Girls Bi-County championship rematch set with OD, Culver wins

LAKEVILLE — Here comes Bi-County Girls Basketball Tournament rematch time for Oregon-Davis and Culver Community.
Class A No. 4 Oregon-Davis rode an outstanding defensive effort to a 54-35 semifinal-round victory Saturday morning at LaVille’s Dale E. Cox Gymnasium, while defending tourney champion Culver made a quick start stand up in a 55-43 win over the host Lancers in the second semifinal.
The Cavs, with an entirely new starting lineup from last season’s squad that halted OD’s four-year Bi-County reign, look to defend their title tonight at 6 p.m. at LaVille. Meanwhile, the Lady Cats, making their sixth straight title-game appearance, seek their fifth crown in six seasons.
OD emptied out quite the bag of defensive tricks against the Lions in a game postponed from Thursday.
With healthy doses of their patented full-court pressure, along with 2-3 zone, halfcourt trap, and man to man, the Cats forced 38 turnovers and allowed just 35 points against the bigger Lions.
“That’s what we wanted defensively,” OD head coach Terry Minix said. “We changed up defenses, and I think that confused (Bremen). It was one of our better team defensive efforts. We’ve struggled with rebounding, and (assistant) coach (Will) Coatie and I thought if we changed defenses enough we might be able to confuse them and size may not become a factor.
“It seems like our kids have been playing forever, but they’re still only sophomores and they haven’t won anything yet,” he added. “We’ve been in a lot of tourneys and keep getting runner-up. We had a nice run of four straight Bi-Counties that stopped a little bit last year. I think that left a bad taste, and hopefully that’s enough poison in their mouths to motivate them to play well Monday.”
And while Bremen constructed a 37-28 edge on the boards, most of that occurred in the first quarter and offered the Lions little compensation for the turnover bug.
“If you can’t handle the pressure you’re not going to beat OD,” Bremen head coach Marty Huber said. “We didn’t handle it. Don’t get me wrong; they’re good at it. When you try to throw the ball over the top of traps and don’t do the things you’re coached to do it’s not going to work.”
Sophomore guard Ashley Campbell fired in a game-high 23 points and swiped five steals to lead the Cats. Her trio of first-quarter treys led OD to an early lead that it never relinquished.
“We had to have it, because we were stagnant in the first quarter,” Minix said of Campbell’s perimeter barrage. “Ashley can shoot the ball. The problem is getting her off the floor. We’ve got to find moments to rest her, because I don’t care how good of shape you’re in, if you have to play 32 minutes every night you will get tired.”
With OD starters Jesse Avarone and Katie Schwenk sidelined by first-quarter foul trouble, reserves Lincy Jones and Kendra Sauer provided big minutes. In fact, after Bremen post Jenna Pfeiffer scored to pull Bremen within two, 16-14, with 7:16 left in the first half, the Cats closed out the frame with a 13-4 run to take a 29-18 halftime advantage.
“Jesse and Katie were on the bench with two fouls and Kendra Sauer and Lincy Jones gave us that spark,” Minix said. “They came in inspired. Kendra picked up the defense. She’s a good shooter, but her big asset is her defense, and she had a huge effort today. Jones is 5-6, but she gets in there and helps us on the boards.”
That second-quarter burst effectively buried the Lions who trailed by at least eight points in the second half. Even after Bremen pulled to 36-28 on Kailee Feldman’s rebound basket late in the third quarter the Cats followed with a 10-2 spurt to seal their latest trip to the finals.
“We missed some easy baskets in the first quarter,” Huber said. “It might have made a difference, but it comes down to if you don’t handle the pressure you’re not going to beat them.”
For the Cats, Schwenk scored all nine of her points in the fourth stanza and also pulled down six rebounds; Haley Collings secured six boards; and Avarone dished out four assists.
Feldman finished with nine points and 12 rebounds for Bremen, followed by Pfeiffer with eight points and seven rebounds, and Brooke Baker with seven boards.
At Lakeville (Bi-County semifinal)
Score by quarters
Bremen: 12 18 28 35
OD: 16 29 41 54
BREMEN (35): Jenessa Morris 0 0-0 0, Megan Stouder 1 0-0 2, Jenna Pfeiffer 4 0-0 8, Sara Slabaugh 1 2-2 5, Allison Shorter 2 0-1 4, Brooke Baker 2 3-5 7, Kailee Feldman 4 1-2 9. TOTALS: 14 6-10 35.
OD (54): Katie Schwenk 2 5-6 9, Ashley Campbell 8 3-6 23, Alicia McIntosh 0 5-7 5, Ali Stout 0 0-2 0, Jesse Avarone 2 1-1 6, Kendra Sauer 0 0-0 0, Ashley Clark 0 0-0 0, Haley Collings 3 1-4 7, Lincy Jones 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 17 15-26 54.
