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  • Val T.

Black and gold and ‘Red’ all over: Argos star scores 34, hits clinching FTs in sectional win over Westville


Sports Editor, RTC

Samantha Redinger

CULVER — Argos senior guard Samantha Redinger came into her team’s Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinal against Westville at Culver’s John R. Nelson Gymnasium Wednesday ranked second in the state in free throws made.

And at her familiar place on the court, she helped end Westville’s season.

Redinger scored 34 points, including the two clinching free throws with 3.3 seconds left shortly after a controversial traveling call on Westville’s Andrean Benefield, and Morgyn Barcus scored four crucial points in the fourth quarter as Argos earned a 47-43 win.

The state’s leading scorer averaging 31.3 points per game, Redinger scored 17 points in each half.

Benefield, a 6-0 junior forward and a second cousin of Redinger’s, scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for Westville.

Argos, who utilized only five players, improved to 10-12. Westville, who was knocked out of the sectional by Argos for the second straight year, finished 8-11. They went 1-8 after a 7-3 start.

Argos will play Triton in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Triton trounced Trinity Greenlawn 42-11 in Wednesday’s other quarterfinal.

“There were a couple times throughout the game I felt we kept our composure,” Argos coach Scott Jennings said. “We got down a little bit and came back. That’s what I told them at halftime. It’s going to be games of some runs. We’re going to make some runs. They’re going to make some runs. How we keep our composure … I thought it was huge the way we hit free throws down the stretch.”

Westville trailed by as many as nine in the game and by as many as eight in the fourth quarter but got back within 44-43 on a Miranda Sparks layup in transition with 17.1 seconds left.

Westville coach John Marshall called his team’s final timeout.

Barcus was fouled with 14.8 seconds left after the timeout.

She made the first free throw but missed the second. In a wild scramble for the rebound, Benefield dove on the floor for the rebound, but officials called her for traveling, appearing to indicate that she rolled over on her back with possession of the ball with 12.6 seconds left.

It was Westville’s only turnover of the fourth quarter.

Alydiah Leed then inbounded to Barcus, whose pass found its way to Redinger despite it being deflected.

Redinger then maintained her dribble until Loreli Mallon fouled her with 3.3 seconds left.

Redinger then stroked the two clinching free throws to complete the scoring. Redinger, a 79 percent free throw shooter, went 11 for 11 from the line, including seven makes in the fourth quarter.

“I don’t really feel that much pressure,” Redinger said. “I’m a senior, so it’s my responsibility to step up and hit those free throws at the end.”

Westville trailed 26-17 after a Redinger driving banker in the third before going on an 11-2 run to tie it.

The run included Sparks blocking a Redinger shot and then scoring in transition after a Loreli Mallon assist.

Benefield split two free throws at the 1:59 mark and then hit two with 1:27 left. Sparks hit two free throws with 38.1 seconds left to tie it, but Redinger’s putback with two seconds left in the third quarter put Argos back ahead 30-28 after three quarters.

Benefield’s 14-footer from the high post tied it at 30 in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

Then Argos went on a 10-2 run.

The run started when Barcus threw up an air ball from 3-point range, but the ball appeared to hit the bottom of the backboard and ricochet right to Bollenbacher, whose layup off the glass with 6:35 left gave Argos a 32-30 lead.

A Redinger 3-point play in transition where she faked a pass on the move to Leah Pizzuto before gliding in herself for the bucket and the foul made it 35-30.

A driving layup from Redinger made it 37-30 and forced a Westville timeout.

Mallon hit two foul shots at the 4:55 mark, but Barcus answered with a 3-pointer from the left wing off a Redinger assist.

Benefield replied with two buckets, one off her own offensive rebound and the other when Sparks chased down her own missed 3-pointer and found her for a 10-footer.

Redinger hit two free throws, but Mallon trimmed the lead to 42-39 when she nailed a trey, and after Barcus missed a 3, Kierstin Vargas rebounded and found Mallon with an outlet pass, who squeezed in a scoop layup to make it 42-41.

Redinger hit two free throws at the 1:41 mark. Sparks missed, and Argos took nearly a minute off the clock, but a bad pass from Redinger resulted in a steal for Westville freshman Ava Fenters, and Fenters threw a hit-ahead pass to Sparks for an open bunny.

The lead was down to one.

Westville went on a 9-0 run in the first quarter, but Redinger drilled a baseline 3, and Leed got a friendly bounce on the rim on her own triple to cut a seven-point deficit to one in a span of two possessions.

Argos opened the second quarter on a 9-2 run with Redinger scoring seven points and assisting on a Bollenbacher short banker.

Seemingly unusual among Argos opponents, Westville did not play a box-in-one defense or face-guard Redinger. Instead, they played a straight-up man defense.

“We knew that going in, that they were going to play man,” Jennings said. “We put Sam and Ellie Bollenbacher in the paint most of the time and tried to get the ball in there, so they could go a little bit one-on-one or two-on-two. Sam’s a pretty good passer over to Ellie. Ellie needs to finish a few of those shots under there a little better, but I thought that worked pretty well.”

Westville got back within 17-15, but Redinger hit two free throws, Barcus hit two free throws, and then Redinger hit a trey just before the halftime buzzer to increase the lead to nine.

“Number 3 (Sparks), she’s really short, so I tried to get the ball in the post a lot more,” Redinger said. “Me and Ellie work together in there.”

Argos played without senior forward Aleasia Sarver. Jennings said that Sarver has been diagnosed with a concussion. Without the 5-9 Sarver, Jennings went with the 5-5 freshman Leah Pizzuto instead, and she played the entire game.

Argos utilized a 3-2 zone defense. Jennings praised Pizzuto’s coachability and said she “stepped up big-time for us.”

Jennings is not ruling out Sarver for the Triton game.

“She’s kind of ready to go,” Jennings said of Sarver. “She’s got a mild concussion, and she hasn’t practiced much lately. I thought with the game tied, I didn’t want to throw her out there, but she’s got to be ready to go, especially if Bollenbacher had picked up another foul in the first half. She’s got to be ready for us.”

Argos 47, Westville 43

WESTVILLE (43) (8-11)

Miranda Sparks 3 2-2 9, Addison Sonaty 0 0-0 0, Loreli Mallon 3 2-2 9, Andrea Benefield 7 7-10 21, Kierstin Vargas 1 0-0 2, Ava Fenters 1 0-0 2, Ella Fortune 0 0-0 0, Emily Hannon 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 15 11-14 43

ARGOS (47) (10-12)

Samantha Redinger 10 11-11 34, Alydiah Leed 1 0-0 3, Morgyn Barcus 1 3-4 6, Leah Pizzuto 0 0-0 0, Ellie Bollenbacher 2 0-2 4

TEAM: 14 14-17 47

Three-point field goals:

Westville 2 (Sparks, Mallon),

Argos 4 (Redinger 3, Barcus)

Total fouls: Westville 16, Argos 8

Turnovers: Westville 15, Argos 16

Score by quarters

Westville 9 6 13 15 43

Argos 8 16 6 17 47

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