CULVER — Culver Community High School enjoyed an historic athletics day Saturday with its first team regional title and individual state championship.
Now, the Cavs’ boys basketball team hopes to follow the lead set by the school’s girls basketball team and wrestling heavyweight state champion Jeremiah Harvey.
“It’s a very exciting time for our entire school,” Culver boys basketball head coach Kyle Elliott said. “Our boys see the success of our girls basketball team and want to be a part of it. (Senior guard) Zoe (Bauer) was on a sectional championship team as a freshman; our senior group has seen us win a sectional. Now watching the girls win a regional, we’d like to think we can have success in the state tournament, too.
The Cavs drew a much-coveted bye and await the winner between Class 2A No. 7 North Judson-San Pierre (19-1) and Hebron (11-7) in Sectional 34 semifinal action at Winamac Friday, March 4.
“Judson would have to be favored,” Elliott said. “They have a very nice ball club, and they’ve had a very nice season. In order to win a sectional, at some point you’re going to meet the best team. You’d prefer it to be in the championship game, but the bye gives us plenty of time to get ready. Granted they have to get by a Hebron team that’s playing good basketball right now. Overall, we’re very happy with our draw.”
And what must Culver do to take advantage of the free trip to the second round?
“I think if you’re going to win a sectional championship you have to put 32 minutes of basketball together,” Elliott said. “Whether it’s Judson or Hebron we have to take care of the basketball. Rebounding will be a key for us. Both Judson and Hebron are physical and have size. Winamac will probably come out of the bottom bracket, and they’re very physical, so defensive rebounding will be big.”
With two games left in the regular season, Culver holds a 13-6 record -- the most regular-season wins for the Cavs since the 1983-84 campaign – thanks to some big plays in crunch time.
“We are learning to win some of these tight games,” Elliott said. “It’s not always perfect, but for instance Collin Stevens, in our last game, hit a big 3. It was his only 3 of the game. It’s those type of plays all year, and it could be a big stop on the defensive end or hitting free throws, that have been key in getting us 13 wins.”