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  • Val T.

Frosh Hook scores career-high 24, helps Caston top Culver

Rodgers scores 25, but Cavs drop to 1-2 in Hoosier North


Sports Editor, RTC

Lane Hook

FULTON — Freshman big man Lane Hook scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Caleb Stinson and Talon Zeider scored 14 points each to lead the Caston boys basketball team to a 76-62 win over visiting Culver Friday.

Relying on floaters and short jumpers from the high post and depositing feeds from Stinson, Hook had a career night.

In addition to setting up Hook, Stinson hit four 3-pointers.

Zeider added three treys, including a 3 off a Grant Yadon assist with 1:48 left that moved the lead back to double digits at 67-56.

Yadon contributed eight points and six assists helping Hook in the frontcourt.

This marked just the fifth time in Carl Davis’ seven seasons as coach in which Caston has scored 70 or more points in a game. It was also Caston’s most points since scoring 82 against North Miami in February 2022.

Senior point guard Jack Rodgers scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half for Culver. David Hite scored nine, all in the first quarter. Adria Guasp hit three of his team’s eight 3-pointers and also had nine.

Junior forward Ethan Binion missed the game with what coach Kyle Evans called a “medical mishap.” Evans said Binion is now “doing well” and said he is hoping he will be back next week. Brady Kindernay also missed the game with an ankle sprain.

Caston made nine of 10 free throws while Culver hit just four of 15.

Caston improved to 4-5 overall and 1-1 in the Hoosier North. Culver dropped to 5-4, 1-2.

“A couple of defensive lapses,” Evans said. “And we kind of went cold there from the floor a little bit. We also had some moments of just we didn’t have anybody off the bench tonight with some crazy stuff going on, injuries and such. And (we) had moments of tiredness that led to lapses on defense and gave up some easy stuff, but it happens.”

Caston never trailed after the first quarter. Starting with a short floater from Hook that he turned into a 3-point play, they went on a 9-0 run to take a 34-25 lead. The run also included a high-post pass from Stinson to Corbin Smith for a layup, a long diagonal assist from Zeider that hit Hook in stride for a layup, and a post-entry pass from Zeider to Smith for s short hook.

Guasp rang the bell on a 23-footer with eight seconds left to cut the lead to six, but Stinson weaved through Culver’s press and fired a pass down to Smith for a layup at the buzzer to make it 36-28.

“I thought we got really aggressive,” Davis said. “I thought we got some good looks off our press break. I thought Corbin Smith played really big in those minutes and helped us with that run. He was great off the bench all night long, and I know that with this group, we really have guys from night to night where I’m not really sure where it’s going to come from, and I think that because of that, there are nights where guys’ minutes are going to fluctuate quite a bit, and tonight was a night where Corbin gave us some huge minutes, and guys stepped up the whole night, and that’s what we have to have in games like this.”

Jack Rodgers

Culver got as close as 47-43 in the second half on two nifty Rodgers buckets – a high-arching floater over Hook in the paint and another bucket in transition where he absorbed contact from Stinson and put in a floater as he was fouled.

“He’s a handful,” Davis said of Rodgers. “I’m not sure there’s a perfect solution for him because if you help off their shooters too much, they’re going to hurt you from there.”

Evans called Rodgers a “high IQ player” and said Rodgers would win a midseason conference player of the year award if such an award existed.

“He’s great,” Evans said. “He’s just taken a lot on his back.”

Rodgers missed the ensuing free throw, however, and Stinson hit two treys to get the lead back to 10.

Hook added seven more points in the fourth quarter, scoring on a putback and finishing off passes from Yadon and Stinson.

“Catching it in the high post and that one-dribble pullup floater. That’s about it,” Hook said in describing his patented shot. “Teammates were looking for me on the dives.”

Hook called playing in the high post against defenses like Culver’s zone trap “my spot.” Having said that, he said he has exceeded his own expectations.

“I never thought I’d score 24 points,” Hook said. “I figured I’d be a role player. I’m very blessed.”

Evans is now 0-4 against Caston since becoming the Culver coach. His father Chuck is the Caston principal and an assistant on Davis’ staff, and his half-brother Josh is a junior reserve for the Comets who hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.

“When Josh is on the floor, I don’t even notice he’s on the floor,” Evans said. “I told Carl that, and he goes, ‘Is it weird?’ And I said, ‘I don't even notice when he’s on the floor, to be honest with you.’ It stinks to give him bragging rights four years in a row, but otherwise, I don’t even notice the difference.”

Caston 76, Culver 62

CULVER (62) (5-4, 1-2)

David Hite 4 0-0 9, Jack Rodgers 11 3-7 25, Jonas McCuen 2 0-6 6, Adrian Guasp 3 0-0 9, Logan Caudill 3 1-2 7, Caleb McCuen 2 0-0 6

TEAM: 25 4-15 62

CASTON (76) (4-5, 1-1)

Talon Zeider 5 1-1 14, Caleb Stinson 5 0-0 14, Alex Craig 0 0-0 0, Lane Hook 11 2-3 24, Grant Yadon 3 2-2 8, Carter Clingler 1 0-0 3, Corbin Smith 3 0-0 6, Gavin Mollenkopf 0 4-4 4, Joshua Evans 1 0-0 3

TEAM: 29 9-10 76

Three-point field goals:

Culver 8 (Guasp 3, C. McCuen 2, J. McCuen 2, Hite),

Caston 9 (Stinson 4, Zeider 3, Clingler, Evans)

Total fouls: Culver 14, Caston 12

Turnovers: Culver 11, Caston 18

Score by quarters

Culver 17 11 17 17 62

Caston 18 18 19 21 76

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