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Comets lose season-opener to Wolverines 85-69

Comets lose season-opener to Wolverines 85-69
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City junior JJ Ritter drives to the basket while being guarded by Dike-New Hartford senior Derek Kinney during Tuesday’s season-opener for both teams.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Much in the same way a good football team will make you pay for blitzing it, a good basketball team will make you pay for pressing it.

That’s how the visiting Dike-New Hartford Wolverines responded against Charles City in Tuesday’s season-opener for both teams hosted by the Comets.

The Wolverines, coming off a Class 2A State Basketball Championships appearance from last season where they were eliminated in the first round, effectively managed to break Charles City’s pressure for several easy buckets in the first half while building a big lead.

After trailing as many as 21 points, the Comets managed to bite into the deficit in the second half and got within a couple of possessions of getting within single digits. But when the Comets pressed again in hopes for needed turnovers, the Wolverines again made them pay while keeping them at bay on way to a 85-69 final.

In addition to breaking the press, the Wolverines also shot well from beyond the 3-point arc. And even with the shots they didn’t make, the pack seems to have a nose for its own wayward shots … like knowing where the ball is going to carom before it hits the rim for numerous offensive rebounds.

DNH junior guard Dana Fuller led all scorers with 33 points. AJ Wegener added 15 and Zak Wauters scored 13 for the Wolverines.

The Comets had four players in double-figures — junior JJ Ritter (15), and seniors Bradley Andrews (13), Tait Arndt (13) and Marcus Cranshaw.
Right after the Wolverines extended their lead to 21 (41-20) in the second quarter, Andrews scored a dunk from an inbounds pass under the Comets’ basket. That got the home crowd roaring, but DNH immediately got those points back with a well-placed long pass for a layup at the other end.

With the Comet girls team, the Comet boys will finish the first week of the season on the road with varsity doubleheaders on Thursday against Aplington-Parkersburg and Saturday against Algona.

Scoring By Quarters

DNH 19 29 17 20 — 85
CC 12 18 18 21 — 69
DIKE-NEW HARTFORD — AJ Wegener 15, Nathan Moore 2, Zak Wauters 13, Parker Kiewiet 2, Drew Sonnenberg 2, Noah Epley 8, Dana Fuller 33, Derek Kinney 10.
CHARLES CITY — JJ Ritter 12, Ian Collins 9, Mario Hoefer 2, Trimel Christian 2, Marcus Cranshaw 12, Dawson Hinders 3, Bradley Andrews 13, Tait Arndt 1