When the going gets Duff, Carroll gets going
Duffs combine for 37, lead Cougars past turnover-pronme Caston
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
FULTON –- This likely wasn’t the senior night that the Caston boys basketball team envisioned.
For one thing, it was held during the first home game of the season and not the last due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For another, one of the team’s four seniors was unable to play due to an injury.
And last but not least, they didn’t win.
Owen Duff scored 22 points, and Ethan Duff added 15 to lead Carroll (Flora) team to a 66-46 win at the Comet Crater Friday. Owen Duff outscored the entire Caston team 11-8 in the third quarter.
Kade Zeider hit four 3-pointers and scored 16 points for Caston (1-3) in the loss. Bryce Rudicel added 11.
Kobi Martindale, Jessie Rock-Wolf and Carter See were honored in pregame ceremonies, and all three seniors started.
However, Cam Kline, the team’s fourth senior, did not. Kline and junior point guard Joey Spin both watched the game in street clothes from the bench. Caston coach Carl Davis said afterwards that both are injured. Davis declined to specify each’s injury. He said he didn’t have a timetable for their returns.
Caston committed 23 turnovers without Kline and Spin on the floor. That triggered the Carroll fast break.
“I think it starts on the offensive end,” Davis said when asked about the team’s defense. “A lot of our defensive problems were because we turned the ball over on offense and gave them live-ball turnovers and transition opportunities. … Turnovers led directly to points for them. I thought defensively we were waiting until the ball was coming around to us before we got into good position, and we’ve got to do our work a little bit earlier than we did tonight.”
Carroll went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter after a Zeider driving layup along the left baseline to turn an 11-point lead into a 49-28 lead. Owen Duff hit two 3-pointers and scored eight straight points during the run, and Austin Kuns capped the run with two free throws.
Carroll had another 9-1 run in the fourth quarter and assumed their biggest lead at 62-38 on two Owen Duff free throws with 3:58 left.
Carroll runs a motion offense with lots of cross screens and down screens in the paint and players reading and curling off those screens.
Carroll hit eight 3-pointers for the game. They also made more free throws (18) than Caston attempted (13).
“We were a little stagnant in the first half, and those are things we probably needed to work a little bit more on this week, and there were other things that we thought we needed to take care of,” Carroll coach Bodie Bender said. “I thought in the second half it got a little better. We moved a little bit. We cut. We flashed to the ball. It was better in the second half, but that’s something we talked about at halftime.”
Zeider hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter and another trey in the first minute of the second quarter. When Rudicel scored on a banker in the post, Caston led 17-15 with 6:37 left in the half.
Carroll responded with a 9-0 run and never trailed again. Zeider, Rock-Wolf, Jake Paschen and Sam Smith each picked up two first-half fouls. Carroll went 10 for 12 from the line in the first half and led 30-22 at halftime.
Smith and See scored eight points each in the post.
“I thought Carter See gave us some really good minutes tonight inside for us and even scored for us inside,” Davis said. “He’s somebody that gives us defense and rebounding, and anytime he can score like he did tonight, that’s going to be a huge help.”
Caston is 0-4 against Carroll during the Davis era. The previous three losses were by a combined nine points. Still, Davis and his team elicited respect. Bender called having to guard 2020 grads Hunter Schanlaub and Mike Rans a “bear.”
“I think Carl does a great job,” Bender said. “They play extremely hard obviously. He’s gotten them to buy into what he’s trying to teach them. Obviously, that’s apparent with a sectional title this past March. … They always play hard for him. Always.”
Carroll also won the JV game 58-28. Garrison Hickle, who also saw some varsity minutes, scored 12 points for the Caston JV. Talon Zeider scored eight, Adam Rush had four, Connor Sommers had three, and Brady Evans had one.
Caston traveled to Rossville Saturday night. That game was scheduled after Caston’s game with Frontier was canceled. Rossville won the Class 2A, Sectional 38 title last year. Rossville knocked Carroll out of last year’s sectional.
Carroll (Flora) 66, Caston 46
CARROLL (66) (3-1)
Ethan Duff 5 2-4 15, Owen Duff 5 9-11 22, Kaleb Meek 2 0-1 4, Jake Skinner 1 0-0 3, Jaden Harness 3 0-0 6, Griffin Viney 0 0-0 0, Cason Lambert 0 0-0 0, Austin Kuns 0 5-6 5, Mason Salts 0 0-0 0, Kyle Swayze 2 0-1 4, Chris Huerta 2 2-2 7
TEAM: 20 18-25 66
CASTON (46) (1-3)
Kade Zeider 6 0-0 16, Bryce Rudicel 3 4-6 11, Jessie Rock-Wolf 0 0-0 0, Carter See 4 0-2 8, Kobi Martindale 0 0-0 0, Jackson Rentschler 0 0-0 0, Garrison Hickle 0 0-0 0, Sam Smith 3 2-3 8, Coldy Pugh 0 0-0 0, Jake Paschen 1 1-2 3
TEAM: 17 7-13 46
Three-point field goals:
Carroll 8 (O. Duff 3, E. Duff 3, Huerta, Skinner),
Caston 5 (Zeider 4, Rudicel)
Total fouls: Carroll 19, Caston 24
Fouled out: Paschen (CAS), 3:58, fourth
Turnovers: Carroll 16, Caston 23
Score by quarters
Carroll 13 17 21 15 – 66
Caston 12 10 8 16 – 46
JV: Carroll 58, Caston 28