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Tooth good to be true: Argos beats Culver in triple-OT classic behind Binkley

Jackson, Peterson score 15 each, Williams adds 11 for Lady Cavs


Sports Editor, RTC

A smiling Baleigh Binkley scored a game-high 18 points as Argos beat Culver 62-58 in three overtimes

CULVER — Argos senior guard Baleigh Binkley ended her team’s Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinal against host Culver Wednesday with one less tooth than she started.

The Lady Dragons ended the game with one more win.

“Leaving it all on the floor” might be a cliche, but Binkley lived it at John R. Nelson Gymnasium, returning less than two minutes after losing one of her front teeth on the floor diving for a loose ball against the team she used to play for as Argos pulled out a 62-58 win in a three-overtime classic.

Binkley scored a game-high 18 points, Emma Dunlap added 16, and Samantha Redinger had 14 for Argos, who beat Culver for the third time this season and improved to 11-12.

Culver rallied from an 11-point third quarter deficit to take the lead with 1:13 left, but Binkley sunk two game-tying free throws on two separate occasions in the final minute of regulation.

Dunlap’s runner with 1:35 left in the second overtime tied the game at 53, and she made another runner in the lane with 3:43 left in the third overtime that put Argos ahead for good.

Argos will play Westville in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Culver. Westville bested Trinity Greenlawn 38-29 in Wednesday’s other quarterfinal. Triton will face off with Marquette Catholic at 6 p.m. in Friday’s first semifinal.

Rose Peterson and Kennedy Jackson scored 15 points each, and Amiyah Williams had 11 for Culver, who finished 10-13.

“I just think they outlasted us,” Culver coach Shane Lowry said. “I think the ball bounced their way there towards the end. I can’t take anything away from either team. They had swagger going into this one beating us two times before at home. We laid it all on the floor. The ball just didn’t bounce the way we wanted it in regulation, the first overtime and the second overtime.”

This marked Culver’s first loss in an overtime game since a 55-50 loss to Rochester on Dec. 3, 2013. This was their first overtime game against Argos since 1986, according to Culver historian Justin Croy. Culver is 0-3 against Argos in overtime games all-time.

Argos also knocked Culver out of the sectional for the third straight year.

Binkley found an open Ellie Bollenbacher for a layup to make it 57-53. Then came the collision with Culver’s Luci Overmyer as both dove for a loose ball.

Bollenbacher split a pair of free throws with 1:02 left after grabbing an offensive rebound on a missed free throw to get the lead to five.

Binkley, now missing a tooth, came back in with 43.4 seconds left in the third overtime and took the inbounds pass and drove the length of the court through the Culver press for a basket and a 60-53 lead.

She then fouled out with 24.2 seconds left, and Argos held on without her.

After the game, Binkley sported a letter jacket where the arms were in the black and orange of Culver and the rest in the black and gold of Argos.

Binkley played from 2019-21 for Culver before transferring. Her sister Kenzie is a 2020 Culver grad and also a former Culver basketball player.

She said Culver was all that she had ever really known prior to transferring. Asked why she transferred, she simply said “it just wasn’t working out.”

She said the Culver players were the people she grew up with but said she was glad to play with the players she currently plays with.

But the focus was more on her mouth than her jacket or her backstory. She said she planned on visiting a dentist Thursday.

“So I have a fake tooth in general, but Luci Overmyer landed on my face, and it popped out again as well as the three next to it are pretty wiggly now too,” Binkley said.

There might have been two critical momentum shifts.

The first came with 8.9 seconds left in regulation and Culver leading 47-45. Binkley had just missed a runner, and Peterson rebounded and was fouled by Dunlap.

Culver was not in the bonus, and Jackson’s inbounds pass from the baseline underneath Argos’ basket floated into the middle of the court and was intercepted by Argos’ Bella Stults. She handed to Binkley, who was fouled by Williams on a drive with 5.3 seconds left.

Binkley made two free throws to tie the game. She also had hit two from the line with 59.4 seconds left before a driving banker from Grace Sieber on a press breaker put Culver back ahead 47-45.

“I didn’t believe in myself there,” Binkley admitted when asked what she was thinking shooting the free throws. “But it was more of like I needed to do it for our team, and I’m just glad they went in because they don’t normally go in for me.”

Sieber then missed a 25-foot pullup at the buzzer which got the game to overtime.

The second momentum shift might have occurred in the first overtime after Stults was whistled for a technical foul with 38.5 seconds left after a held ball call and Culver leading 49-48.

But Peterson missed both technical free throws, and Culver was called for a five-second violation on the ensuing inbounds play.

Bollenbacher’s 3-point play with 33.1 seconds left gave Argos the lead back at 51-49, but Culver regrouped and Brynn Berndt’s 12-footer – it was her only field goal – off a Sieber assist tied it at 51.

Redinger missed a scoop layup try in traffic, and Bollenbacher rebounded but was called for traveling while on the ground. Dunlap blocked Sieber’s halfcourt 3-point try at the buzzer.

Onto the second overtime.

“I don’t think they really lost their composure,” Argos coach Scott Jennings said when asked how his team responded to the technical foul. “I don’t think it was anything. I think it was on Bella Stults, and I don’t think she did anything. She just overreacted a little bit, maybe took a step towards the ref to get an explanation. I don’t think it was anything real serious, so she kept her composure, and the rest of the team did. It didn’t seem to faze us too much.”

