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Post: Blog2_Post
  • Val T.

Richard, Stults, Morris key Argos’ 7th straight Bell win

Shuman scores 19, grabs 9 boards, Pizur adds 13 for Culver in loss


Sports Editor, RTC

CULVER — Argos junior point guard Sean Richard did not like how he played in his team’s earlier meeting against Culver.

He made amends for that earlier performance, and with help from teammates Luke Stults and J.J. Morris, the visiting Dragons beat the Cavaliers 54-45 in the Bell game at John R. Nelson Gymnasium Thursday.

Richard and Stults had 17 points each, and Morris added 16 for Argos, who improved to 12-5.

Shane Shuman scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Joey Pizur came off the bench to score 13 for Culver, who fell to 8-8.

Emiliano Ortiz, who scored 28 points in a win over LaVille less than two weeks earlier, left with 4:00 left with a right ankle injury. Culver coach Kyle Evans said afterwards that he did not know Ortiz’s prognosis but said the ankle had swollen to the size of a softball.

Argos has won the last 13 meetings with Culver, including two meetings this season and the last seven Bell games. Argos only had one day to prepare after beating Caston 70-61 on Tuesday.

“It’s called ‘35’ for a reason,” a smiling Argos coach Jason Breden said afterwards of his defense when asked if it was a man-to-man or a zone. “You tell me what it is.”

Argos had beaten Culver 43-39 in a Bi-County quarterfinal at Culver on Jan. 17, but Richard scored only four points in that game.

This time, he had eight points in the first quarter, and he added six more in the second. He also had eight rebounds in the first half.

He went coast to coast for a layup and put in a reverse layup off a Morris assist to make it 7-3. He later drilled a 3-pointer from 28 feet away at the first-quarter buzzer that made it 16-9.

“The first game I played against Culver, that was the worst game of my season so far,” Richard said. “I knew I had to come out here with some intensity and urgency to score, and I was just lucky enough to find the hole.”

Argos never trailed and led by as many as 13. Leading 28-18 at halftime, Culver started the second half with six straight points on two Shuman free throws, an Ortiz steal and coast-to-coast layup and a Shuman power layup from the left block.

The lead was down to 28-24, but Morris found Stults cutting from the baseline for a basket and a foul. Stults was fouled but missed the ensuing free throw, and Shuman scored on a putback.

Argos had the answer. Stults found a cutting Morris for a layup, and Richard found the 6-6 Morris gliding in for a transition layup. A nifty Morris feed to Richard got the lead back to 10, and a foul line jumper from Morris after both Shuman and Pizur missed two from the line got the lead to 38-26.

Culver got the lead down to seven on two occasions in the fourth quarter, the last time at 40-33 on an Ethan Keller short banker on a Euro step.

But Morris found a cutting Stults again, Morris made two free throws, and Stults put back his own miss to make it 46-33.

Argos put Morris in a high post spot, and when Culver’s aggressive 2-3 zone attacked Richard, he frequently sought out Morris, who then looked for the 6-5 Stults on the cut.

“Usually never,” Evans said of the defense when Morris caught the ball in the high post. “Tonight we didn’t do our job at all. … Morris creates everything, but once they got the lead, we couldn’t do it anymore. Again, Morris creates everything.”

Breden said his team reacted well to Culver’s defensive adjustments.

“When teams run these type of defenses, they’re going to try to take away certain guys,” Breden said. “I thought in the first half, they really tried to take away J.J., so it was Sean’s turn to step up. In the second half, they more or less tried to take away Sean a little bit more. They couldn’t box-in-one J.J., so it was J.J.’s turn. So a complete team effort, and I’m just proud of all the guys. We played Caston on Tuesday, and we managed to get really prepared after just one day of prep time.”

Said Richard of Stults: “He was huge. We know Shuman’s a force, and he had probably 100 pounds on Luke, but he came in and did what he had to do.”

In the JV game, Logan Caudill scored 18 points, and Jonas McCuen had 17 to lead Culver to a 52-18 win. Caleb McCuen added nine, David Hite had six, and Jacob Salyer had two.

Obi Salary scored six points for the Argos JV. Gabe McMillen and Mack Calhoun had four each, and Corbin Rex and Dominic Burns had two each.

Argos 54, Culver 45

ARGOS (54) (12-5)

Nate Manikowski 0 1-2 1, Sean Richard 6 4-6 17, Elijah Osborn 1 0-1 3, J.J. Morris 6 4-5 16, Luke Stults 6 5-6 17, A.J. Mills 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 19 14-20 54

CULVER (45) (8-8)

Ethan Keller 2 0-0 5, David Hite 1 0-0 2, Jonas McCuen 1 0-0 2, Oliver Morgan 0 0-0 0, Shane Shuman 8 3-6 19, Emiliano Ortiz 2 0-0 4, Joey Pizur 4 1-4 13

TEAM: 18 4-10 45

Three-point field goals:

Argos 2 (Richard, Osborn),

Culver 5 (Pizur 4, Keller)

Total fouls: Argos 12, Culver 19

Turnovers: Argos 13, Culver 7

Score by quarters

Argos 16 12 10 16 – 54

Culver 9 9 10 17 – 45

The Argos boys basketball team poses with the Bell following their 54-45 win over host Culver at John R. Nelson Gymnasium Thursday. Argos has won the last seven Bell games and has defeated Culver 13 straight times overall.

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