By Dalton Tinklenberg, Michiana Lookout
The Culver Academy Eagles hosted the Marquette Catholic Blazers Tuesday night in a battle of two talented squads. The Eagles took the win with a strong second half by a score of 76-47.
The first quarter began with a single made free throw for the Blazers. The Eagles answered with a putback basket from sophomore Trey Galloway to take a 2-1 lead. Galloway followed up the play by striking from behind the arc on the Eagles next possession.
After an offensive foul on Marquette, Culver Academy junior Ethan Brittian-Watts knocked down one of two free throw attempts to extend the lead to five points. Galloway again hit from three and the Eagles offense was on fire.
After a slew of made baskets and solid defensive stands, Culver Academy held a 13-3 advantage midway through the first quarter. The lead continued to grow when on back to back possessions the Eagles scored in the paint. First Deontae Craig and then Nick Hittle both tallied layups. Brittain-Watts nailed a deep three-pointer to bring the score to 20-8.
Just before the end of the first quarter, Brittian-Watts drove hard to the rim before dishing the ball to Craig for an easy layup. As the buzzer sounded the Eagles led by a score of 22-8.
The second quarter opened with the Blazers knocking down three straight free throws to pull back within 11 points. An ensuing turnover by Culver Academy led to a three-point play for the Blazers as the scoring gap began to close.
Galloway scored the first points of the quarter for the Eagles to push the lead back to ten points with five and a half minutes left in the half.
With just over three minutes left Brittian-Watts pulled up just short of the rim to knock down a midrange jumper. Marquette kept pushing as the score shifted to 26-18. A series of turnovers by both teams ended with Jordon Freeman scoring a layup before drawing a foul. Brittian-Watts was also awarded two free throw attempts after somewhat of a confusing exchange and Blazer technical. He made both to give the Eagles a 13-point lead. As the two teams headed to halftime the Eagles led, 31-20.
“I think a zone does that to you a little bit,” said Culver Academy head coach Mark Galloway of the second quarter struggles. “You kind of get a little passive and we were overthinking it and then in the second half, we just made a couple of little adjustments that I think got us moving a little bit. I thought in the second quarter we got methodical and robotic. You can never play that way against man or zone.”
The second half opened with a basket inside the paint from Craig. A few moments later Craig again found himself in the paint with the ball. A shifty move caused the three defenders pinned to him to fade before he found the bottom of the net.
The teams traded baskets before Craig again laid up another basket. Midway through the quarter, the Eagles held a 41-26 lead. After a missed three from Brittian-Watts, Craig pulled down the rebound before scoring another two points.
As the Eagles continued to look more like the team from the first quarter, the score swelled to 47-31 in their favor. Just before the buzzer sounded, Brittian-Watts pulled up at the top of the key for a basket. The shot sent Culver Academy into the final quarter with a 49-31 lead.
As the fourth quarter began both teams traded inside blows for buckets. Brittian-Watts scored another finger roll layup before the Blazer connected from behind the arc on two consecutive possessions.
With just under five minutes left to play Amari Curtis went up strong inside for two points to bring the score to 55-39. The Blazers knocked down two free throws on the other end before Galloway scored on a fast-break layup.
Brittian-Watts continued to shine through the fourth quarter as Culver Academy took a 68-45 lead.
“We had good balance. Deontae with 19 and Trey and Ethan with 18 apiece, it’s good to have that kind of balance,” stated Galloway. “That’s what we’re trying to get. We think that those three guys on any given night can definitely go for double figures and I think they’re all three averaging in double figures. We’re trying to get those three going every night and our team understands that. It’s nice to have good teammates that want to get you the ball and share the ball. That way they can’t just key on one or two guys. They have three guys they have to deal with and like you said it’s a good balance.”
After a late scoring run, the Eagles built a 74-47 lead. With just one second remaining the Blazers fouled Freeman. He connected on both attempts before the game ended.
Player of the Game: Deontae Craig
CULVER MILITARY 76, MC MARQUETTE 47
MC 8 12 11 16 47
CMA 22 9 18 27 76
MC: Jake Tarnow 0, Jalen Russell 2, Colin Kenney 18, Chandler Goodwin 3, Tommy Gotsch 5, Buddy Jaffee 8, Karsen Grott 11. Total 47.
CMA: Henry Zehner 2, Ethan Brittain-Watts 18, Johnny Cohen 2, Jordon Freeman 7, Deontae Craig 19, Amari Curtis 6, Trey Galloway 18, Nick Hittle 4. Total 76.
3-pt goals: MC 3 (Jaffee 2, Kenney), CMA 3 (Galloway 2, Brittain-Watts). Fouls (fouled out): MC 16 (Goodwin), CMA 19 (none). Technicals: Goodwin (MC). Records: Marquette 7-13, CMA 12-5.
JV score: CMA 40, Marquette 39.