Madi made them: VanDerWeele’s treys lift Argos girls to 4th straight win
Edmonds adds 12 in win over New Prairie
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
ARGOS –- Argos girls basketball player Madi VanDerWeele picked a heck of a time for her first 3-pointer of the season.
And then she picked a heck of a time for her second: the very next possession.
VanDerWeele scored 15 points, and Lizzy Edmonds added 12 to lead Argos to a 45-42 win over visiting New Prairie at Phil Weybright Gymnasium Tuesday, which extended Argos’ winning streak to four.
Morgan White scored 17 points, and Jordan Winters added 16 for New Prairie.
Argos improved to 4-7. New Prairie fell to 5-8.
The White-Winters duo combined for seven 3-pointers for New Prairie.
But the shooter who made the biggest impact might have been VanDerWeele. Her first 3 of the season gave Argos a 32-29 lead with 2:59 left in the third quarter. As it turned out, it put Argos ahead for good. Her second trey came from the deep left corner on the very next possession and put Argos up by six.
New Prairie would get within three on four separate occasions after that. The last time came at 45-42 on two Maddie McSurley free throws with 3.6 seconds left.
Argos called timeout to set up an inbounds play. They called another after they couldn’t find an open player. Finally, Emma Dunlap rushed to the inbounds pass and was fouled with 2.5 seconds left.
Dunlap missed the front end of a one-and-one, and New Prairie rebounded with 0.5 seconds left and called timeout. The length-of-the-court inbounds pass was bobbled as time expired.
Three of Argos’ four wins are against higher-class teams.
VanDerWeele might not be thought of as a primary scorer, but she scored 12 of Argos’ 23 second-half points. She said coach Scott Jennings encouraged her to shoot at halftime.
“I’ve been struggling shooting a little bit, so I’ve been focusing more on just getting passes for my other teammates. … I had a few in the first half, and I didn’t feel as ready, and we were out at halftime, and he said don’t think about it,” VanDerWeele said. “Just shoot it. Be confident and it will go in. I just remember catching it and looking and being, ‘Oh, OK.’”
Said Jennings: “It was the right timing for her because she’s got that in her. She’s a good 3-point shooter. She just has been lacking a little confidence, and I think that was a good confidence builder for her to step up and hit those.”
Meanwhile, Edmonds, a 6-0 junior post player, exerted herself on the boards and also scored a crucial basket on a flash cut to accept a VanDerWeele pass and score with 5:03 left. That gave Argos a 41-35 lead.
Perhaps more crucially, Edmonds was never in foul trouble.
“She’s a good player, but we never focus on one player,” New Prairie first-year coach Aimee Litka said of Edmonds. “She came out, and she gave us some problems on the rebounding front based on our size. However, we didn’t attack the basket to know much about her shot blocking game.”
Defensively, Argos started in a 2-3 zone, then switched to a 1-3-1 zone for most of the middle two quarters and then played mostly man-to-man in the fourth quarter.
White and Winters did not hit any treys in the fourth quarter.
“I thought our 1-3-1 zone was more effective than our 2-3,” Jennings said. “They had some shooters. I felt like we could get out on them a little bit. And then going into the last quarter, I felt like we weren’t in foul trouble, so I thought let’s go man-to-man and show them something different. I thought people stepped up, and we played pretty good man-to-man defense, and I thought it worked for us.”
Sophomore guards Dunlap and Bella Stults scored eight and four points, respectively. Dunlap had a steal and layup with 12 seconds to go in the third quarter. Stults’ biggest contribution might have been a bucket with 1:18 left off a VanDerWeele assist that gave Argos a 43-38 lead.
“They’ve gotten so much more confident,” VanDerWeele said of the sophomore duo. “They’ve helped us get where we are.”
New Prairie led 11-9 after one quarter. Sydney Shepherd hit a pair of treys in the second quarter for Argos. Edmonds also had six points in the first half. The Lady Dragons led 22-21 at halftime on a VanDerWeele free throw with 29.3 seconds left.
VanDerWeele didn’t have a field goal in the second quarter, but that was about to change.
This is Argos’ first four game-winning streak since a five-game winning streak from Jan. 26-Feb. 4, 2017. Argos went 22-3 in the 2016-17 season and won a sectional championship. Ranked No. 1 during a time, Argos started that season 16-0.
Argos returns to the court to host North Miami on Jan. 7. The next Hoosier Plains game is a road tilt at Lakeland Christian on Jan. 9.
Argos will host New Prairie again at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18 in the first round of the Bi-County Tournament.
Argos 45, New Prairie 42
NEW PRAIRIE (42) (5-8)
Jaiden Winters 0 0-0 0, Jordan Winters 5 2-6 16, Morgan White 6 2-2 17, Allison Pavlick 2 1-4 5, Maddie McSurley 1 2-2 4, Taylor Nelson 0 0-0 0, Rachel Deutscher 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 14 7-14 42
ARGOS (45) (4-7)
Sydney Shepherd 2 0-0 6, Emma Dunlap 2 4-7 8, Sophie Bollenbacher 0 0-0 0, Madi VanDerWeele 4 5-8 15, Lizzy Edmonds 6 0-2 12, Samantha Redinger 0 0-0 0, Bella Stults 2 0-0 4, Carleigh Miller 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 16 9-17 45
Three-point field goals:
New Prairie 7 (Jordan Winters 4, White 3),
Argos 4 (Shepherd 2, VanDerWeele 2)
Total fouls: New Prairie 15, Argos 11
Fouled out: White (NP), :02.5, fourth
Score by quarters
New Prairie 11 10 13 8 – 42
Argos 9 13 15 8 – 45