Challenge accepted: Culver looks to play smart
Although they picked up another win ahead of their Columbia Basin Conference debut, the Culver Lady Bulldogs left some things to be desired against Madras JV last Thursday.
Though the final score, 42-22, wasn't indicative of a struggle, Culver players and coaches agreed that they need to sharpen their play with the season's most important stretch upcoming.
"I think we have a lot of potential," said Irma Retano, who accounted for 25 of Culver's 42 points. "We can be really good when we want to be; sometimes we just need to make smarter choices. We need to calm down."
Culver jumped out to leads, but had trouble closing quarters, such as in the first, when Madras grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Sha'Rita Johns for a 3-pointer, cutting the deficit to 13-8.
Culver head coach Scott Fritz also noticed his team forcing the ball in certain situations, whether that meant throwing a pass into a congested area, or putting up a shot in traffic,
"Understanding the game is where we struggle, I think," Fritz said. "We've got smart girls. We've got to increase that basketball IQ."
Culver gained a comfortable lead in the second half, leading by as much as 22 points after a Retano steal and layup.
For a team that won by a large margin, the Bulldogs didn't appear all too pleased with their performance.That's because they know the margin for error will be much thinner from this point on.
Friday marks the beginning of the CBC schedule. The league race will be hotly contested. Culver, Heppner, Pilot Rock and Weston-McEwen are all legitimate threats to finish atop the standings.
"Any team can win by 20; any team can lose by 20," Fritz said. "It's going to be, who came to play?"
Culver will face Pilot Rock (10-5) at 6 p.m. on Friday. The Rockets are three-time reigning league champions.