Lady Cavs avenge loss to Triton

BOURBON — Sometimes it’s better to be wrong.
Triton head coach Adam Heckaman had a presentiment before his girls’ Bi-County opener with Culver Tuesday that his girls may not have been focused on the task at hand.
The Class A No. 6 Lady Trojans coughed up 15 first half turnovers to surrender a 10-point lead at the intermission, and the defending tourney champion Lady Cavaliers held off their hosts down the stretch for a 45-40 win at The Trojan Trench.
Culver advances to play LaVille in the late semifinal at LaVille Thursday night at 8 p.m.
“I really think mentally we weren’t into it tonight,” Heckaman said. “I talked to them before the game and said ‘I’m a little worried because we look a little sluggish, we look like we’re not focused on what we need to do.’ I wish I would have been wrong. That’s the feel I got from them from the get-go, and it carried through into the game.”
The Cavs jumped out to a 9-6 lead at the first quarter break. An 8-0 second-quarter-ending run by Culver, all off Triton turnovers, put the defending champs in the driver’s seat for good as they avenged a 45-36 Northern State Conference loss to the Trojans Friday.
“We really struggled the other night when we played them, and we were doing things that we don’t normally do so we spent all practice on Saturday and Monday working on our defense and what we needed to fix tonight,” said Culver head coach Tony Scheub.
“We were relying way to much on our help and giving their shooters open looks. We were getting beat baseline, and that’s something that we practice everyday is not getting beat baseline and they killed us on the baseline the first time. I thought we did a tremendous job on the ball, so we didn’t need to use our help and we didn’t give their shooters open looks.”
Triton cut the lead down to one at 36-35 with 1:53 remaining with a 13-2 run capped off by a Taylor Hatfield steal and kick to Shana Anderson for a baseline jumper. The Trojans had plenty of chances at the line down the stretch but scuffled to a 4-for-10 finish at the free throw line in the final frame en route to a 7-for-16 clip for the night.
“We got back into it in the fourth quarter because we started doing what we should have been doing the whole game,” said Heckaman. “We got after it defensively. We rushed them, which was our goal from the start. We didn’t do it in the first half. We sat around giving them shots and hoping they missed, and they didn’t. They shot the ball well. They’re kids came ready to play. We got back in it by rushing them and attacking the basket. We got to the free throw line, and then we just didn’t make enough free throws to catch ourselves all the way back up.”
Culver was led by a game-high 14 points from Kayla Shaffer, who buried three 3s and scored all her points in the first half as the Cavs took their decisive lead. Mickella Hardy tallied 10, including eight after the break to help keep Culver on top.
“I thought Kayla did a really good job of taking good shots,” Scheub said. “She caught in rhythm, didn’t force anything, let the game kind of come to her, and when she’s feeling it she’s a really good shooter. In the second half I was really proud of her that she didn’t force shots, she let the offense come to her and distributed more, and I think that was a big key that we got good shots.”
Triton was led by Hatfield’s 14 points in their fifth loss in the last seven games. The Trojans will play John Glenn in the Bi-County consolation at the LaVille auxiliary gym Thursday at 8 p.m.
“Nobody wants to play in it, but I think it’s a big game for us right now because we need to rebound,” said Heckaman. “We need to get our heads back focused on what we need to be doing, get things straightened out so we can hopefully get the last of our conference games and get focused on what we need to do in sectional.”
In the JV girls tourney Monday, meanwhile, Triton beat Culver 36-6 to advance to play LaVille at the JV semis tonight at the LaVille main gym at 6:30 p.m.
At Bourbon (Bi-County 1st round)
Score by quarters
Culver: 9 28 34 45
Triton: 6 18 25 40
CULVER (45): Chelsey Jones 0 0-0 0, Ali Overmyer 1 0-0 3, Angela Lewellen 0 0-0 0, Tatum Schultz 3 2-5 8, Abby James 3 1-2 7, Donna Zehner 1 1-2 3, Mickella Hardy 3 4-4 10, Kayla Shaffer 5 1-5 14; Totals: 16 9-18 45.
TRITON (40): Kaelyn Mason 1 0-0 2, Taylor Hatfield 4 5-6 14, Breanna Lemler 1 0-0 2, Krystal Sellers 0 1-2 1, Kylie Mason 4 0-0 10, Mallorie Jennings 0 0-0 0, Shana Anderson 3 1-8 7, Megan Howdeshell 2 0-0 4; Totals: 15 7-16 40.
3-point goals: Culver 4 (Shaffer 3, Overmyer), Triton 3 (Ky. Mason 2, Hatfield); Turnovers: Culver 19, Triton 21; Rebounds: Culver 31 (Hardy 8), Triton 27 (Anderson 8); Steals: Culver 10 (Lewellen 2, Schultz 2, Zehner 2, Hardy 2), Triton 12 (Hatfield 4, Anderson 4); Assists: Culver 14 (Schultz 5), Triton 10 (Jennings 3, Anderson 3); Fouls (fouled out): Culver 16 (none), Triton 14 (Anderson).
Records: Triton 10-5, Culver 7-8