By John Burbridge firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLES CITY — With a 38-point blowout win over archrival Waverly-Shell Rock, the Charles City Comets played their best game of the year.
But maybe not the best of the season. At least that’s what Comet head coach Ben Klapperich is hoping for.
“Extremely proud of our guys for excruciating the game plan and being disciplined for a full 32 minutes,” Klapperich said after the Comets rolled over the Go-Hawks 81-43 on Friday night to close out the 2018 portion of the season before resuming play after the holiday break.
“This is the most complete game that we’ve put together this year but have the ability to do this on any given night,” Klapperich said. “Our defense was physical and contesting every shot.”
Comet senior guard Jack Molstead played one of his better games of his two-time all-state career. He led all scorers with 28 points, which included a trio of 3-point shots early in the second half that for the most part left the Go-Hawks in the dust.
But Molstead was also able to create opportunities for his teammates, in particular sophomore JJ Ritter, who scored a career-high 17 points.
Yet the Comet player who perhaps had the biggest “breakout” game was junior Tait Arndt. In addition to scoring 9 points, most of which came in the first half while Charles City was steadily taking control of the game against a foe that eliminated them in the regional finals last season, Arndt was tasked with guarding Go-Hawk 6-foot-6 senior Mosai Newsom.
Newsom is the type of player that has been giving the Comets fits as of late — big and husky space-eaters in the post. But the main difference between Newsom and the other guys is that Newsom is a Division 1 athlete who’s going to play football for Nebraska next fall.
The Go-Hawks went to Newsom early and got initial results while taking a 7-2 lead. But Arndt, with the help of fellow post defender Bradley Andrews, was able to contain Newsom for the rest of the game, sometimes trapping him too far under the basket while using the baseline and the bottom of the backboard as allies.
For Charles City, it was its third win in a row to improved to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Northeast Iowa Conference.
On Tuesday, the Comets defeated New Hampton, 73-71 in a spectacular buzzer-beater finish that involved everyone on the floor.
“After an exciting win like New Hampton, I was hoping that momentum would propel us into this game,” Klapperich said. “We got off to a slow start early but give credit to our kids for sticking together and battling.”
Kurby Vowels had 13 points, and Newsom had 11 for the Go-Hawks (3-4, 3-2).
* Meanwhile at Waverly-Shell Rock, Charles City senior Jodie Sindlinger scored a personal season-high 14 points, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Comets lost to the Class 4A No. 8-ranked Go-Hawks, 57-21.
Olivia Phillips scored a game-high 18 points for Waverly-Shell Rock, which has won nine straight after losing to Class 4A No. 2-ranked Mason City to open the season. The Go-Hawks are undefeated in NEIC play (5-0).
The Comets fell to 0-8 and 0-4.
Both Charles City teams will return to action on Jan. 4 with the boys playing at Waukon and the girls hosting Waukon.
CHARLES CITY 81,
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK 43
Scoring By Quarters
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK 7 13 18 5 — 43
CHARLES CITY 14 16 29 22 — 81
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK — Trey Angel 7, Kurby Vowels 13, Josh Halverson 6, Hogan Hansen 3, Brady Ramker 2, Caleb Burks 1, Mosai Newsom 11.
CHARLES CITY — Jack Molstead 28, JJ Ritter 17, Marcus Cranshaw 9, Colton Slinger 7, Bradley Andrews 5, Justin Heyer 2, Cael Ruzicka 1, Tait Arndt 9, De’Ontaye Hoefer 3.
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK 57,
CHARLES CITY 21
Scoring By Quarters
CHARLES CITY 3 7 4 7 — 21
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK 19 9 18 11 — 57
CHARLES CITY — Lynn Hoeft 3, Jodie Sindlinger 14, Lauren Connell 4.
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK — Olivia Phillips 18, Camryn Grawe 2, Britney Young 9, Sasha Wilson 4, Kenzie Roling 8, Abbie Draper 12, Tinidee Moore 1, Laura Bates 2, Morgan Schut 1.