By John Burbridge firstname.lastname@example.org
OELWEIN — Many brave souls willing to host family and friends during the holidays are often plagued by guests who continue to stick around long after they’ve worn out their welcome.
The Oelwein Huskies likely felt their pain last Friday.
On both ends of the girls-boys varsity basketball doubleheader while hosting Northeast Iowa Conference rival Charles City, the Huskies were able to jump out to substantial leads early. But the Comets stubbornly wouldn’t go away as they hung around deep into the fourth quarters of both games with threats of stealing victories.
The Huskies were able to hang on to win the girls game, 49-42, before Oelwein’s boys broke a long losing streak against Charles City dating back to 2012 with a 76-68 victory in the latter game.
In the girls game, Oelwein led by as many as 18 points early in the second half. But when the Comets went with and stayed with a predominantly young lineup consisting of freshmen Rachel Chambers, Ashlyn Hoeft and Lydia Staudt; junior Mackenzy Bilharz who was recently moved up from the jayvee squad; and senior Jodie Sindlinger, Charles City surged back into the game.
With trapping pressure, the Comets addled the Huskies into numerous backcourt turnovers while turning several of them into immediate baskets.
The Comets may have also found another 3-point shooter in Bilharz as her third trey of the game pulled Charles City within 3 (42-39) late into the fourth quarter.
But Husky senior Drew Becker, utilizing her effective “Eurostep” drives to the basket, was able to repeatedly score when Oelwein needed speed-bumps to Charles City’s late runs. Becker led all scorers with 25 points.
Haley Woodson added 14 points for Oelwein, which improved to 5-3 and 2-2 in the NEIC.
Bilharz scored a varsity career high 10 points, and Sindlinger scored 10 and had nine rebounds for the Comets (0-6, 0-3).
In what has been a persistent problem for Charles City’s boys, the Comets fell behind early in their game and soon found themselves looking up at a 33-21 halftime deficit.
Rolling out the full-court press, Charles City was able to whittle the gap down to 10 ahead of the fourth quarter, and then got within 4 with a little more than four minutes left in regulation.
But a major thorn in the Comets’ side was the unconventional 3-point shooting of Husky senior Dillon Arndt. With a right-foot-forward jumpshot shooting base, Arndt was able to hit four 3-point shots while leading the Huskies with 18 points.
Multisport star Dominique Robertson scored 16, and Steven Nicolay (12 points) and Mason Meyer (11 points) were the third and fourth players in double-figures for the Huskies, who improved to 4-1 and 3-1 after Friday’s win.
Comet senior guard Jack Molstead led all scorers with 22 points. And after scoring his first 6 points from a pair of 3-pointers, 6-foot-7 CC junior Bradley Andrews began to attack more down low on way to finishing with 17 points.
The following day at Luther College, Charles City’s boys ended a three-game skid when defeating Spring Grove (Minn.) 58-56.
Molstead scored 22 points to lead all scorers, and Andrews scored 17 — same outputs from the day before — for Charles City (2-3), which was down by 1 point going into the final minute.
OELWEIN 49, CHARLES CITY 42
Scoring By Quarters
CHARLES CITY 6 7 11 18 — 42
OELWEIN 9 11 16 13 — 49
CHARLES CITY — Lynn Hoeft 4, Lydia Staudt 7, Olyvia Zuspan 2, Lisabeth Fiser 2, Ashlyn Hoeft 7, Jodie Sindlinger 10, Mackenzy Bilharz 10.
OELWEIN — Hanna 1, Kylie Parmely 5, Haley Woodson 14, Drew Becker 25, Drucille Jorgensen 2, Lauren Harrison 2.
OELWEIN 76, CHARLES CITY 68
Scoring By Quarters
CHARLES CITY 12 9 20 17 — 68
OELWEIN 19 14 18 15 — 76
CHARLES CITY — Bradley Andrews 17, Tait Arndt 4, Marcus Cranshaw 8, Jack Molstead 22, Colton Slinger 8.
OELWEIN — Dominique Robertson 16, Zachary Wegner 8, Dillon Arndt 18, Jacob King 2, Camren Palmer 7, Adam Deaner 2, Steven Nicolay 12, Mason Meyer 11.