Hustling Falcons fight past Culver Community

CULVER — John Glenn boys basketball head coach Travis Hannah views his team as one that needs to scratch and claw each and every game.
Hard to argue with that assessment.
The Falcons shot just 31 percent from the foul line and 20 percent from 3-point range, but kept afloat by a strong defensive effort, fought their way to a 41-31 Northern State Conference win over Culver Community at John R. Nelson Gymnasium Friday.
“We shot the ball terrible from the free-throw line,” Hannah, whose team avenged its 51-50 Bi-County semifinal loss to the Cavs, said. “We shot the ball terrible from the 3-point line, but we found a way to make enough plays to win.”
And while Culver all-time leading scorer Zoe Bauer rattled off 23 points during the Bi-County contest, Glenn’s switching man-to-man defense clamped down allowing the senior standout just five points on 2 of 11 from the field, as well as three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“The difference between the first time we played them was Bauer got hot in the second half and went off for (23) points against us,” Hannah said. “We had him for (five) tonight, and when you can hold Zoe to that, that’s pretty good.
“I don’t think we gave him very many good looks, and when he penetrated we kept moving,” he added. “A lot of teams, including us, get caught watching when he penetrates, and then he finds open teammates for easy baskets. We did a good job not standing and watching his penetration. We took away his passing angles.”
Meanwhile, Glenn junior point guard Josh Anderson finished with a game-best 13 points, 10 rebounds and three steals. He hit the first of a two-shot foul to break a 12-all deadlock with 5 seconds left in the opening frame and then rebounded his own miss on the second and put it back for a 15-12 edge at the quarter break. The Falcons, who won many a loose-ball scramble, led the rest of the way.
“(Glenn) just outworked us the whole game,” Culver head coach Kyle Elliott said. “There were a lot of loose balls on the floor, and it seemed like Glenn came up with all of them. I credit them with coming ready to play on the road in the Northern State Conference.”
Senior guard Jordan Hesters chipped in nine points; he went 2 of 3 from 3-point land, the second from the left wing to give the Falcons a 39-29 lead with 2:33 left in the game.
Also for Glenn, Brock Solmos dished out four assists.
“Jordan Hesters hit some big 3s, and we need him to be confident and hit a lot of 3s for us,” Hannah said. “You saw Charlie Dreessen and Jon Stewart play more big minutes tonight. I think we’re starting to get that balance that is a key ingredient to being a good team.”
Culver senior forward Larry Clingler scored a team-high eight points before leaving with an apparent MCL sprain after hustling after a loose ball in the third quarter.
Sophomore forward Micah Budzinski yanked down six rebounds for Culver, and senior guard AJ Neace added three steals.
However, the Cavs, hampered by too many quick shots and 15 turnovers, hit just 28 percent from the field.
“Thirty-one points isn’t going to beat anybody,” Elliott said. “We were very impatient on the offensive end. If you’re making two passes, putting up shots and making them, that’s one thing, but we were not. If we had settled down and shared the basketball better, I think we could have had more success.
“We made strides in the Bi-County and then played pretty well against OD,” he concluded. “Now we’ve had two conference games in a row against LaVille and Glenn where our offense was very stagnant, very impatient. We need to work the ball better.”
Glenn travels to Jimtown Thursday, while Culver heads to New Prairie for a make-up game tonight.
At Culver
Score by quarters
Glenn: 15 21 30 41
Culver: 12 17 25 31
GLENN (41): Aaron Stegemiller 3 0-0 6, Josh Anderson 6 1-5 13, Brock Solmos 1 2-4 5, Trey Rhodes 1 0-0 2, Jordan Hesters 3 1-3 9, Jon Stewart 0 0-0 0, Charlie Dreessen 1 0-0 2, Tom Knape 2 0-2 4, Carsen Heim 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 17 4-14 41.
CULVER (31): AJ Neace 1 0-0 2, Scotty Brown 0 0-0 0, Collin Stevens 1 3-4 6, Zoe Bauer 2 1-2 5, Trent Elliott 2 0-0 5, Patrick McBee 0 0-0 0, Micah Budzinski 1 3-5 5, Larry Clingler 3 2-3 8. TOTALS: 10 9-14 31.
3-point goals: Glenn 3 (Hesters 2, Solmos), Culver 2 (Stevens, Elliott); Turnovers: Glenn 15, Culver 15; Rebounds: Glenn 30 (Anderson 10), Culver 21 (Budzinski 6); Assists: Glenn 7 (Solmos 4), Culver 4 (Bauer 2); Steals: Glenn 5 (Anderson 3), Culver 10 (Neace); Fouls (fouled out): Glenn 14 (none), Culver 15 (none); Records: Glenn 8-6 (4-1 NSC), Culver 9-6 (2-3 NSC).