Defense pushes Lady Cavs past Triton

BOURBON — Culver Community girls basketball head coach Tony Scheub mulled over his team’s side of the scoring ledger Friday night at Triton.
“Boy, we didn’t score very many points,” he said.
True. But the Class 2A No. 8 Cavs surrendered far fewer.
Buffeted by a superlative team defensive effort and double-doubles from senior twin towers Gwen Zehner and Patrice McBee, Culver defeated Triton 42-31 at The Trojan Trench to remain perfect in Northern State Conference play with only dates with LaVille and John Glenn left on the league slate.
“From an outsider’s view I thought Jimtown and Knox were the favorites in the conference coming into the season,” Scheub, the Cavs’ first-year skipper, said. “We’ve beaten both of those teams and now everyone else has one loss. We like to think that we’re in the driver’s seat, but we’ve still got two games to go. At 5-0 it’s ours to lose.”
Defensively, the Cavs limited Triton to a paltry 9 of 53 from the field — and a Culver player actually tossed in one of those buckets during fourth-quarter mop-up time.
Culver senior Whitney Sanders stuck to Triton leading scorer Shana Anderson like bubble gum, holding the sophomore gunner scoreless in 12 tries from the field.
“We did a really good job hedging on (Triton’s) ball screens,” Scheub said. “We did a good job with our help-side defense, and we were doing it the entire game. We didn’t give them many good looks; we made them work for every shot they took.
“We put Whitney Sanders on Anderson,” he continued. “We told Whitney we didn’t want her to let Anderson get her feet set, and she held her scoreless. That’s Whitney locking down and playing defense.”
Culver, which appeared to have the Trojans hearing footsteps much of the evening, led wire-to-wire and built a 42-19 lead with 3:03 left in the game, before Scheub emptied out his short bench.
“We showed at times that we weren’t intimidated,” Triton head coach Adam Heckaman said. “Other times we’d come off a screen and shy away because a big girl was there. That was the disappointing thing.”
Although Culver turned the ball over 29 times, hit just 6 of 19 from the charity stripe, and often looked disorganized on the offensive end, the 6-foot-1 Zehner and 6-3 McBee proved too much in the post for Triton.
Zehner, even with Triton players hanging on each arm, scored 12 of her game-high 20 points in the third frame as Culver turned a 19-12 halftime edge into a 36-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter. She also yanked down 15 rebounds.
McBee chipped in 13 points — nine off of offensive rebounds — a game-best 17 boards, and swatted three shots. Both Culver bigs took advantage of lob after lob from point guard Nicole Carnegie and Sanders, who handed out six and four assists respectively.
“Initially we wanted to speed the game up, but against our press (Culver) broke it over the top,” Heckaman said. “We played a 1-3-1, but they put Zehner outside and she just lobbed it into McBee. They did a great job playing to their strength. Zehner had two people on her the whole time and she still finished. That’s the key: they finished.”
Senior guard Emily Duff led the Trojans with 10 points and three steals. Megan Howdeshell yanked down seven rebounds.
“The effort was good on our part,” Heckaman said. “They just gave us a lot of problems with their size on the offensive and defensive ends.”
Both teams open up Bi-County Tournament play Tuesday. Triton hosts New Prairie, while Culver travels to Bremen.
At Bourbon
Score by quarters
Culver: 12 19 36 42
Triton: 4 12 17 31
CULVER COMMUNITY (42): Nicole Carnegie 0 1-4 1, Ali Overmyer 0 0-0 0, Suzie Guard 0 0-2 0, Patrice McBee 6 1-3 13, Whitney Sanders 1 0-0 3, Alison Zehner 0 0-0 0, Chelsey Jones 0 0-0 0, Kayla Shaffer 1 0-0 3, Abby James 1 0-0 2, Gwen Zehner 8 4-10 20. TOTALS: 17 6-19 42.
TRITON (31): Hannah Downing 0 0-1 0, Lindsay Ganshorn 0 0-0 0, Emily Duff 3 3-6 10, Sydney Gochenour 0 0-0 0, Sarah Stichter 0 0-0 0, Allison Thacker 0 2-2 2, Aundrea Sellers 1 0-0 2, Shana Anderson 0 0-0 0, Megan Howdeshell 1 3-4 5, Breanna Lemler 2 0-0 4, Taylor Hatfield 2 2-2 6, Mallorie Jennings 0 2-2 2, Blair Johnson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 9 12-17 31.
3-point goals: Culver 2 (Sanders, Shaffer), Triton 1 (Duff); Turnovers: Culver 29, Triton 17; Rebounds: Culver 46 (McBee 17, G. Zehner 15), Triton 32 (Howdeshell 7); Assists: Culver 11 (Carnegie 6), Triton 4 (Hatfield 2); Steals: Culver 7 (Sanders 3), Triton 12 (Duff 3); Fouls (fouled out): Culver 17 (none), Triton 12 (none); Records: Culver 13-1 (5-0 NSC), Triton 6-7 (1-3 NSC).