A Welk in the park: Valley relies on Cumberland, Stump, 1-3-1 defense to top Judson
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
NORTH JUDSON –- Nolan Cumberland scored five of his team-high 14 points in the final 1:05, and Brendyn Stump added 11 points, all in the second half, to lead the Tippecanoe Valley boys basketball team to a 51-45 win over host North Judson Tuesday.
Starting in a 2-3 zone and then switching to a 1-3-1 zone, Valley outscored the Blue Jays 15-1 in the third quarter to assume control.
Blayne Wilcox scored 15 points, and Payton Cox hit three 3-pointers and added 13 for the Blue Jays, who fell to 5-12.
Valley snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 7-14.
North Judson outscored Valley 14-3 from the foul line, but Valley counteracted that with a 15-8 advantage in bench points. Valley also committed eight turnovers as compared to North Judson’s 11.
Braden Shepherd contributed eight of the Vikings’ bench points, but one of the bench heroes might have been 6-3 sophomore forward Dominick Welk. Welk didn’t score, and he only entered the game after 6-7 center Dawson Perkins picked up his third foul in the third quarter.
Welk, though, was on top of the 1-3-1 zone that extended to halfcourt. The Valley defense held North Judson to no field goals for the first 12 minutes of the second half.
“I thought in the first half, our diamond press and 2-3 affected them, and then the 1-3-1 with Dom at the top in that second half… I mean, he’s so long and played so well. We really caused some problems. Even when we weren’t turning them over, they were taking shots they weren’t used to.”
Patrick said Welk knew that Valley would be going to the 1-3-1 once he was inserted into the game.
“That’s what he does, and he’s pretty good at it,” Patrick said.
Said Stump of the defense: “We all were energized. The bench was in it. We were in it. We had Dom up top. It was a big part of our win tonight.”
North Judson first-year coach Kent Chezem cited poor shot selection as the reason for his team’s third quarter downfall.
“Shot selection went out the window for us,” Chezem said. “I thought we did a nice job of working the ball inside-out in the first half and getting the shots we wanted. And we just didn't do that in the third quarter.”
Still, North Judson cut an 11-point Valley lead down to 49-45, and Ty Schmuacher had a look at an open 3-pointer from the right corner with under 40 seconds left.
But he missed, and Cumberland completed the scoring with two free throws with 36.2 seconds left.
“Nolan’s been probably our steady Eddie all year,” Patrick said.
While that was happening, Cumberland hit jumpers on consecutive possessions – a 15-footer off the bounce and a 3-pointer from the left wing in early offense – that put Valley ahead for good at 29-27.
A Stump pullup 13-footer from the right elbow made it 31-27. A Stump 3-pointer that hit the right side of the rim and somehow dropped through extended the lead to seven, and a Stump driving layup gave Valley a 36-27 lead after three quarters.
Stump also hit a 15-footer off a curl and whipped his North Judson defender off the dribble along the left baseline for a bucket in the fourth quarter.
Stump said he’s “in the gym 24/7” working on his game.
“I just came out and I drove more, and instead of looking for just a 3-point shot, I started to get inside more to get my rhythm going,” Stump said. “And things started clicking from there.”
When Braden Shepherd split two trapping defenders and drove for a layup, Valley had their biggest lead at 44-33.
“He kept the game simple,” Patrick said. “He kept it really simple in the second half and didn’t do anything crazy and didn’t do anything too hard. He just kept it simple and took the shots when they came. He got a couple nice drives and pullups in the lane. He took a charge. He played really well.”
Patrick also credited Paul Leasure, Riley Shepherd and Braden Shepherd for their contributions.
“We got good contributions from a lot of guys, even Riley Shepherd came in for a couple minutes and hit a 3,” Patrick said. “We’re starting to find some guys that can do different things on the floor at different times, and that really helps a lot.”
The game was tied 21-21 late in the first half, but a Cox 3-pointer and a Cheyenne Allen putback in the final 70 seconds gave North Judson a five-point halftime lead.
North Judson won the JV game 55-49. Damion Kohler led Valley with 14 points, Dylan Neese had seven, Landon Walters and Riley Shepherd had six each, Cooper Walls and Braden Shepherd had five each, Welk had four and Landon Durkes had two.
Valley 51, North Judson 45
VALLEY (51) (7-14)
Brendyn Stump 5 0-0 11, Paul Leasure 3 0-2 6, Nolan Cumberland 5 3-3 14, Chase Miller 1 0-0 3, Dawson Perkins 1 0-1 2, Riley Shepherd 1 0-0 3, Braden Shepherd 4 0-1 8, Rex Kirchenstien 2 0-0 4, Dominick Welk 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 22 3-7 51
NORTH JUDSON (45) (5-12)
Trey Hampton 0 0-0 0, Payton Cox 4 2-2 13, Blayne Wilcox 3 9-10 15, Cheyenne Allen 2 0-0 4, Kelson Jordan 2 1-1 5, Quinn Bales 0 1-1 1, Connor Benson 0 0-0 0, Kason Sanchez 1 0-1 2, Ty Schmuacher 2 1-1 5
TEAM: 14 14-16 45
Three-point field goals:
Valley 4 (Cumberland, Stump, R. Shepherd, Miller),
North Judson 3 (Cox 3)
Total fouls: Valley 13, North Judson 14
Turnovers: Valley 8, North Judson 11
Score by quarters
Valley 12 9 15 15 – 51
North Judson 11 15 1 18 – 45
JV: North Judson 55, Valley 49