Falcons sweep Culver in NSC doubleheader

CULVER — Defense and a drive propelled John Glenn to a boys-girls Northern State Conference basketball doubleheader sweep at Culver Community Friday.
In the boys game, the Falcons held Culver to a 24-percent mark (11 of 46) from the field en route to a 44-37 victory at John R. Nelson Gymnasium.
In the opener, Kyler Columbia drove the length of the floor for a buzzer-beating layup to hand Glenn an improbable 50-49 overtime win.
Once the calendar turned to 2013 something clicked with Glenn’s defense.
Thanks to a potent mix of man-to-man and a variety of zones, the Falcons collected their sixth consecutive win.
“(Defense) has been the difference,” Glenn head coach Travis Hannah said. “After Christmas break we’ve played good defense, even in losses against Triton and Bremen we played good defense. Tonight we gave up 17 to (Trent) Elliott in the first half, and then I think he only had six in the second half; that was a team effort.”
Offensively, junior Tyler Prentkowski scored a team-high 14 points off the bench for the Falcons. His 3-pointer off an inbound play at the end of the third quarter gave Glenn its first two-possession edge of the night, 34-29.
“We have kids who’ve finally adjusted to roles,” Hannah said. “Tyler could be a starter for us, but he’s knocking down big shots off the bench, and I know he can defend anybody.
“It was huge,” Hannah said of Prentkowski’s third-quarter buzzer-beater. “At the end of the first half we had the ball and wanted to run a set; we wanted to guarantee we’d go in at half with the lead. We turn the ball over and somehow don’t recognize Elliott has the ball; he hits a 3 and we go in down one. At the end of the third quarter we executed an out-of-bounds play. It was good to see that execution and that they handled my ranting and raving at halftime.”
Glenn freshman frontliner Alec Runyan chipped in 10 points and a game-best 10 rebounds and played a leading role in holding Culver center Micah Budzinski to a 1-for-10 showing from the field. Runyan’s post bucket off a drive and dish from sophomore Jake Strong put the Falcons up for good, 31-29 with 41 seconds left in the third frame.
“Alec Runyan, right now, is a junior,” Hannah said. “Early this year he played like a freshman, but he’s playing well. Tonight he hung right with Budzinski.”
Also for Glenn, sophomore guard Drew McDonald dished out four assists.
Junior forward Trent Elliott scored 17 of his game-high 22 points in the first half and ripped down eight rebounds to lead the Cavs. His triple at the end of the opening half gave the Cavs a 23-22 halftime advantage.
However, the Cavs finished 4 of 23 from the field in the second half, and the game slowly slipped away in the final stanza.
“Our execution at the offensive end wasn’t as sharp as we’d like,” Culver head coach Kyle Elliott said. “We had looks, some of them open looks, that didn’t go down. We only had four guys put the ball in the hole tonight. It’s tough to beat anybody putting up 37 points.”
Budzinski added eight boards for Culver, while senior guard Kyle Vlach snapped up three steals.
“I thought we did a decent job getting good shots,” the Culver boss said. “(Glenn) ran a little more zone in the second half, but it wasn’t anything we hadn’t prepared for; the kids did a nice job preparing for this game. It’s disappointing when we don’t shoot the ball better on our home floor.
Glenn travels to Jimtown Thursday, while Culver hosts Argos Thursday.
At Culver
Score by quarters
Glenn: 11 22 34 44
Culver: 11 23 29 37
GLENN (44): Tyler Prentkowski 3 5-8 14, Alec Runyan 5 0-1 10, Austen Hayes 2 1-2 5, Drew McDonald 1 0-0 2, Jake Strong 2 0-0 4, Calvin Kretchmer 1 0-0 3, Nathan Stegemiller 2 0-0 6. TOTALS: 16 6-11 44.
CULVER (37): Kyle Vlach 2 0-0 5, Everett Krueger 0 0-0 0, Jordan Sanders 0 0-0 0, Collin Stevens 1 0-0 3, Trent Elliott 7 5-5 22, Tucker Schultz 0 0-0 0, Micah Budzinski 1 5-6 7. TOTALS: 11 10-11 37.
