Valley’s Moriarty scores 12, but second quarter woes lead to loss to Culver Academy
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
CULVER ACADEMY –- Taylor Bowen scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and freshman point guard Reid Seddelmyer scored all eight of her points in the second half to help the Culver Academy girls basketball team defeat Tippecanoe Valley 42-33 Tuesday.
Molly Moriarty led Valley with 12 points, and Kaydence Mellott added eight. Moriarty and Mellott hit two 3-pointers each.
But they could not prevent an 0-2 start for Valley. This marks the first time Valley has been 0-2 since the 2010-11 season, which was Chris Kindig’s first season as coach.
Valley led 17-16 with 5:52 left in the first half when Corinna Stiles put back her own miss. But those would be Valley’s final points of the half.
Bowen’s 3-point play after taking a long rebound and outracing Valley’s transition defense to the other end gave Culver Academy the lead for good at 19-17.
Bowen (18 points) outscored the entire Valley team in the first half as the Lady Eagles built a 25-17 halftime lead.
“They got a couple 3-point baskets,” Kindig said. “They got a couple 3-point plays. I think that was part of the momentum. I thought once we got behind … that’s sometimes a two-or-three-minute gap where you let things kind of get away from you, and it costs you the basketball game, and it kind of did tonight for us. It’s early in the year. I thought we panicked just a little bit in that two-minute stretch there. Obviously it hurt us. Hopefully, we’ll learn from this.”
Valley went to a 1-2-1-1 halfcourt trap to start the second half. They forced seven Culver Academy turnovers and held the Lady Eagles to five points in the third quarter.
Valley would get within 25-19 on two Mercedes Snapp free throws, and when Stiles kicked back out to Moriarty for a 3-pointer, Valley had cut the deficit down to three.
Valley would get no closer.
Seddelmyer nailed a 3-pointer with 3:37 left in the third quarter, and when Bowen drove and found Alex Orendain for a layup, the lead was eight.
Culver Academy had a two-minute possession late in the third quarter as they tried to conserve energy.
Valley got within 30-25 on a Mellott trey with 15 seconds left in the third quarter and within 32-27 on Ava Smith’s putback with 5:41 left in the game.
“I thought in the second half, we did a much better job of getting after them defensively,” Kindig said. “We held them to five points in the third quarter. I thought our trap in that late third quarter and fourth quarter was pretty effective. They turned the ball over 25 times, but if you look at their 2-point field goal percentage, they were 10 for 15. That’s 66 percent.”
But a 3-point play in transition from Seddelmyer got the lead back to eight again.
Valley had 17 turnovers compared to Culver Academy’s 25.
But the Lady Vikings struggled to get easy baskets, with Bowen and Madi Miller patrolling the paint.
“I’m a little bit surprised right now honestly,” Kindig said. “Even Game 2, I thought we would be a little bit better offensively right now. We’re struggling to find some outside shooting. I thought that would be our strength this year, and we really have not been able to do that in the first two games. So that’s something we’re going to continue to have to look at. I just think offensively right now we’re struggling a little bit.”
Bowen played at Culver Academy three years ago as a freshman and was listed at 5-8. She did not play at CGA as a sophomore. She was CGA’s leading scorer last year and was listed at 5-9. This year, she has grown to 6-2, and she starred on Culver Academy’s sectional championship volleyball team.
A Lipscomb recruit for basketball, she is both a force in the paint and a factor on pick-and-pop and pick-and-roll plays thanks to her deft shooting touch.
“She was great tonight,” Culver Academy coach Bill Murchie said of Bowen. “She is a bona fide Division I player. But I’m way more excited about the team effort. The stats that you don’t see are Madi Miller playing the help side the whole game, walling up and being solid. You know, you’ve got Mallory Magee comes in and plays great minutes in the second quarter. So yeah, Taylor did outstanding, and Taylor’s a great player, but it’s a team win. It’s a team win. So I’m real excited for the girls. It’s the first time in over 20 years that Culver Girls Academy has beaten Tippy Valley.”
Said Kindig of Bowen: “We’re not going to run into a lot of girls this year with that kind of size and talent.”
Culver Academy 42, Valley 33
VALLEY (33) (0-2)
Lily Ault 1 0-0 2, Kaydence Mellott 3 0-1 8, Molly Moriarty 4 2-2 12, Corinna Stiles 1 1-4 3, Mercedes Snapp 2 2-2 6, Ava Smith 1 0-0 2, Chesnee Miller 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 12 5-9 33
CULVER ACADEMY (42) (3-1)
Dionna Craig 2 1-3 5, Reid Seddelmyer 2 3-3 8, Alex Orendain 2 0-0 4, Taylor Bowen 6 8-11 22, Madi Miller 0 1-2 1, Mallory Magee 0 0-0 0, Lena Spiller 1 0-1 2
TEAM: 13 13-20 42
Three-point field goals:
Valley 4 (Moriarty 2, Mellott 2),
Culver Academy 3 (Bowen 2, Seddelmyer)
Total fouls: Valley 19, Culver Academy 11
Turnovers: Valley 17, Culver Academy 25
Score by quarters
Valley 15 2 8 8 – 33
Culver Academy 13 12 5 12 – 42