Defense, efficiency leads to Bulldog victory
The Culver boys basketball program picked up its first win of the season, beating Dufur 68-55 on Dec. 10.
It was the most points scored by the Bulldogs this season, and senior Jordan VanAstyne poured in 34 points and seven steals during Culver's victory.
"It was an exciting win, and our key to our victory was our defense," head coach John Spinelli said. "We forced about 25 turnovers and had about 17 steals. We were able to get a lot of points in transition because of our defense, which was helpful. Along with that, we executed our offense well. They did a combination of zone and man defense part of the time, but no matter what they threw at us, we hit our shots. We shot 55% in the game and were very efficient with the ball. It was a good all-around game, good all-around team win.
"We were able to get to the free throw line a lot because we attacked the basket," he said. "We didn't shoot a lot of 3-pointers, but when we did, we had a good percentage shooting."
Luke Spinelli scored 21 points and had three steals to help Culver, while Cord Gomes added seven rebounds.
Close Lost River loss
Culver traveled to Lost River Dec. 13 and lost in a close 53-45 game.
"It was one of those games where it was between five to 10 points the entire game," John Spinelli said. "The big story here was second chance points and defensive rebounds. We just let them have way too many offensive rebounds, which allowed them to get second, third, fourth chances. We did not do a good job matching their physicality. They were bigger, stronger and taller than us, but we just have to do a better job boxing out, not letting them get two or three looks at the basket."
"It wasn't a great offensive night for us," he said. "The things we did best was get to the free throw line. We were 13-for-19 from the line. We didn't do particularly well as far as shooting percentage. They played tough man defense on us, and we had a few mental mistakes. People weren't screening at the right time, weren't being in the right spots and too many turnovers. We weren't as efficient as we needed to be to be successful."
Luke Spinelli was the leading scorer with 14 points and two steals for Culver. VanAlstyne added 12 points, and Logan Macy contributed 10. Gomes ended the game with seven points and six rebounds.
The Bulldogs host the always-tough Kennedy Trojans at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec.18. They also travel to Pendleton for a small school tournament Dec. 20-21.
"Kennedy is a good team, and they are traditionally great in most of their sports," Spinelli said. "They are a well-coached team and fundamentally sound. They always have solid players. We need to be ready to compete with them. A lot of it, for our guys, is desire, diving after loose balls, get those 50-50 balls. We need that mindset to get those balls, and every defensive rebound needs to be ours because we are not going to outscore a lot teams,just on our shooting. We need to shut teams down with our defense. Against Kennedy, we need to be sharp, not turn the ball over and not (be) giving them second chance points."
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