With more school days canceled and two coaches involved in a car accident, Bulldogs have an up and down week.
The Culver girls basketball team ended its nonconference schedule with a 36-29 loss to Central Linn last Thursday, and sits at 8-4 heading into Columbia Basin Conference play.
Neither team found much of a rhythm early on offense, as Central Linn led 8-6 after the first quarter.
That's when Culver coach Scott Fritz adjusted the Bulldogs' press, and for one quarter, it allowed them to play their defense-leads-to-easy-offense game.
Fritz assumed head-coaching duties after coaches Rene Houle and Jim Markem were involved in a head-on car accident last week. Fritz said he isn't sure when either of them will return to the team, though both are currently recovering from home.
The accident, combined with a canceled game Tuesday at South Wasco County and canceled practices due to more inclement weather, made for an up and down week, Fritz said.
"It's tough on the girls when you go from (Rene) running practice and running his drills …" he said. "But it's a stressful week for them because they're worried about their coaches, and we still had to practice."
Fritz said he was proud of the girls' effort in practice Tuesday leading up to Central Linn. They were getting after it defensively and appeared ready to control Central Linn with their press.
The Bulldogs didn't get the win, but they're confident in their ability to bounce back.
So far this season, each of Culver's losses has been followed by a win.
Irma Retano put together another strong offensive outing with 23 points, but didn't get much help from teammates. Retano scored 23 of 29 points for the Bulldogs, who led Central Linn 23-17 going into the halftime break.
But Central Linn clamped down on Culver in the third quarter. The Cobras parked a zone inside the three-point line and the Bulldogs were unable to get anything easy inside, Fritz said. They found open perimeter shots, but weren't able to knock any down. It was simply one of those nights where their shots wouldn't fall.
The Bulldogs went scoreless in the quarter, and the Cobras pulled ahead 30-23 — a lead they were able to maintain in the final quarter.
"The effort was there, we just didn't have that spark in our press or in our (defense) to make up for the poor offensive night we had," Fritz said. "Our best offense is our press and overplaying in our half-court (defense). We weren't able to put all of that together."
Culver opens its CBC schedule with a home game Friday against Pilot Rock at 4:30 p.m.
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