3-point goals: Glenn 6 (Prentkowski 3, Stegemiller 2, Kretchmer), Culver 5 (Elliott 3, Vlach, Stevens); Turnovers: Glenn 12, Culver 8; Rebounds: Glenn 26 (Runyan 10), Culver 25 (Elliott 8); Assists: Glenn 12 (McDonald 4), Culver 8; Steals: Glenn 4, Culver 5 (Vlach 3); Fouls (fouled out): Glenn 13 (none), Culver 10 (none); Records: Glenn 7-8 (2-3 NSC), Culver 10-6 (3-3 NSC).
John Glenn girls basketball head coach Kyle Amor said his squad considers itself a team of destiny.
The Falcons certainly issued a pretty strong case against Culver.
After Culver sophomore Donna Zehner split a pair of charity tosses to hand the Cavs a 49-48 edge with 8 seconds left in overtime, Glenn sophomore Kyler Columbia dribbled the length of the floor and knocked in a right-handed layup at the horn to give the Falcons the victory.
“I had flashbacks to last year,” Amor said. “We had two games last year with the same situation, down one with less than 10 seconds and (Columbia) made freshman mistakes. Now she’s learned from it and has the confidence to get to the rim and finish.”
Columbia finished with 12 points — nine of those in the final 4:18 of the game — and nabbed three steals in a game featuring 10 ties and six lead swaps.
“We wanted to put a little pressure on the ball, slow them down with only 8 seconds on the clock,” Culver head coach Gina Hierlmeier said. “We got back on our heels, we didn’t help from the weak side and they got to the basket. All night they were coachable, we just got beat to the hoop.”
That the Falcons even forced overtime took a bit of good fortune.
Glenn sophomore Natalie Shetler stole the ball under her own basket and dropped in a bunny to knot the game at 40-all as time expired.
“We were in desperation mode,” Amor said. “We were in our trapping full-court defense. Natalie got a deflection and steal in a position to tie it. Sometimes it takes a bit of luck. Coach (Dave) Cox, coach (Gene) Johnson, coach (Terry) Minix, coaches who have won have all told me sometimes you’ve got to be lucky, and sometimes that’s better than being good.”
The steal occurred after a pair of Glenn missed free throws set up by a Culver foul on a Culver missed charity toss with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore center Loren Vukovits scored a team-high 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Falcons. Senior Carah Ochs chipped in eight points, and classmate Katie Dreessen secured seven rebounds.
Junior Kayla Shaffer led the Cavs with 21 points, including an overtime-opening trey. Sophomore point guard Tatum Schultz added 17 points and four steals, and Donna Zehner tore down 11 rebounds.
“I was proud of the way they started overtime,” Hierlmeier said. “I was afraid they’d think they should have won and let it affect them, but they came out strong.”
Both teams open sectional play next week. Glenn plays St. Joe at New Prairie Wednesday; Culver takes on South Central at Oregon-Davis Tuesday.
At Culver
Score by quarters
Glenn: 6 18 26 40 50
Culver: 9 18 26 40 49
GLENN (50): Carah Ochs 2 2-2 8, Kyler Columbia 4 3-5 12, Dillynn Schleg 1 0-0 2, Natalie Shetler 1 2-5 4, Katie Dreessen 2 0-2 4, Hannah Strange 0 0-0 0, Loren Vukovits 4 6-8 14, Morgan Eggleston 3 0-0 6. TOTALS: 17 13-22 50.
CULVER (49): Shakkira Harris 0 0-0 0, Ali Overmyer 0 0-0 0, Angela Lewellen 0 0-0 0, Tatum Schultz 4 9-12 17, Mickella Hardy 2 0-1 4, Donna Zehner 3 1-2 7, Kayla Shaffer 6 7-8 21. TOTALS: 15 17-23 49.
3-point goals: Glenn 3 (Ochs 2, Columbia), Culver 2 (Shaffer); Turnovers: Glenn 14, Culver 21; Rebounds: Glenn 30 (Dreessen 7), Culver 33 (Zehner 11); Assists: Glenn 9, Culver 2; Steals: Glenn 11 (Columbia 3), Glenn 8 (Schultz 4); Fouls (fouled out): Glenn 16 (none), Culver 17 (none); Records: Glenn 16-4 (6-1 NSC), Culver 11-9 (5-2 NSC).