Comets break Cadets with pressure, go 2-0 at home with 57-40 win
By John Burbridge
CHARLES CITY — To kill a powerplay in hockey, disadvantaged teams will repeatedly try to clear the puck out of their zone.
On two noted occasions, Iowa Falls-Alden was unable to clear the ball out of their backcourt “zone” against Charles City in non-conference boys basketball action Tuesday, and it enabled the hosting Comets to take complete control of the game on the way to winning 57-40.
After the Comets had taken an 8-point lead at halftime (32-24), they widened the gap to double-digits with Chase Low scoring a point blanc shot from an inbounds play under the basket. When the Cadets tried to inbound the ball from about the same spot while being confronted by the Comets’ full-court pressure which was applied all game, Mario Hoefer came up with a steal before swinging the ball to Jack Hanson, who drilled a 3-pointer.
That put Charles City up by 14 (40-26) with 5:04 left in the third quarter.
But it may have been the second time the Cadets got mired in “backcourt hell” that really damned them. And this was where Comet coach Ben Klapperich deserves an assist.
After both teams went scoreless for more than two minutes following Hanson’s trey, Charles City extended a possession while seizing four consecutive offensive rebounds. After a fifth-straight miss, IFA looked as if it was finally going to retrieve the ball. A back-side tap-away caused a loose-ball scramble which Charles City was able to win, but with the Comet player prone on the court and near the sidelines, it looked as if IFA was going to tie it up with the possession arrow in its favor.
But Klapperich quickly called a timeout. And when play resumed, Hanson was fouled driving to the basket before making good on both free throw attempts.
That helped the Comets take a 21-point lead (51-30) going into the fourth quarter.
Iowa Falls-Alden, which was 3-0 going into the game, managed to hold the Comets to 6 points in the final eight minutes, but the Cadets couldn’t muster enough offense themselves to pose a remote threat.
Low led all scorers with 17 points. Jose Hernandez scored 11 with three 3-pointers, and Hanson had 10 while going 4 of 4 at the free throw line for the Comets (2-2), who remain undefeated at home.
Andrew Bickness was the only Cadet in double-figures with 12 points.
Charles City will travel to Decorah on Friday for the nightcap of a varsity doubleheader. For both the Comet boys and girls teams, it will be their Northeast Iowa Conference season-opener.
* In the previous junior varsity boys game, the Comets and Cadets traded 1- and 2-point leads throughout most of the contest before Charles City went on a run midway through the fourth quarter to attain a little distance on the way to winning 52-49.
CHARLES CITY 57, IOWA FALLS-ALDEN 40
Scoring by Quarters
IFA 10 14 6 10 — 40
CC 17 15 19 6 — 57
IOWA FALLS-ALDEN — Blake Janssen 9, Jaden Damiano 7, Sam Weaver 5, Andrew Bicknese 12, Camden Stalzer 2, Kaden Steffen 5
CHARLES CITY — Jack Hanson 10, Jose Hernandez 11, Mario Hoefer 5, Chase Low 17, Kayden Kasemeier 3, Calvin Hanson 2, Jeb Wandro 9