Comets bounce back from OT loss against Tribe with win over ‘Dogs
By John Burbridge firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLES CITY — You got the feeling from watching the first half and even much of the second half of Friday’s Northeast Iowa Conference boys basketball game featuring Waukon and hosting Charles City that neither team practiced much during the week.
After a recent deadly cold spell shut down school and school-related activities for a string of days, both teams appeared to be a little out of sync when it came to running their respective offenses.
Eventually, the game heated up to become an overtime thriller with Waukon pulling off a 76-75 upset road victory.
Indian junior Logan Houg came off the bench after four of his teammates fouled out of the game and scored his 14th and 15th points of the season with a one-handed runner along the baseline to win the game at the fifth buzzer.
The Comets led throughout the whole contest before Michael Sweeney’s cut to the basket and finish with Michael Headington assisting put Waukon up 59-57 with 1:47 remaining in regulation.
Steals turned into points from Jack Molstead and Colton Slinger helped the Comets go on a 5-0 run for a 62-59 lead inside a minute remaining, but Creed Welch’s 3-pointer at the buzzer forced overtime when tying the score at 65.
Welch later hit another clutch trey in OT to put the Indians up 74-73 with 22.8 seconds left in the added period. On the ensuing Charles City possession, Molstead drew a foul and hit both ends of his free throws to put the Comets up by 1 before Houg hit his game-winning “tear-drop”.
Sweeney led all scorers with 39 points, and Welch scored 14 for Waukon, which improved to 5-10.
Molstead scored 30 with Bradley Andrews (15 points) and JJ Ritter (13 points) also in double figures for the Comets.
It was senior night for Charles City as Molstead and Slinger — the only seniors on the varsity roster — were honored with their parents before the varsity game tipoff.
There was also a special guest appearance before the varsity game as former Charles City and Iowa Hawkeye star Greg Brunner presented a commemorative plaque to Molstead for breaking Brunner’s all-time Comet scoring record the week before in a win against Oelwein.
“Records are made to be broken … that’s what it’s all about,” Brunner said before the presentation to Molstead, who also is the Comets’ all-time assist leader. “I’ve been following Jack … I’m good friends with his family. When Ben (Klapperich — Charles City’s head coach) asked me if I would like to come down and do this, I was all for it.”
For the record, not all of Brunner’s records have been broken. He still is the Hawkeyes’ all-time leading rebounder.
Little more than three years ago, just when Molstead began accumulating his point total as a freshman varsity starter, Brunner retired from professional basketball after sustaining a shoulder injury.
“I don’t even play pick-up anymore,” said Brunner, who is a financial planner raising a family in Norwalk. “I do help put on basketball clinics, but with me working on my masters, I don’t plan to coach basketball soon.”
“Sometimes people get too much into travel basketball, but we should just let the kids go out and play and have fun.”
The following afternoon, the Comets bounced back with a 68-50 non-conference home win against Algona.
Molstead led the way with 20 points with Andrews (18 points) and Tait Arndt (12 points) reaching double-figures for Charles City (11-6).
On Friday, Charles City’s girls varsity team traveled to Waukon and lost to Class 3A No. 9-ranked Waukon 66-27 after the Indians placed 12 players in the scoring column.
The Comet girls (0-16, 0-10) will be back in action on Monday when they host Sumner-Fredericksburg at 6:15 p.m.
WAUKON 76, CHARLES CITY 75
Scoring by Quarters and OT
WAUKON 11 16 16 22 11 — 76
CHARLES CITY 17 16 16 16 10 — 75
WAUKON — Logan Houg 2, Creed Welch 14, Michael Headington 3, Reed Kelly 2, Ethan O’Neil 2, Michael Sweeney 39, Asher Fahey 8, Braden Hemann 6.
CHARLES CITY — Jack Molstead 30, JJ Ritter 13, Marcus Cranshaw 4, Colton Slinger 3, Bradley Andrews 15, Tait Arndt 9.
CHARLES CITY 68, ALGONA 50
Scoring By Quarters
CHARLES CITY 20 16 14 18 — 68
ALGONA 16 7 9 18 — 50
CHARLES CITY — Jack Molstead 20, De’Ontaye Hoefer 2, JJ Ritter 6, Marcus Cranshaw 3, Dawson Hinders 3, Colton Slinger 2, Bradley Andrew 18, Cael Ruzicka 2, Tait Arndt 12.
ALGONA — Wyatt Wegener 14, Collin Bleich 12, Skylar Groen 4, Spencer Holmes 2, Noah Nelson 6, Jason Cecil 6, James Wartick 6.