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  • Val T.

Hite scores 19, Rodgers adds 16, but Cavs fall to LaVille

Next up: vs. New Prairie, 8 p.m. Friday in consolation round


Sports Editor, RTC

LAKEVILLE — The Culver boys basketball team led host LaVille by three points in the second quarter at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium Wednesday when Jack Rodgers picked up his third foul.

That was the turning point, according to Culver coach Kyle Evans. Tack on a cold-shooting third quarter, and the Cavaliers’ Bi-County Tournament drought continued.

Collin Czarnecki scored 23 points to lead four players in double figures as LaVille pulled away to beat the Cavaliers 85-57.

Lucas Plummer added 20 points, including a steal and a throwdown dunk on the break in the fourth quarter, and Michael Good had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman reserve Lance Edison added 12 points.

LaVille closed the first half on a 12-0 run to take a 43-33 halftime lead, and they closed the third quarter on a 10-0 run after an Adria Guasp 3-pointer to increase their lead to 19.

David Hite led Culver with 19 points, but he also picked up three fouls in the first half. Rodgers, the reigning Indiana Basketball Coaches Association District 1 Player of the Week, was held to 16. He came in averaging 24 ppg, and he scored 39 in his last game against Community Baptist on Jan. 9.

LaVille improved to 5-5. Culver dropped to 6-5.

LaVille will meet Bremen in a semifinal at 8 p.m. Friday at LaVille. Culver will take on New Prairie in a consolation game at the LaVille auxiliary gym at 8 p.m. Friday.

Culver remains without a Bi-County boys title since 1976. LaVille is the defending Bi-County champion.

“We had probably one of our best quarter-and-a-halves in that first half,” Evans said. “And we actually had guys boarding the basketball better than they have. If we have one thing that we do worse than anybody around, it’s probably rebounding. We are just a bad rebounding team, whether we’re out of position or we just don’t battle for them. … It’s hard to rebound when you’re scrambling and you can’t get set on defense because you’re chasing transition and those sort of things, but I was really pleased and proud of our guys rebounding the ball in the first half. The second half was not good from any standpoint offensively, and then it turned into not being good on the defensive end.”

Culver trailed 43-33 at halftime but halved that deficit on a Jonas McCuen 3-pointer and a Rodgers driving layup in the first 35 seconds of the second half, but Good’s driving layup and a Czarnecki 3-pointer triggered a 9-0 LaVille run.

A Rodgers driving banker, a length-of-the-floor assist from Rodgers to Ethan Binion for a layup and Guasp’s trey shaved a 14-point deficit back down to nine.

But Edison scored on three straight possessions, Good scored on an air ball putback, and Czarnecki scored in transition after a loose ball slipped out of teammate Andre Gonzales’ hands to make it 64-45.

Played at a breakneck pace with each team pressing the other, the first quarter featured eight lead changes.

Hite responded to a Czarnecki 3-point play by burying a triple, and Jonas McCuen’s circus layup and a Hite transition layup with five seconds left in the quarter made it 21-18.

LaVille coach Michael Edison could be heard loudly imploring his team to reduce its turnovers and improve its rebounding at the quarter break.

Lance Edison’s putback got the lead down to 21-20, but a Rodgers short banker and a Rodgers trey after another offensive rebound gave Culver a 26-20 lead.

But Plummer scored on a driving lay-in with 6:39 left in the half, and Rodgers was hit with his third foul on the play. Plummer completed the 3-point play as Rodgers had to go to the bench. He would return later in the quarter, and he never committed another foul after returning.

Hite was also called for a personal foul and then a technical foul with 59.5 seconds left in the half. He went from one foul to three fouls suddenly and also had to sit.

“We were up three when he went out, and they finished the half on a 12-0 run,” Evans said. “When he went out, it put guys in spots because … Jack doesn’t come off the floor ever, that really weren’t ready for this type of game yet. And when it went Jack, third foul, and David does just so much for us and really gives us a lot, but he had a stretch there when he went turnover, turnover, technical, and that turned into eight points for them. And you can’t overcome that against a team this good unless you’ve got a huge lead, which we did not.

“That was the turning point and probably ballgame at that point.”

In addition to the rebounding woes, Michael Edison later said his team was “flippant” with the ball early.

Asked about their defense on Rodgers, he complimented his all-around game.

“He’s a pretty big focus for us, but he’s as good of a passer at creating openings for other people,” coach Edison said. “I think he missed some 3-pointers that he normally makes. I don’t know what he’s best at, but he’s an awful good driver, and he can shoot. Holding him to 16, I guess, is a good thing, but I don’t know that we did anything magical.”

LaVille 85, Culver 57

CULVER (57) (6-5)

David Hite 8 1-2 19, Jack Rodgers 7 0-2 16, Jonas McCuen 2 1-4 6, Adria Guasp 2 0-0 6, Logan Caudill 2 3-4 7, Caleb McCuen 0 0-0 0, Ethan Binion 1 1-2 3

TEAM: 22 6-14 57

LAVILLE (85) (5-5)

Lucas Plummer 6 7-7 20, Cody Allen 1 1-2 3, Collin Czarnecki 10 1-1 23, Braedyn Foster 2 0-0 4, Michael Good 6 0-0 12, Lance Edison 6 0-0 12, Andre Gonzales 1 0-0 3, Avery Garrett 4 0-0 8

TEAM: 36 9-10 85

Three-point field goals:

Culver 7 (Hite 2, Rodgers 2, Guasp 2, J. McCuen),

LaVille 4 (Czarnecki 2, Plummer, Gonzales)

Total fouls: Culver 12, LaVille 12

Technical foul: Hite (CUL), :59.5, second

Turnovers: Culver 19, LaVille 17

Score by quarters

Culver 21 12 12 12 57

LaVille 18 25 21 21 85

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