Comet Boys' Basketball displayed an ability to right the ship Tuesday night, entering December cold behind the arc. In their lone game in November, Hillcrest nailed home 50% of their 3-point shots. But Tuesday night a chill fell over the Panther gym as the Comets entered the locker-room with a win after shooting a meager 32% (6/19) from 3-point territory.
Facing long-range shooting woes, the Comets watched Kyler Newman go-off for the second straight night. Newman's ability to beat defenders with one step, and his authoritative finishes in the paint, gave him 30 points (13/19) from the floor.
Comet shooters worked to correct their footing and finish their form, talking with coaches on the bench. Noting that they were shooting well under 50% for the night, the Comets reworked their game plan and fought for second chances. Chris Tungseth, Sean McGuire, and Reggie Undseth crashed the boards, pulling down 11, 9 and 9 boards respectively. Tungseth's 9 rebounds bolstered his scoring and opened avenues for others. He ended the night with 17 points and 10 assists, earning his first triple-double of the season as he led the way for second and third shot opportunities.
Hillcrest's backcourt again showed a dominance on the court, something the Panthers could not handle. Substitutions kept fresh legs on Gregg Preston's team, who worked to execute a game plan that provided another night of high scoring. Preston's X's and O's drawn-up on his whiteboard during time-outs opened passing lanes and jump shots on the court for Hillcrest's perimeter players. McGuire garnered 17 points from Preston's game plan, and Undseth hustled-out a scrappy game, earning 5 points and dishing out 3 assists for the Comets.
Woes behind the arc were steadied by a hot night at the free-throw line for Hillcrest. Every time the Comets made a trip to the line they came away with points, hitting 73% (11/15) of their free shots. The Comet versatility in scoring, mixed with their ability to rebound, gave them an 81-68 victory.
The Comets boarded the bus in Parkers Prairie with a better understanding of some defensive habits that need sharpening in Wednesday's practice. As a team they allow 54 points per game, a statistic that isn't common in Comet Basketball. Hillcrest looks forward to tightening their defense in an exciting home opener on Thursday night vs. Underwood. Game time is 7:15pm.