CULVER - In a game where every point was at a premium, it was good old fashioned free throws that were the difference as Argos led end to end in a 22-18 round one sectional win over Triton.
Argos pitched a shut out first quarter and led until the 1:35 mark in the fourth when Triton's Abby Viers nailed a free throw to tie it at 18. The Lady Dragons Elizabeth Edmonds capped a brilliant night with a pair of free throws on the next possession to put Argos back on top and then, freshman Emma Dunlap would seal it with two more on the next possession.
"I hate playing that Heckaman guy," said a smiling Argos coach Dan Dewar about Triton coach Adam Heckaman's game plan for the Lady Dragons. "He just locks you down and his kids play so hard. I knew we were going to be in that type of game. I told our girls that all week. That's the way they play it, they want to get it to that last possession."
"These girls have stood up to adversity all year long," said Heckaman of his team's resolve. "We had a starting lineup out there that hasn't been out there all year long and they all stepped up and did what they could."
With injury and sickness just as big an opponent as Argos, the Lady Trojans got a shutdown performance from their defense holding the Dragons to just six of 22 from the field on the night but struggled themselves scoring the basketball.
"The ball didn't bounce our way early on some shots that could have got us going," said Heckaman. "But defensively like we've done for most of the year we gave ourselves a chance."
Dewar was complimentary of his players effort as well, fighting off Triton at key moments in the second half.
"I thought everybody played really hard," he said. "I really believe that it's all about practice and getting better in practice and we got better in practice."
Fighting sickness and depleted numbers themselves the Lady Dragons got a big lift from a player that almost didn't make it to the game. Elizabeth Edmonds was one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds adding three key blocked shots in the fourth quarter.
"Last night I got the text that she's (Edmonds) been home all day with the flu," said Dewar. "You could tell early on she didn't have any energy but she was great tonight."
Triton got a big lift from their post player as well. Abby Viers led all scorers with 11 and was a rebound shy of her own double-double with nine.
Viers and sophomore Taren Yates gave Triton a shot of energy to make a run at the end but not enough to gain and hold the lead.
"We've worked on her (Viers) being more aggressive all year," said Heckaman. "She's rebounded the ball well all year and offensively she's finally being more aggressive. I thought Taren (Yates) really did a good job late in the game of penetrating and getting Abby the ball in position to score in attacking the basket a little more."
Argos is now 13-9 on the year and moves on to a semi-final matchup Friday night with LaCrosse. Triton's season ends at 10-14.
•ARGOS 22, TRITON 18
Argos 5 10 15 22
Triton 0 4 10 18
Argos (22) — Edmonds 3 3-4 9, Bollenbacher 0 0-0 0, LaFree 0 0-0 0, VanDerWeele 1 0-0 2, Morris 2 2-2 8, Dunlap 0 3-4 3. Totals 6 8-10 22.
Triton (18) — Yates 1 0-0 2, Soriano 0 0-0 0, Bules 1 0-1 2, Hepler 1 0-0 3, Viers 4 3-4 11. Totals 7 3-6 18.