After Jackson and Dunlap exchanged buckets, Culver appeared to wait for the final shot, but Redinger stole a pass intended for Peterson in the right corner in front of the Culver student section.

Binkley missed an off-balance shot in the lane, and Jackson’s running 35-footer at the buzzer hit only the backboard.

“We had opportunities,” Lowry said. “It’s tough on them, tough on the players, tough on everybody when it doesn’t happen. You’ve just got to dig deep, and we did. We got it to the third overtime, and Argos just powered through it.”

In the third overtime, Binkley left it all on the floor. The cliche was literal.

“She’s just amazing,” Jennings said. “She doesn’t like to lose, and being back on her home floor where she grew up playing ball here … She took over that game for us, and I knew she was going to have to do that.

“But for her to lose a tooth that she’s lost before, so it’s a false tooth, but she got banged pretty good over there and had to go out of the game for a little bit towards the end. I was hoping she’d come back because she’s got that will to win, and she did. … She got the job done for us at the end.”

Argos 62, Culver 58 (3 OTs)

ARGOS (62) (11-12)

Samantha Redinger 4 4-8 14, Emma Dunlap 7 0-0 16, Baleigh Binkley 7 4-4 18, Ellie Bollenbacher 3 2-3 8, Bella Stults 2 2-4 6, Morgyn Barcus 0 0-0 0, Ava Stackhouse 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 23 12-19 62

CULVER (58) (10-13)

Brynn Berndt 1 1-3 3, Rose Peterson 4 5-8 15, Grace Sieber 4 0-1 8, Amiyah Williams 5 1-2 11, Kennedy Jackson 6 2-2 15, Maisy McCuen 0 1-2 1, Luci Overmyer 0 0-0 0, Abbi Kisela 0 0-0 0, Elexa Schickel-O’Brien 0 0-0 0, Kaylee Hamilton 2 0-0 5

TEAM: 22 10-18 58

Three-point field goals:

Argos 4 (Redinger 2, Dunlap 2),

Culver 4 (Peterson 2, Jackson, Hamilton)

Total fouls: Argos 19, Culver 12

Fouled out: Binkley (ARG), :24.2, third OT

Turnovers: Argos 11, Culver 20

Score by quarters

Argos 14 11 12 10 4 2 9 – 62

Culver 9 11 12 15 4 2 5 – 58

Watch the instant classic 3OT game here:

in a Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinal at Culver Wednesday.

Westville 38, Trinity Greenlawn 29

Loreli Mallon scored 12 points, and Andrea Benefield added 11 to lead Westville past Trinity Greenlawn 38-29 in a Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinal at Culver Wednesday.

Sophomore point guard Miranda Sparks added seven points, including five in the fourth quarter. Addison Sonaty had six.

Westville trailed 15-14 at halftime but took the lead for good at 21-18 with 2:15 left in the third quarter on a 3-pointer from Mallon.

Westville maintained a 23-20 lead going into the fourth quarter. Pingel hit a 17-footer on the first possession of the quarter, and Trinity Greenlawn hung within 25-23 on a Jeanette Skendzel free throw with 6:27 left before the Lady Blackhawks went on a 15-2 run to build a 13-point lead.

Sparks hit a 3-pointer and got a layup on a press breaker, and Benefield also had five points during the run.

Senior post player Teresa Pingel led Trinity Greenlawn with 17 points, but she scored just four in the second half. No other Lady Titan had more than four.

Trinity Greenlawn committed 26 turnovers and made just 3 of 9 free throws. Westville had nine turnovers and went 7 for 9 from the foul line.

Westville improved to 11-10. Trinity Greenlawn, competing in the girls basketball state tournament for the second time in school history, finished 3-18.

Westville will play Argos in a semifinal at approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday. Triton will tangle with Marquette Catholic in the first semifinal at 6 p.m.

Argos lost to Westville 39-34 on Jan. 26, 2019, in their most recent meeting. This is their first sectional meeting since Argos beat Westville 53-19 in the 2005 sectional semifinals.


Morgan Scroope 0 0-0 0, Natalie Gabrielse 1 0-0 2, Sarah Sanford 0 0-0 0, Ava Tormey 1 1-2 3, Teresa Pingel 8 1-2 17, Lauren Urbanski 2 0-1 4, Charis Balsbaugh 0 0-2 0, Hattie Woodward 0 0-0 0, Jeanette Skendzel 1 1-2 3

TEAM: 13 3-9 29

WESTVILLE (38) (11-10)

Addison Sonaty 2 2-3 6, Loreli Mallon 5 0-0 12, Miranda Sparks 3 0-0 7, Madison Stark 1 0-0 2, Andrea Benefield 3 5-6 11, Kierstin Vargas 0 0-0 0, Emily Hannon 0 0-0 0, Ella Fortune 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 14 7-9 38

Three-point field goals:

Trinity Greenlawn 0,

Westville 3 (Mallon 2, Sparks)

Total fouls: Trinity Greenlawn 12, Westville 12

Turnovers: Trinity Greenlawn 26, Westville 9

Score by quarters

Trinity Greenlawn 7 8 5 9 – 29

Westville 8 6 9 15 – 38

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