Edmonds, VanDerWeele lead Lady Dragons past Bremen, into Bi-County title game
Argos vs. Triton, noon Saturday at LaVille
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
BREMEN –- The story of the Argos girls basketball team’s win over host Bremen in a Bi-County Tournament semifinal Wednesday might be told by what the team did in the fourth quarter when junior post player Lizzy Edmonds was in the game.
But it might also be told by how well they played in the third quarter when she wasn’t.
Edmonds, Argos’ 6-0 junior post player, scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and
Madi VanDerWeele added 10 as Argos beat the Lady Lions 49-36.
Ellia Foster led Bremen with a game-high 23 points. She scored 15 of her team’s 18 points in the second half. But post player Katie Moyer, who scored 16 against Culver in Monday’s quarterfinal win, was held to four this time.
Argos also had a 13-0 advantage in bench points, and they made more free throws (6) than Bremen attempted (2).
Argos improved to 8-10. Bremen, the defending Bi-County champion, fell to 9-9.
Argos will play Triton at noon Saturday at LaVille in the championship game. Triton handled Oregon-Davis 57-51 in their semifinal.
“It’s like a dream come true almost,” VanDerWeele said. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”
Freshman Samantha Redinger scored on a driving layup along the left baseline to give Argos the lead for good at 23-21 with 6:12 left in the third quarter.
VanDerWeele hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead to five.
“I just felt our energy was … we weren’t going to stop,” VanDerWeele said. “We were just out for blood and ready to win.”
Foster hit a turnaround jumper for Bremen.
By this point, Edmonds was getting a rest on the bench, and Argos was extending the lead without her on the floor. Reserve Carleigh Miller hit two free throws, and then another reserve, Sophie Bollenbacher, found VanDerWeele for a layup. When Bollenbacher connected on a short banker, the lead was nine.
“Like I’ve said all year, we’ve got the shooters, and they’re starting to get that confidence,” Argos coach Scott Jennings said. “And those were big buckets for us. We knocked those down. It was huge just to pull away there for a little bit.”
Foster hit a 3-pointer. Jennings called timeout. They broke the press, and Miller hit a 10-footer from the right baseline, and the lead was 34-26 going into the fourth quarter.
“Our bench was awesome tonight,” Jennings said. “I told them before the game to be ready to come in. We’re deep. And they came in and contributed in a big way tonight. Sophie Bollenbacher, Miller … they came in and hit some key shots for us when we needed them. It was big. It was real big. If we can continue to get that out of them, it’s going to make for some wins down the road for us.”
Bremen got the first basket of the fourth quarter on a Foster runner, but Argos responded again. Sydney Shepherd scored on a driving layup, Bella Stults scored on a driving banker, and Edmonds hit a 12-footer on a VanDerWeele assist on an inbounds play. The lead was up to 12.
Meanwhile, Redinger drew the defensive assignment on Foster. This came four days after Redinger had to guard Pioneer’s Hailey Cripe in a 55-40 loss.
Though Redinger said she could have done better, she drew raves from her coach for defense.
“I thought she did a great job,” Jennings said. “And we switched Madi off on her a little bit too. It’s like I told her before the game: She’s a good player. She’s got a great jump shot. All you can do is contain her. She’s going to score some points. You’re not going to hold her scoreless by any means … but I thought she did a heck of a job defensively. And we made her work for it. Towards the end, I think she missed some shots that she would normally hit just because I think her legs were getting tired.”
Redinger said she has been playing basketball since she was “little,” around age 4 or 5. Also a member of Argos’ regional champion soccer team, she said basketball is her favorite sport. She praised Jennings’ impact on the team.
“I take over in a game a little bit more in the JV, but in the varsity, we all work together to get more shots to everybody,” Redinger said of her sudden move from the JV to the varsity starting lineup.
Argos led by as many as five points in the first half and led 21-18 at halftime. Edmonds spearheaded the Argos offense with eight points.
Argos reached the semifinal when New Prairie was forced to withdraw due to coronavirus concerns within their program.
Neither Argos nor Triton has ever won the Bi-County title. Argos is in the championship game for the first time since 2006 when they lost to New Prairie. The 2006 Bi-County Tournament also marked Argos’ last win over Bremen. They had lost five straight to the Lady Lions since, all of which came in the Bi-County. The Shelly Newell-coached Argos team would eventually make it to the semistate in 2006.
Argos will also host Triton on Wednesday in their regular season meeting. And with the IHSAA draw coming up at 7 p.m. Sunday, it’s possible Argos could have to play Triton three times in a 10-day span.
Of Argos’ eight wins, this might be the most impressive. While they had won three earlier games against higher class opponents (Culver Academy, South Bend Career Academy, New Prairie), this was their first win over a higher class opponent on the road. Bremen won their Class 2A sectional last year and made it to the regional final.
“I think so,” Jennings said when asked if it was his team’s biggest win. “It’s the right time. It’s Bi-County time. You come to Bremen’s gym. They’re always competitive. They come after you. Yeah, it’s a huge win for us. I think we can only build off it.”
Bruce Jennings, who is Scott Jennings’ brother, is the principal at Bremen. Bruce Jennings is a 1974 Argos grad.
Argos 49, Bremen 36
ARGOS (49) (8-10)
Samantha Redinger 2 0-0 5, Sydney Shepherd 1 0-0 2, Emma Dunlap 2 0-0 5, Madi VanDerWeele 4 1-2 10, Lizzy Edmonds 6 2-2 14, Bella Stults 2 0-0 4, Carleigh Miller 1 2-2 4, Sophie Bollenbacher 2 1-3 5, Cailey Markley 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 20 6-9 49
BREMEN (36) (9-9)
Emma Graverson 1 0-0 3, Paige Thompson 0 0-0 0, Haylie Rodriguez 2 1-2 6, Ellia Foster 9 0-0 23, Katie Moyer 2 0-0 4, Mikayla Shively 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 14 1-2 36
Three-point field goals:
Argos 3 (VanDerWeele, Redinger, Dunlap),
Bremen 7 (Foster 5, Rodriguez, Graverson)
Total fouls: Argos 9, Bremen 11
Turnovers: Argos 20, Bremen 13
Score by quarters
Argos 15 6 13 15 – 49
Bremen 11 7 8 10 – 36