FULTON — After Caston’s Feb. 18 home game against Taylor was cancelled for the second time, Culver was recently penciled in for a visit to Fulton Thursday night.
The Comets had lost five straight games to the Cavaliers, with their last win coming in November of 2003. Culver’s season got off to a hot start, winning seven out of eight games with quality wins over North Judson and Winamac to start the year, and the Cavaliers entered the game at 12-6. They are led by 6-4 senior guard Trent Elliott, who averages 23 points per game and has signed to play at NCAA Division II Fairmont State (WV) next year.
J.R. Howell’s Comets fell out of the hunt for a Midwest Conference title with two straight losses to Tri-County and Winamac but looked to right the ship before hosting a sectional for the first time in 11 years. Despite the recent stumble, Caston improved their sparkling home record to 11-1 with a solid 56-51 victory on senior night over Culver.
The future Hoosier North Conference rivals traded blows in the first, which included two treys by Cavalier sophomore Everett Krueger. Comet junior Dustin Offenberger matched Krueger’s output with six points of his own. Quentin Douglass drove the lane and scored as time expired in the first to tie at 10-10, which was the first of three key possessions that resulted in points at the end of periods.
Caston took its first lead of the game on Graham Rentschler’s stickback to begin the second, followed by another Douglass layup. Hounded by Douglass and Alex Howdeshell, Elliott finally got on the board with a bucket mid-way through the period. Despite a notable size disadvantage, Caston got second opportunities routinely, and tracked down loose balls. The Comets outrebounded Culver 20-17, including nine offensive boards. Krueger scored with under two minutes to play to regain the lead, but freshman Eli Douglass nailed a corner 3 as time expired to put the Comets back up 20-18 at the half.