CULVER — Culver Community’s boys basketball team reclaimed the traveling bell from Argos Thursday.
Given the way the Cavs floundered down the stretch, though, the bell probably sounded a little less melodious.
Culver watched a 16-point fourth-quarter lead melt to four points in the final minute before hanging on for a 48-41 win over visiting Argos at John R. Nelson Gymnasium.
“We got what we came for, and that’s the bell,” Culver head coach Kyle Elliott said. “However, we didn’t win it in the fashion that we’d hoped to say the least. (Argos) played for 32 minutes. I thought we played competitively for three quarters and then completely lost focus.
“We had to take out some of our players and find others off the bench,” he added. “Fortunately we had some kids make enough plays to get us the win.”
The Cavs grabbed a 40-24 lead with 6:39 left in the game, and led by 15 twice more — the first on a trey from freshman Trent Elliott, the second time on freshman Jacoda Anderson’s layup off a feed from sophomore point guard Collin Stevens. Anderson’s bucket put Culver up 45-30 with 4:17 left in the game.
“Jacoda Anderson came in for his very first varsity game and gave us some very good minutes,” Kyle Elliott said. “He made some plays and gave us a little spurt. I’m very pleased for him.”
However, Argos, still searching for its first win of the season, then rattled off 11 defense-fueled unanswered points. Freshman Dominic Cataldo drilled a pair of 3s during the run — both off dishes from classmate Taylor Ogle — and senior Sam Edmonds split a pair of charity tosses to make it a 45-41 score with 25 seconds left in the game.
Stevens iced the contest with a couple of free tosses with 22 seconds to go against a scrappy group of Dragons.
“That’s the most emotion I’ve seen out of them since Christmas,” Argos head coach Doug Snyder said. “That’s been a concern of mine, how stoic they’ve been. Culver’s a big game, but that’s the kind of emotion I’d like to see every game, and I was happy to see it tonight.”
Culver senior Zoe Bauer, who drilled 5-of-10 attempts from 3-point land, scored 16 of his game-high 19 points during the first half as the Cavs shrugged off an early 6-0 deficit to take the lead for good midway through the first frame. Bauer also snagged eight rebounds.
“I was a little disappointed, especially when we went zone, that we didn’t know where (Bauer) was a few times, after we had talked about knowing where he was,” Snyder said. “I suppose that’s all part of the growing process. Culver’s a good team, and that had something to do with it, too.”
Also for Culver, senior guard A.J. Neace handed out seven assists and swiped four steals, and Stevens distributed five assists.
However, the Cavs turned the ball over 21 times, including nine during the fourth quarter alone.
“Many of those were unforced turnovers,” the Culver skipper said. “It’s too late in the year to have those type of turnovers. We need to finish off offensive possessions.”
Matt Hollar paced the Dragons with 14 points and a pair of steals, followed by Cataldo with 13 points. Duane Spencer and Edmonds tied for game-high rebounding honors with nine apiece, and Ogle racked up four assists.
“I thought that Duane Spencer and Matt Hollar played a nice game,” Snyder said. “Not to take away anything from anybody else. I thought those two did some nice things on both ends of the floor.”
Argos hit just 31 percent from the field and threw the ball away 22 times.
“We had 11 turnovers each half, and that’s too many,” Snyder said. “Our shooting percentage wasn’t very good either. We need to shoot the ball better and do a better job taking care of the ball. But I’m proud of the effort, and given that we’re winless at this point of the season, I’m happy that they didn’t give up. I appreciate that from them.”
• CULVER 48, ARGOS 41
Score by quarters
Argos: 11 18 24 41
Culver: 18 26 39 48
ARGOS (41): Dominic Cataldo 5 0-0 13, Taylor Ogle 0 0-0 0, Duane Spencer 2 0-0 4, Matt Hollar 3 6-6 14, Dylan Colburn 1 3-6 5, Joep Schlosser 0 0-0 0, Sam Edmonds 2 1-4 5, Brian Snyder 0 0-0 0, Zackery Smith 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 13 10-16 41.
CULVER (48): AJ Neace 1 3-4 6, Scotty Brown 0 0-0 0, Collin Stevens 1 2-4 4, Zoe Bauer 7 0-2 19, Trent Elliott 2 1-2 7, Jacoda Anderson 1 1-2 3, Patrick McBee 1 0-0 2, Micah Budzinski 2 1-4 5, Larry Clingler 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 16 8-18 48.
3-point goals: Argos 5 (Cataldo 3, Hollar 2), Culver 8 (Bauer 5, Elliott 2, Neace); Turnovers: Argos 22, Culver 21; Fouls: Argos 14, Culver 17 (Elliott); Records: Argos 0-16, Culver 10-6.