3-point goals: Bremen 1 (Slabaugh), OD 5 (Campbell 4, Avarone); Turnovers: Bremen 38, OD 16; Rebounds: Bremen 37 (Feldman 12), OD 28 (Schwenk, Collings 6); Assists: Bremen 5, OD 9 (Avarone 4); Steals: Bremen 5 (Pfeiffer 3), OD 18 (Campbell 5); Fouls (fouled out): Bremen 22 (Stouder), OD 14 (none); Records: Bremen 9-8, OD 14-4.
Culver head coach Tony Scheub said he stressed the importance of a good start.
His team delivered with a game-opening 12-2 spree and led from the opening possession, keeping alive its quest for a second straight tourney championship.
“It was very important,” Scheub said of his team’s strong opening. “We talked about in the locker room before the game that we’re not used to these morning games, and we can’t start off slow. I really liked our energy and intensity to start the game.
“It means a lot to make it to the championship game,” he said. “We’ve had an up-and-down season, and hopefully we’re hitting our stride. (OD) has a little bit more experience than we do. We’ll find out what we’re made of Monday night.”
Freshman guard Tatum Schultz filled up the stat sheet with a team-leading 17 points, six assists, six steals — leading to three breakaway layups — and four rebounds for the Cavs.
“(Schultz) played a very good game on both ends of the floor,” Scheub said. “I would have liked her to take care of the ball a little better, but she did a great job defensively and she did it with smart choices; she took chances without getting out of position.”
LaVille, which trailed 27-15 at halftime, thrice cut Culver’s advantage to six points in the second half. However, Schultz scored on a rebound basket and then contributed a steal and bucket to repel each of the Lancers’ first two runs, and sophomore Kayla Shaffer scored off one of LaVille’s 30 turnovers to ignite a 10-1 run that clinched the Cavs’ victory.
“(Schultz) made the difference in the game,” LaVille head coach Kevin McCullough said. “She stole the ball and controlled the ball. The credit goes to the Cavs; they came out and took care of business.
“It’s hard for us to come from behind,” he added. “We got behind and couldn’t catch up. We had it down to six three times, and had the ball, but they hit some tough shots.”
Shaffer contributed 15 points, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, and yanked down a team-high seven rebounds for Culver, and freshman forward Mickella Hardy fought through foul trouble to add eight points.
The Cavs also received solid minutes from the bench, boosted by a fourth-quarter trey from freshman Angela Lewellen, and five rebounds from classmate Donna Zehner.
“In the first half the first time we subbed we struggled a little bit, but the subs did a good job the rest of the game,” Scheub said. “Angela Lewellen hit a 3 while we were making a little run. Donna Zehner gives us good minutes every game, and Chelsey Jones bought us some minutes.”
Jesse Feitz, a 6-foot-1 senior forward, piled up 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lancers. Kelsey Gurtner added nine second-half points for LaVille, and Kyla Coblentz handed out five assists.
The Lancers’ season bugaboo — turnovers — reared its head early and often.
“This is not the first time we’ve had a slow start,” McCullough said. “Today I attribute it to (Schultz) putting some pressure on us. They did a nice job defensively, and we turned the ball over way too many times. We had some looks early we just didn’t hit them.
“It’s disappointing for the Lancers to lose in the Bi-County,” he concluded. “The girls are working hard in practice. We’ll stick with it.”
At Lakeville (Bi-County semifinal)
Score by quarters
Culver: 15 27 38 55
LaVille: 10 15 30 43
CULVER (55): Chelsey Jones 0 0-0 0, Ali Overmyer 2 0-0 4, Angela Lewellen 2 2-2 7, Tatum Schultz 6 4-8 17, Abby James 1 0-0 2, Donna Zehner 0 2-4 2, Mickella Hardy 4 0-0 8, Kayla Shaffer 5 2-5 15. TOTALS: 20 10-19 55.
LaVILLE (43): Kelsey Gurtner 4 1-2 9, McKenzie Leed 0 0-0 0, Kyla Coblentz 1 3-5 5, Jesse Feitz 7 6-9 20, Hannah Herbster 2 0-0 4, Lynae Hostrawser 1 0-0 2, Amanda Carbiener 1 0-0 3, Lauren Hostrawser 0 0-1 0. TOTALS: 16 10-17 43.
3-point goals: Culver 5 (Shaffer 3, Lewellen, Schultz), LaVille 1 (Carbiener); Turnovers: Culver 27, LaVille 30; Rebounds: Culver 29 (Shaffer 7), LaVille 26 (Feitz 11); Assists: Culver 10 (Schultz 6), LaVille 8 (Coblentz 5); Steals: Culver 12 (Schultz 6), LaVille 7 (Coblentz, Feitz, Carbiener 2); Fouls (fouled out): Culver 18 (none), LaVille 15 (none); Records: Culver 8-8, LaVille 4-12.