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Comet boys improve to 6-0 in NEIC with 66-39 win over Chickasaws

Comet boys improve to 6-0 in NEIC with 66-39 win over Chickasaws
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City senior Mackenzy Bilharz pressures New Hampton’s Alexa Wemark in the back court during Tuesday’s Northeast Iowa Conference girls basketball game. New Hampton won 72-60.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — While referencing Brent Musburger’s infamous “This is for all the Tostitos” call in the final seconds of the 2011 College Football Championship Game, Tuesday’s Northeast Iowa Conference girls basketball matchup between New Hampton and hosting Charles City apparently was “for all the Nachos.”

The Comets got off to a slow start against the Chickasaws while being held scoreless for nearly four minutes into the game. But then Charles City senior Lynn Hoeft came off the bench to infuse a little energy … as well as some slapstick comedy.

While trying to corral a ball heading out of bounds, Hoeft collided with a fan toting a full tray of nachos and cheese.

It took about five minutes to clean up the mess before play resumed, but the pratfall seemed to inspire the Comets to rally to take a halftime lead and then go up by as many as 9 points in the third quarter.

But New Hampton, which can finish in the open court and attack effectively in the post, was able to take advantage of a series of Charles City turnovers and eventually regained the lead on the way to a 72-60 final.

New Hampton junior Hope McDonald led all scorers with 21 points with freshman teammate Carlee Rochford adding 19 for the Chickasaws, who improved to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the NEIC.

Charles City sophomore Lydia Staudt had 20 points, senior Liz Fiser scored 11 and senior Mackenzy Bilharz scored 9 on three 3-point shots.

After trailing all of the first half, Bilharz and Staudt hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help give the Comets a 33-30 lead late in the second quarter.

When Charles City’s lead got to 9, New Hampton cashed in on several long-court inbounds passes to McDonald who would release upcourt when the Comets rolled out their press to make over-the-shoulder catches like a football receiver on a go route and finishing at the rim.

The Comets fell to 4-10 and 1-5

* In the subsequent boys game, Charles City won big — 66-39 — while leading by as many as 32 points in the fourth quarter.

But the game was fairly close for nearly three quarters.

After taking a 14-8 lead after one quarter, the Comets got into a funk on both sides of the court in the second quarter.

When Chickasaw junior Avery Throndson banked in a 3-pointer then later banked in the first of two made free throws — we assumed he called both shots — New Hampton pulled within 1 (22-21).

But the Comets went into halftime with a little momentum as Mario Hoefer’s driving layup at the buzzer made the score 29-26.

The Chickasaws managed to hang around for most of the third quarter, but when Kaden Barry hit his third 3-point shot of the game to put Charles City up 43-31 early in the fourth quarter, it was the beginning of the onslaught.

Crowd-rousing dunks by state long-jump qualifiers Bradley Andrews and Ian Collins helped put the Comets up by 24 (57-33) with a little more than four minutes in regulation.
Andrews scored a game-high 21 points, Barry had 13 and JJ Ritter scored 10 for Charles City, which improved to 6-4 overall while staying perfect (6-0) in the NEIC.

“Give credit to New Hampton for sticking to their game plan to slow us down in the first half,” Charles City head coach Ben Klapperich said. “Our kids made adjustments after halftime against their 1-2-2 press in the second half and it paid dividends for our team. We executed a plan defensive against their mid-range jumpers they were knocking in the first half.”

The next “scheduled” games for the Comet boys and girls are Friday against Decorah with the boys hosting the Vikings and the girls playing on the road. But the weather forecast this weekend may move both games up to Thursday or reschedule them for a later date.

Boys Varsity
Scoring By Quarters

NH 8 18 5 8 — 39
CC 14 15 9 28 — 66
Individual Scoring
NEW HAMPTON — Drake Wemark 18, Simon Lindquist 3, Connor Rochford 6, Mason Lane 2, Avery Throndson 5, Marius Siminov 3, Carter Ferrie 2
CHARLES CITY — JJ Ritter 10, Ian Collins 8, Mario Hoefer 2, Chase Low 2, Dawson Hinders 3, Bradley Andrews 21, Kaden Barry 13, Jeremiah Chapman 2, Tait Arndt 5
Girls Varsity
Scoring By Quarters

NH 16 16 21 19 — 72
CC 11 22 18 9 — 60
Individual Scoring
NEW HAMPTON — Carlee Rochford 19, Sydney Wegner 5, Alexa Wemark 10, Hop McDonald 21, Kaylee Eggerich 17
CHARLES CITY — Lynn Hoeft 8, Dani Stock 4, Rachel Chambers 4, Lydia Staudt 20, Liz Fiser 11, Mackenzy Bilharz 9, Lauren Connell 4