Morris’ 20 helps Argos win Bell for 6th straight year
Herbert scored 9 for Culver in loss
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
ARGOS — J.J. Morris scored 20 points, and Michael Richard added 10 to lead the Argos boys basketball team to a 44-31 win over Culver in the Bell game at Phil Weybright Gymnasium Feb. 10.
Argos won the Bell for the sixth straight year. Including Bi-County and sectional games, the Dragons have now won 11 straight in the rivalry. Culver has not beaten Argos since a 43-37 win in a Bi-County consolation game on Jan. 20, 2017.
Argos improved to 12-4. Culver fell to 3-12.
Mason Herbert hit three 3-pointers and led Culver with nine points. The Cavaliers hit seven 3-pointers but did not attempt a free throw. Argos played a 2-3 zone defense for “60 to 70 percent” of the game, according to first-year coach Jason Breden.
Culver led 3-2 after a Marquez Anderson trey in the first quarter, but Argos responded with a 16-3 run and never trailed again.
“I just think our mental mindset was really there,” Breden said. “I thought whenever I called an offensive set, we ran it, and not only did we run it, but we ran it well. And when we run stuff well, we get open shots and knock them down, and good things happen.”
Argos led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter. Culver would force 10 Argos turnovers in the second half and would get within 30-22 in the third quarter on a Herbert triple from the left of the key.
But Morris scored on a putback, and Richard tacked on a driving layup.
Emiliano Ortiz drilled a 3 for Culver, but Jake Stults hit a 3 from the right corner off a Richard assist, and when Dylan Kindig scored off another Richard set-up, the lead was back up to 39-25 going into the fourth quarter.
Argos took the lead for good at 4-3 in the first quarter on a hook from the right baseline from Morris. Stults hit a 3, and Richard worked a give-and-go for a layup.
Herbert hit a 3 to make it 9-6, but Kindig hit a short banker on an inbounds play, and Morris dropped in a finger roll and a 3-pointer from the left corner in transition.
When Morris hit a fadeaway in the first minute of the second quarter it was 18-6.
Michael Richard hit a pair of 3-pointers, and younger brother Sean Richard would hit a pair of free throws to make it 28-11 with 3:26 left in the half.
“We knew they were going to try to trap Mike (Richard) on the top because he’s a really good shooter, so they were going to try to take that away,” Morris said. “So we knew that the middle would be open on their 2-3 zone.”
Culver was playing for the first time in 13 days, and they struggled in the first quarter. The Argos game started a stretch of seven games in 15 days to close out the regular season.
“The offensive rebounds killed us there in that first quarter,” Culver coach Kyle Evans said. “They shot a low percentage from the field 15 feet and out, but they killed us on the boards. The first quarter has been brutal on us all year. We’re playing from behind almost every game after the first quarter. We were hoping to eliminate that tonight, but if you don’t rebound on the defensive end… in the second and third quarters, they did a much better job, but the first quarter killed us.”
Argos has a 35-18 advantage in the Bell rivalry.
“It’s fun,” Morris said. “This is my third time doing it, so it’s always fun. It’s always an intense game. The crowd’s always into it, so it’s something special.”
Argos 44, Culver 31
CULVER (31) (3-12)
Ethan Keller 1 0-0 2, Emiliano Ortiz 2 0-0 5, Shane Shuman 1 0-0 2, Mason Herbert 3 0-0 9, Marquez Anderson 2 0-0 6, Oliver Morgan 0 0-0 0, Joey Pizur 0 0-0 0, Jalen King 1 0-0 2, Auston Zehner 2 0-0 5
TEAM: 12 0-0 31
ARGOS (44) (12-4)
Michael Richard 4 0-1 10, Jake Stults 2 0-0 6, J.J. Morris 8 3-4 20, Teddy Redinger 0 0-0 0, Dylan Kindig 3 0-0 6, Elijah Osborn 0 0-0 0, Sean Richard 0 2-2 2
TEAM: 17 5-7 44
Three-point field goals:
Culver 7 (Herbert 3, Anderson 2, Zehner, Ortiz),
Argos 5 (M. Richard 2, Stults 2, Morris)
Total fouls: Culver 16, Argos 8
Fouled out: Ortiz (CUL), :16.8, fourth
Turnovers: Culver 10, Argos 15
Score by quarters
Culver 6 10 9 6 – 31
Argos 16 12 11 5 – 44