ARGOS - In the 47th Bell Game, it didn’t take long for Argos to deliver the knockout punch.
Behind a stifling defense and points coming from plenty of sources, the Dragons built a huge lead and coasted to a 66-21 win over Culver at Phil Weybright Gymnasium Thursday night.
“Good defense,” Argos head coach Gordon Mosson simply stated. “It’s been good. It’s getting better. We need to get more consistent, but I was really proud how we played defense. They stuck with it almost the whole game. We tried to emphasize at halftime that it was a 0-0 game and to come out with the same intensity they did the first half and for the most part we did that.”
Playing man-to-man, Argos kept the Cavaliers stuck on zero for the first 10+ minutes of the game before Owen Valiquet hit a free throw; by then the score was already 16-0. The Dragons held Culver to just four points at halftime - all from foul shots - and 12 after three quarters.
Meanwhile, the home team spread the ball around and finished with nine players finding the scoring column, three in double figures. Dylan Kindig had six of his game-high 13 in the first quarter. Teddy Redinger had his turn in the second period, scoring five of his seven. Owen Nifong made at least one basket in each quarter and finished with 12, as did Michael Richard, who hit a pair of 3s as part of his dozen.
“(Kindig’s) capable of that,” Mosson said of the 6-4 sophomore reserve. “Sometimes with young players you just need success to have some confidence. He’s got good hands. He has nice moves inside. He gets in a hurry sometimes, but he has a chance to be a really good player.
“(Richard) had a good game Tuesday as well (a win over Caston). He’s getting more confident. He’s getting to where he can drive or dish it off. He creates shots for other players. He’s also a good 3-point shooter. Earlier in the year we were trying to get him to shoot more. Sometimes that just comes with confidence. Once you make a couple then you get more confident so hopefully he’ll take it and run with it.”
Senior Caleb Ellis also played well, scoring nine and making a number of hustle plays that led to more floor burns than points, but were important nevertheless.
“Before we came out I said, ‘Someone else come out and score (besides leading scorer Sam Manikowski)’ and they did,” added Mosson. “It’s nice to see other players do that.”
Valiquet led Culver with nine points (3-4 FTs) including a beautiful driving layup with a high degree of difficulty. Owen Clingler scored all five of his points in the fourth quarter.
Argos hosts Hammond Gavit Saturday while Culver’s next game is the final Hoosier North Athletic Conference contest of the season tonight at home against Pioneer.
• ARGOS 66, CULVER 21
CULVER: Owen Valiquet 3 3-4 9, Donavan Ziaja 0 3-4 3, Hunter Manns 2 0-1 4, Owen Clingler 2 0-0 5, Richard DaSilva 0 0-0 0, Braxton Conley 0 0-0 0, Jalen King 0 0-0 0, Auston Zehner 0 0-0 0, Marquez Anderson 0 0-0 0, Oliver Morgan 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 7 6-9 21.
ARGOS: Sam Manikowski 2 0-1 4, JJ Morris 2 0-0 4, Jake Stults 1 0-0 2, Michael Richard 3 4-4 12, Teddy Redinger, 1 4-4 7, Caleb Ellis 4 0-0 9, Owen Nifong 5 2-3 12, Dylan Kindig 6 1-2 13, Colin O’Dell 1 0-1 3, Caden Nifong 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 25 11-15 66.
Score by quarters
Culver 0 4 12 21
Argos 13 31 49 66
3-pointers: Argos 5 (Richard 2, Redinger, Ellis, O’Dell), Culver 1 (Clingler). Fouls (fouled out): Argos 12 (none), Culver 14 (none).
Records: Argos 11-8, Culver 1-17
JV score: Culver 37, Argos 35