CULVER — In Horse parlance, Culver Community’s girls basketball team proved it.
Just three days after dethroning Oregon-Davis in the Bi-County Tournament final, the Class 2A No. 6 Lady Cavs upended the Lady Cats again, this time more convincingly than Saturday’s four-point margin.
Culver landed a quartet of players in double figures and held Class A, No. 4 OD to 32 percent from the field in a 68-50 win at John R. Nelson Gymnasium Tuesday.
“I’m really proud of them,” Culver head coach Tony Scheub said of his team. “Tonight was kind of anticlimactic; they were in their first Bi-County final Saturday, and they were still jacked up Monday. For them to come out and win the game tonight, I’m really proud of their mental toughness.”
After trailing 23-21 at halftime, the Cavs dictated the tempo in the second half, hitting 15 of 28 from the field and converting five of those misses into put-backs, including Gwen Zehner’s bucket that gave Culver a 28-26 lead with 6:22 left in the third frame.
“We talked at halftime about running our stuff,” Scheub said. “OD is really good at getting people to play at their tempo with their press; that’s not our style as we showed in the first half when we had a stretch of eight turnovers with only one shot, and that hit the bottom of the backboard. In the second half we started playing our game. I credit our girls with settling down in the second half.”
With the Cavs’ establishment of a halfcourt game, the 6-foot-1 Zehner scored 11 of her 16 points in the second half, and 6-3 senior Patrice McBee posted 10 of her 13 points after the intermission. Zehner also piled up 15 boards and five blocked shots, and McBee secured 12 caroms and swatted four shots.
“We’re already at a disadvantage in terms of height and weight against Zehner, so when she puts her shoulder down, it’s over,” OD head coach Terry Minix said. “But it wasn’t the refs that lost us this game; it was our whole team, myself included.”
Senior forward Alison Zehner also finished with 16 points and four steals for Culver, and Whitney Sanders tacked on 14 points, highlighted by a game-tying trey early in the third quarter, and collected four steals.
“Ali’s been struggling with her shot, but she knocked down a big 3 and then hit some more big shots for us,” Scheub said. “She’s a smart player, and hopefully this game will boost her confidence.”
Also for the Cavs, senior point guard Nicole Carnegie added nine points but more importantly, controlled the pace of the contest.
“(Carnegie) is getting better every day,” Scheub said. “She understands what I want out of my point guard. I’m really happy with the way she’s controlling our offense and demanding the ball.”
Meanwhile, senior guard Justyne Kranenburg erupted for a game-best 25 points to lead the Cats. The third and final of Kranenburg’s fourth-quarter triples cut OD’s deficit to seven, 56-49, with 4:10 left in the game, but Culver finished with a 12-1 flourish to ice the contest. Senior reserve Kristie Taylor also pulled in nine rebounds – eight during the first half as a quick 11-0 run put the Cats up 18-13 in the second quarter.
“Justyne hit some shots, and Kristie Taylor did a great job on the boards in the first half,” Minix said. “Those two seniors, and that we got out of here with nobody getting hurt are the bright spots, if there is a bright spot.”
Freshman Jesse Avarone added 10 points and 10 boards for the struggling Cats.
“We looked like we were running in mud all night,” Minix said. “We did not push the ball up the floor the way we wanted to do. We did OK in the first half pushing the ball but not in the second half. We didn’t shoot the ball well at all, but we had good looks.”
Both teams are back in action Thursday; Culver travels to West Central, while OD hosts John Glenn.
• CULVER COMMUNITY 68,
Score by quarters
OD: 7 23 35 50
Culver: 13 21 43 68
OD (50): Katie Schwenk 1 0-0 3, Ashley Campbell 3 0-0 7, Alicia McIntosh 0 0-0 0, Haley Collings 0 1-2 1, Jesse Avarone 3 4-7 10, Justyne Kranenburg 9 4-6 25, Kendra Sauer 0 0-0 0, Kristie Taylor 0 0-0 0, LeeAnn Meyer 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 18 9-15 50.
CULVER (68): Nicole Carnegie 1 7-8 9, Ali Overmyer 0 0-0 0, Suzie Guard 0 0-0 0, Patrice McBee 5 3-5 13, Whitney Sanders 5 3-3 14, Alison Zehner 5 5-8 16, Kayla Shaffer 0 0-0 0, Gwen Zehner 6 4-5 16. TOTALS: 22 22-29 68.
3-point goals: OD 5 (Kranenburg 3, Schwenk, Campbell), Culver 2 (Sanders, A. Zehner); Turnovers: OD 18, Culver 19; Rebounds: OD 36 (Avarone 10), Culver 44 (G. Zehner 15, McBee 12); Assists: OD 10 (Campbell 5), Culver 6 (Sanders 2); Steals: OD 6 (McIntosh 2), Culver 10 (Sanders, A. Zehner 4); Fouls (fouled out): OD 22 (none), Culver 18 (McBee); Records: OD 12-5, Culver 17-1.