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Three Comets named to All-NEIC basketball teams

  • Press photo by John Burbridge For the fourth season in a row, Charles City senior guard Jack Molstead (No. 2) was named to the All-Northeast Iowa Conference boys basketball first team.

  • Press photo by John Burbridge Though he plays above the rim, Charles City 6-foot-7 junior Bradley Andrews also has a horizontal game while running the floor and displaying 3-point range. He was named to the All-NEIC second team.

  • Press photo by John Burbridge Charles City sophomore JJ Ritter (No. 10) had a breakout varsity season while working his way into the starting lineup. He was named to the All-NEIC honorable-mention team.

By John Burbridge

In light of the recent passing of the entertainment awards season, we now head into the boys prep basketball awards season.

Though the Charles City Comets would have liked to had their playing season continue after having it ended Tuesday with a hard-fought loss against No. 1-ranked Clear Lake in the Class 3A-Substate 2 championship game, several members of the team were honored the following day with All-Northeast Iowa Conference Boys Basketball selections.

To the surprise of no one, Charles City senior Jack Molstead was named to the first team while earning the rare distinction of being an All-NEIC first-teamer for all four years of his high school career.

Molstead led the Comets with a career-high 29.2 points per game, which ranks him among the state’s top scoring leaders. Molstead also led the Comets in assists (145) and steals (44), and was a reliable missed-shot retriever as the 5-foot-10 guard was second on the team in total rebounds.

After playing several offseasons with an elite travel team while playing with and against Blue Chip, Division 1 recruits, Molstead became a much-improved defensive player.

Molstead finished his career as the Comets’ all-time leader in assists and points, as he recently passed former Iowa Hawkeye star Greg Brunner in the latter category. With more than 1,800 points for his career, Molstead came up a little short of former Northern Iowa guard Brooks McKowen’s nearly untouchable top-list total of 2,831 he scored at Wapsie Valley, but Molstead did pass some luminaries such as former Ames High School and Iowa State star Fred Hoiberg, who later head coached the Cyclones as well as the Chicago Bulls.

Like teammate Molstead, six-foot-seven junior Bradley Andrews worked on his game during the offseason to where he eventually earned an All-NEIC second-team selection.

Andrews led the team in rebounding, blocked shots, and crowd-rousing dunks. Second on the team in scoring (12.5), Andrews shot a team-best 82.3 percent from the free-throw line and extended defenses while forcing counterpart big men out of the post while shooting nearly 36 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

Andrews is also one of those rare big men who runs the floor and fills lanes on fastbreaks like an opportune guard.

Sophomore JJ Ritter was named All-NEIC honorable mention after his breakout varsity season with the Comets. Ritter averaged 9 ppg while shooting an even 40 percent from 3-point land. Ritter also shot 80 percent from the free-throw line, and was particularly clutch at the end of the game while helping Charles City seal victories.

Other first-team selections include Waverly-Shell Rock seniors Hogan Hansen and Mosai Newsom; Oelwein senior Dom Robertson; Waukon senior Michael Sweeney; Crestwood senior Zachary Lane; and New Hampton senior Tristan Sweitzer.

Other second-team selections include Crestwood senior Nathan Martinek and sophomore Carter Henry; Oelwein senior Mason Meyer; Waukon sophomore Creed Welsh; Decorah junior Patrick Bockman; and New Hampton freshman Drake Wemark.

Other honorable-mention selections include Decorah juniors Matthew Franzen and Logan Halverson; Waverly-Shell Rock senior Trey Angel; Oelwein senior Steven Nicolay; Crestwood senior Shane Vokaty; and New Hampton senior Dillon Roberson.