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Culver Bulldog boys basketball team one game away from league playoff spot in Tri-River Conference.



STEELE HAUGEN - 
Senior Cord Gomes had 24 points and 12 rebounds in the Bulldogs' huge 68-39 vcitory over Colton at home Feb. 7.

The Culver boys basketball team had a busy week, playing in three home games. The Bulldogs won two of their three home games and are still in a position to secure a league playoff spot.

Culver (5-14) played Chemawa (4-13) Monday, Feb. 3, and was able to come away with a 54-42 victory.

"We started off blowing a lot of easy opportunities," head coach John Spinelli said. "We were able to get a lot of steals but could not convert."

The Bulldogs were up by seven points after the first quarter.

"They hit some shots, and we had a two-point lead at halftime," Spinelli said. "I just told the kids to settle down. We always do better in the second half.

"They hit a couple of 3-pointers to come up by two points, but we just went on a good run and took a 10-point lead at the end of the third quarter and kept it from there. It was good to see us convert on some opportunities, but frustrating at the same sense. We haven't put together a full game yet," Spinelli said.

Luke Spinelli led the Bulldogs in scoring with 23 points, making three 3-pointers. Cord Gomes had a double-double for Culver with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Logan Macy added eight points and nine assists. Jordan VanAlstyne ended the game with six assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Tough Santiam

Culver played a tough Santiam (16-5) team Feb. 5, losing to the Wolverines 71-50.

"Turnovers," Spinelli said. "We had 14 turnovers in the first half, and that killed us. Silly mistakes, not being strong with the ball, making bad passes, not squaring up and attacking. Once we got past half court, we did well. We just could not take care of the ball. We played well in the second half, but just dug ourselves too big of a hole."

Gomes ended the night with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Spinelli added 14 points and three steals. Macy had 13 points and five rebounds, while VanAlstyne had eight assists and four rebounds.

Closing out Colton

The Bulldogs closed out the week with a big 68-39 victory over Colton (1-20) on Feb. 7.

Culver came out strong, and a basket by Gomes gave Culver an early 7-2 lead. After a timeout called by Colton a few plays later, Luke Spinelli scored back-to-back baskets, followed by a Gomes post move and a Macy jump shot. Culver took a 17-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

"We got off to a decent start, but we still missed way too many shots," John Spinelli said. "We took advantage of their turnovers but sometimes could not capitalize. They were able to get back in the game in the second quarter."

The Bulldogs had a seven-point lead at halftime.

"The third quarter is where we played well," Spinelli said. "We executed on offense and got a lot of good looks inside. The team was able to convert on opportunities, push up our lead and get some good stops later in the game."

Luke Spinelli scored 24 points and four assists, while Gomes had 24 points and 12 rebounds. VanAlstyne ended the game with eight points and four steals, while Clayton Mathews had four assists.

After the busy week, Culver moved to 7-15 overall, 6-8 in the Tri-River Conference, and are positioned to secure a league playoff game. Western Christian, Kennedy, Santiam and Sheridan are the top four teams in the conference. Culver is sitting in fifth place in the conference, but Gervais (4-10 TRC) is right behind them.

The Bulldogs played Gervais Tuesday, Feb. 11, past the Madras Pioneer deadline. The game was the most important one of the season. For results, go to madraspioneer.com, and for full coverage, see next week's Pioneer.

After the Gervais game, Culver travels to Western Christian (21-3) Feb. 13 to close out the season.

Gervais plays Delphian (4-15) in their last game of the season. The Bulldogs need to beat Gervais or Western Christian to secure the fifth spot in the TRC.


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