LAKEVILLE — It’s not always the big-name players who make the big-time plays. Sometimes it’s the quiet role player who steps up and seizes the marquee moment.
On Friday, that player was Scotty Brown.
Holding onto a tentative 50-49 lead in the game’s waning seconds, John Glenn’s defense doubled up on Culver standout Zoe Bauer, losing Brown in transition, and when Bauer dumped down to the open senior transfer, Brown’s game-winning layup — his only points in the contest — with 2.4 seconds remaining on the clock lifted the Cavaliers to a narrow 51-50 victory over Northern State Conference rival John Glenn in a Bi-County Basketball Tournament semifinal at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium.
“He doesn’t get a lot of minutes, but he made the most of his minutes tonight and put the ball in the hole on a big shot. You’ve still got to put it in against that defense and he did and I’m very proud of him,” said Culver head basketball coach Kyle Elliott of Brown, a 6-foot-3 transfer from South Central.
“You do all you can as a team. We talk to the guys all the time about how it’s a team effort and whatever your minutes are, when you hit that floor you’ve got to be ready to go, and that’s a good example of a kid that’s unselfish. He works very hard at practice and it’s not about him, but when he gets on the floor he’s ready to go. I couldn’t be any happier for him.”
While Brown’s layup sealed the Falcons’ fate, it was the third quarter that set the stage for the thrilling climax to Friday’s game.
Glenn hit halftime with a 27-18 lead over the Cavs and widened that advantage to as much as 13 points with a Trey Rhodes triple at the 5:37 stop of the third frame, but Culver battled back with a 23-2 run stretching well into the fourth as freshman Trent Elliott buried a trio of 3-pointers and the Cavs held the Falcons scoreless for a full 4:17 to claim a 43-35 lead with 6:07 remaining on the game clock.
“When we were down at that stretch we called a timeout and talked to the guys and said ‘Guys, if we’re going to make a run we need to start now, but it doesn’t have to all be made up at one time,’” said Culver’s boss. “I thought our kids did a very nice job of that very thing at putting some plays together at both ends of the floor.”
Junior guard Josh Anderson — who finished with a team-leading 17 points for the Falcons — went 0 for 6 during the game-changing third period as Culver defenders limited his access to the lane, and, altogether, Glenn shooters went 3-for-16 from the field during the same span.
“We won two quarters and we tied a third quarter, and, honestly, if you go back and look it was only about half of that one quarter that we didn’t play,” said Glenn head coach Travis Hannah. “We got four or five looks around the basket. We weren’t able to finish because they contested and their size gave us problems. Then they come down and Elliott hits two or three 3s, and that was the change in the momentum right there. We’ve got to be able to convert around the basket, and we didn’t. Then they come down and hit a couple 3s and get momentum on their side, and at that point we’re chasing and our decision-making down the stretch wasn’t very good.”
Even after losing the third quarter and falling behind by as much as eight early in the fourth, the Falcons gave themselves opportunities to win Friday’s semifinal.
Rhodes scored five unanswered points to stake Glenn to a 46-44 lead at the 2:45 mark, the first of six lead-changes in the quarter. A driving Anderson bucket at the 1:59 stop restored the Glenn lead 48-46 following a post bucket from Culver’s Larry Clingler, and the Falcons pulled the ball out and burned over 1:18 off the clock as Culver players committed four straight fouls slowing down the clock.
Aaron Stegemiller missed the front end of a one-and-one in the bonus at the 31.3 mark, however, and Bauer hit a reeling triple off the top of the key to restore Culver’s lead, 49-48. Anderson converted for two on the other end, and the Cavaliers broke the Falcons’ full-court pressure as Bauer hit Brown in transition for the game-winning basket.
“The last 10 seconds when we scored there, I should have called a timeout because we had timeouts to burn and we had fouls to give,” Hannah said. “I should’ve burned a timeout. We burned a couple fouls trying to extend the game and maybe not give them quite as good of a look, obviously, and then we got caught up in the motion. We shouldn’t have been pressing in that situation, and we were. That’s all coaching. It’s not having kids ready for that type of situation. I take responsibility. Better use of my timeouts there in the third quarter and at the end of the game. I didn’t do it, so this one’s on me.”
Glenn was led by Anderson’s 17 and Rhodes’ 13 points, while Culver was led by Bauer’s 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The Falcons fall to 6-5, while the Cavaliers improve to 8-3 and move on to play Triton tonight in the boys Bi-County championship at 8:30 p.m. at LaVille.
• CULVER 51, JOHN GLENN 50
At Bi-County Basketball Tournament semifinals at Lakeville
Score by quarters
Culver: 9 18 36 51
Glenn: 12 27 35 50
CULVER (51): Zoe Bauer 23, Micah Budzinski 10, Trent Elliott 9, Collin Stevens 3, Larry Clingler 2, Patrick McBee 2, Scotty Brown 2; Totals: 21 5-9 51.
GLENN (50): Josh Anderson 17, Trey Rhodes 13, Brock Solmos 8, Tom Knape 6, Aaron Stegemiller 4, Carsen Heim 2, Jon Stewart 0, Jordan Hesters 0, Charlie Dreessen 0; Totals: 21 2-5 50.
3-point goals: Culver 4 (Elliott 3, Bauer 1), Glenn 6 (Rhodes 2, Anderson 2, Solmos); Turnovers: Culver 7, Glenn 8; Rebounds: Culver 31 (Bauer 10), Glenn 21 (Anderson 4, Solmos 4); Steals: Culver 1 (Bauer), Glenn 4 (Anderson 2); Assists: Culver 6 (Bauer 2, Elliott 2), Glenn 9 (Anderson 5); Fouls (fouled out): Culver 10 (none), Glenn 9 (none); Records: Culver 8-3, Glenn 6-5.