman. “Obviously the second quarter I thought was the difference in the game. We came out and got after it defensively. We knew with Shaffer out we had to get after it more. We knew we could get after them if it wasn’t Shaffer and (Tatum) Schultz up there. As soon as Shaffer was out and Schultz was out for a short period in the second quarter, Shana Anderson knew she could turn it on there and get some tips and some steals.”
Anderson turned it on for nine steals on the night, most of them coming in the second quarter. Triton shot well in that quarter also, scoring 17 points and pushing the lead out to 26-7 at the half.
From there on it was too little, too late for the Cavaliers.
They were able to match Triton for the rest of the game — even outscoring the hosts by seven in the final quarter — but they weren’t able to get out of the hole they dug early.
According to Culver coach Gina Hierlmeier, starting off slow and turning over the ball really cost her team.
“We have to come out here and play better from the start,” she said. “I thought we started out well and got a couple of baskets inside that we weren’t able to finish but were unable to continue to get the ball down in the post area. We turned the ball over 23 times in the first half, and we just can’t have that. We have a lot of improving to do. We didn’t want to get into corners or pass through Anderson, and we kept doing the things we didn’t want to do. I give credit to Triton. They played a good game tonight.”
Donna Zehner finished with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Mickella Hardy scored nine with eight rebounds. Tatum Schultz put up eight points with three assists and five steals as Triton held Shaffer to four points.
Anderson scored 16 with nine steals and five rebounds for Triton, and Taylor Hatfield finished with 11 points and three assists.
Senior Breanna Lemler had a special night both on and off the court for Triton, scoring 10 points with four steals while also being crowned Homecoming Queen.
“Breanna Lemler had a heck of a game and caps it off with homecoming queen,” said Heckaman. “Her best game by far all year. She knocked shots down, hit free throws, and got some rebounds in there.”
With the win, Triton is now 11-4 and 5-0 in the NSC and in sole possession of first place in the Northern State Conference with only two games remaining.
Culver is now 9-5 and 4-1 in the NSC with the loss. Both teams’ next games will be opening round match-ups for the Bi-County Tournament on Tuesday. Triton will host Argos and Culver will host Bremen with both games scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
• TRITON 52, CULVER 37
Score by quarters
Triton: 9 26 41 52
Culver: 7 7 19 37
TRITON (52): Shana Anderson 16, Taylor Hatfield 11, Breanna Lemler 10, Kylie Mason 8, Mallorie Jennings 4, Krystal Sellars 3, Allie Kann 0; Totals 18 14-21 52
CULVER (37): Donna Zehner 10, Mickella Hardy 9, Tatum Schultz 8, Kayla Shaffer 4, Ali Overmeyer 3, Angela Lewellen 3, Shakkira Harris 0; Totals 14 5-13 37
3-pointers: Triton 2 (Anderson, Hatfield) Culver 4 (Schultz 2, Shaffer, Overmeyer); Rebounds: Triton 22 (Anderson 5), Culver 32 (Zehner 11, Hardy 8); Assists: Triton 12 (Hatfield 3, Mason 3, Jennings 3), Culver 10 (Schultz 3, Lewellen 2, Shaffer 2); Steals: Triton 21 (Anderson 9), Culver 10 (Schultz 5, Hardy 2); Turnovers: Triton 18, Culver 33; Fouls (fouled out): Triton 15 (Hatfield), Culver 16 (Shaffer).
Records: Triton 11-4 (5-0 NSC), Culver 9-5 (4-1 NSC)