- Val T.
Zeider’s 4-point play sparks rally, leads to Caston’s 8th straight win over North Miami
Schanlaub, Stinson also score in double figures, offset Hunt’s 25
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
DENVER — The Caston boys basketball team’s offensive adjustment in the second half against host North Miami Thursday was no adjustment.
Rather, they cut down on the turnovers, got Cain Schanlaub to protect the rim and enjoyed a healthy Caleb Stinson in beating the Warriors 65-51 in the regular season finale for both teams.
Talon Zeider also figured prominently. He hit five 3-pointers and scored a team-high 20 points, including a crucial 4-point play in the third quarter that tied the game at 35. Caston never trailed again after that.
Schanlaub had 16 points, five rebounds and six blocked shots, and Stinson had 13 off the bench, all in the second half.
The 14-point final margin represented Caston’s largest lead and a 20-point turnaround after the Comets trailed by six in the third quarter.
Caston also made more free throws (20) than North Miami attempted (12). Caston also had a 19-0 advantage in bench points.
Landen Hunt led North Miami with 25 points, and Brayden Binnion had 13. Hunt and Binnion are the two seniors on the Warriors, and they were honored in pregame ceremonies. Hunt, a 5-11 point guard, also led North Miami with seven rebounds. Binnion grabbed six rebounds.
Caston finished the regular season 8-14 and will play Frontier in a Class 1A, Sectional 52 quarterfinal at West Central at 6 p.m. Tuesday. North Miami lost their 21st consecutive game overall and their eighth straight to Caston. They finished the regular season 1-21 and will play Winamac at 6 p.m. Tuesday in a Class 2A, Sectional 36 quarterfinal at Rochester.
Caston used a man-to-man, a 2-3 zone and multiple pressure packages, but by the third quarter, they stayed with the man-to-man and hung tight on Hunt, according to coach Carl Davis.
“We mixed things up the first half and the first part of the third quarter, we came out in a zone again, and they just had some guys shoot it well tonight,” Davis said. “They had a few guys that I haven’t seen hit hit some 3s tonight and give them a big boost, so we went man there. I thought that was a turning point. We were able to get out in the full court and force some turnovers as well on a couple occasions. I think it’s no secret with us: When we’re able to be aggressive defensively, things go a lot better for us offensively as well.”
Schanlaub put Caston ahead for good at 38-37 on a free throw with 2:34 left in the third quarter. He missed the second free throw, but Stinson scored on a third-chance putback.
Stinson’s driving layup led to a 3-point play and a six-point lead, and when Zeider buried a 3 from the left corner with 32 seconds left, that capped a 19-4 run and gave Caston a 46-37 lead going into the fourth.
“There’s no adjustment there,” Davis said. “It’s just a matter of making the right read and not trying to force things, and sometimes, that means making the simple play, and I thought we did that better in the third quarter and found some guys. But we’ve seen that quite a bit this year. We’ll come off a quarter where we’re not very strong and we struggle to score, and then we’ll put 20-plus on the board. We’re just up and down that way, and that’s something that we’re trying to be more consistent with.
“We’re running out of days here to put that together, so hopefully, it’s something that clicks here for us, and we get a few more days of practice to get ready.”
Meanwhile, the 6-5 Schanlaub protected the rim, and on one of his blocks, it sprung Stinson out for an easy layup at the other end.
“I think the blocks are what people recognize, but he altered just as many tonight,” Davis said. “So that’s been huge for us. His rim protection’s been big for us all year.”
Stinson also made four straight free throws in the final 1:41.
“Caleb’s kind of getting over a little bit of a bug,” Davis said. “So he’s getting back to health. That was the reason for him coming off the bench tonight. He definitely gave us a boost in the second half.”
North Miami got as close as five in the fourth quarter and still hung within 54-48 on Binnion’s 3-point play after an offensive rebound with 2:16 left, but Caston went 11 for 12 from the foul line over the final 2:09.
North Miami led 15-11 at one point in the first quarter, but Caston went on a 9-0 run, which included an unusual basket interference call on North Miami that led to Schanlaub being credited with a bucket.
But then Hunt took over. He outscored the entire Caston team 9-8 in the second quarter to help North Miami take a 27-23 halftime lead. When Ray Pickett hit a pair of treys against the Caston zone, the Warriors had their biggest lead at 33-27.
“They came out with a lot of energy in the third quarter,” North Miami coach Ryan DeMien said. “They made some adjustments defensive-wise, and we had a couple turnovers and couple shots didn’t fall for us. But on a positive note for us, I felt like the last few games, this is the time that you want to be playing your best basketball, and I believe that’s what our team is doing, especially the last two games. We’ve been playing together well offensively, looking for people, running what we’re trying to do. It’s positive because the things we’ve been doing in practice, you can start to see them in the games.”
Caston also won the JV game 53-33. Josh Evans led Caston with 20, Corbin Smith had 13, Carter Clingler had 10, Grant Yadon and Gavin Mollenkopf had four each, and Jan Aguilar-Mendez had two.
Braxtyn Rader had 10 to lead the North Miami JV.
Caston 65, North Miami 51
CASTON (65) (8-14)
Rowan Jellison 0 2-2 2, Talon Zeider 6 3-3 20, Colby Pugh 4 0-0 8, Evan Howard 0 0-0 0, Cain Schanlaub 5 6-10 16, Caleb Stinson 3 7-9 13, Grant Yadon 0 0-0 0, Jackson Rentschler 2 2-2 6
TEAM: 20 20-26 65
NORTH MIAMI (51) (1-21)
Landen Hunt 10 4-8 25, Jake Riley 1 0-0 2, Ray Pickett 2 0-0 6, Drew Wright 2 0-0 5, Brayden Binnion 5 2-3 13, Dolan Blakely 0 0-1 0, Isaac Floyd 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 20 6-12 51
Three-point field goals:
Caston 5 (Zeider 5),
North Miami 5 (Pickett 2, Hunt, Binnion, Wright)
Total fouls: Caston 16, North Miami 19
Turnovers: Caston 11, North Miami 11
Score by quarters
Caston 15 8 23 19 – 65
North Miami 15 12 10 14 – 51
JV: Caston 53, North Miami 33