Comets Even Post-Season Mark with Falcons

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Comets Even Post-Season Mark with Falcons

Hillcrest avenged last seasons semi-final loss to Park Christian with a 74-64 thriller at Concordia College on Saturday, February 28. 

Jumping to a quick ten point lead, the Comets took control of the game and never looked back. Shooting 52% from the floor, Hillcrest seemed to make nearly every shot they took. A last second loose-ball-turn-around-jumper from Chris Tungseth to end the first half was evidence that Hillcrest was having an on-night shooting. "The first half we did an excellent job of offensive execution and our defensive help and on-ball pressure was very good.  Chris Tungseth played another tremendous game.  He made good decisions with the ball, hit big shots and rebounded well," noted Comet Coach Gregg Preston.

The Comets took their 35-22 lead into the second half and found the Falcons ready to play. The final eighteen minutes nearly looked like a different game. Park Christian executed time and again, battling back from their deficit to bring the game within two baskets with three minutes to play. 

Preston recalled, "Like many of our games this year, the players that came off the bench contributed in big ways to knock off PCS.  The first half, Ben Herzog scored 9 of his 11 points and the second half, Tommy Thompson drained three big three pointers to add 9 second half points.  In addition, Kyler Newman scored 8 points off the bench.  We built a 17 point lead in the second half and Park came back to within four with 3 minutes left."  

As Hillcrest faced the final minutes the game looked to teeter in Park Christian's favor. However, a hard earned layup by Kyler Newman, rendering a few bruises and a trip to the free throw line, gave Hillcrest a spark. The Comets again took charge, increasing the lead to 10, and never looked back.

Chris Tungseth took the torch for the Comets, leading with 17 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals. Jacob Isaac added 16 points and 9 rebounds while Ben Herzog provided 11 points and 7 rebounds.

The Comets play top-seeded Waubun on Tuesday night at 6pm at Concordia College in Moorhead for the right to play in the Section 6A championship.

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Comets Earn 6th Title in 7 Years at Math Competition

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Comets Earn 6th Title in 7 Years at Math Competition

Seven Hillcrest students placed in the top ten at the High School level, taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th places.

Hillcrest Academy's math students took first place in both the High School and Beginning High School levels at the Tri-College Math Competition. Forty-seven students from Hillcrest's one hundred and seventy-five person student body competed, outscoring every school in both the large and small schools divisions.

Schools from as far west as Bismarck and as far north as Thief River Falls competed in the 23rd annual event that was hosted at Concordia College, Moorhead. Counting all levels of the competition, 55 schools sent 232 teams, supplying over 2000 competitors.The Tri-College Competition is rotated each year between three colleges, North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo and Concordia College and Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) in Moorhead. This year, the tests were written by the NDSU math department. 

Seven Hillcrest students placed in the top ten at the High School level, taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th places. At the Beginning High School level Hillcrest placed four students in the top ten with the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th places.

2014 marks the sixth year in the last seven that Hillcrest has won first place in the Senior High division.

Hillcrest’s teams had an international flavor, consisting of American, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Norwegian students. The students represented all high school grades at Hillcrest, with many having participated in Hillcrest's Math program for over two years since joining the school as boarding students.

2015 marks the sixth year in the last seven that Hillcrest has won first place in the Senior High division. Their continued dominance in the competition is earning many students recognition as they transition to NDSU seeking degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). Mathematics instructors Brent Juliot and Stephen Doering served as the coaches for the teams. 

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Comets Fall in Shoot-out with Battlers

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Comets Fall in Shoot-out with Battlers

Disciplined in their approach, the Comets looked to avenge their home loss to the State ranked Battlers Tuesday night. Crisp passes from guards to posts helped the Comets put on a shooting clinic, hitting 55% for their shots from the floor and 83% from the free throw line. The game was tied at 40 as both teams headed into the locker room.

Entering the playoff atmosphere for the second half the Battlers put together a precision campaign to save their undefeated record at home this year. "Tony, Petrick, Nick, and Andrew all make such good cuts, passes, and finish well," noted coach Gregg Preston. Battle Lake, known for their athleticism, plays smart basketball, and worked to dismantle the Comet front. "we will need to play better help defense and position a bit better on the defensive glass as tournament time is quickly approaching," commented Preston after highlighting the successes of his team on the night.

Battle Lake controls the rebound margin in most games. Their work against the Comets saw Battler post players lower their center of gravity on a number of plays, out positioning the Comets and working to take an advantage on the glass. Junior guard Chris Tungseth worked to neutralize the Battler efforts. Converting 8 three-pointers, Tungseth finished with 39 points. "Chris Tungseth was tough on our defense," lamented Battle Lake Coach Dan Peterka. "He hit shots with a hand in his face time after time. I thought our guys responded well down the stretch and got a few stops and were able to convert on our offensive end."

With the score in Battle Lake's favor with seconds left the Comets looked to Jake Isaac. Scoring 27 points, with 10 for 11 free throws on the night, Isaac drew defenders off screens and caught the ball behind the arc. Stabilizing his feet he looked for a good shot. With defenders crashing down on his position Isaac held his form and watched his shot bounce away. 

The Comets' loss bounces them to 2nd in seedings for playoffs. They will play Minnewaska for their final regular season game on Thursday. 

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Senior Night Thriller Leaves Comets on Up Swing

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Senior Night Thriller Leaves Comets on Up Swing

Hillcrest's Boys Basketball team is putting together a streak of entertaining games that are leaving fans jumping. Senior Ben Herzog started his hot night of scoring with a baseline dunk, and Jake Isaac flashed his athletic prowess with a backboard alley-oop in the second half, giving the Comets momentum to stop a hot-handed Underwood team.

Underwood started the game by trading scores with the Comets. For every defensive stop or layup the Comets produced, Underwood stood at the other end of the court copying the Comets' efforts. 

Hillcrest pulled away with determination in the second half. Closing the night shooting 40%, Hillcrest outworked Underwood in a half-court trap, causing turnovers that presented the Comets with some colorful scoring opportunities. 

Hillcrest was led by Ben Herzog, who scored 23 point with 7 rebounds and 7 steals in his senior night contest. The Comets look ahead to Wheaton/Herman-Norcross for a President's Day double-header before their highlighted game in Battle Lake on Tuesday, February 17.

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Missing the Mark with American Sniper

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Missing the Mark with American Sniper

Chris Kyle's story is retold through the movie American Sniper. Nominated for 6 Academy awards, the graphic war film is becoming a nationwide favorite. But, the fan favorite missed the mark to Chris Kyle's hope in jesus.

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Comets Avenge Loss at Parkers

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Comets Avenge Loss at Parkers

The Comet boys scored 55 points in the second half, rolling to another victory. At 16-2, the Comets sit closely behind Battle Lake and look forward to a likely match-up versus the conference rivals.

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MLK was Trending Before Dial-up

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MLK was Trending Before Dial-up

Bill Hudson/AP

Bill Hudson/AP

Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) went viral before the internet. Civil Rights, his message, formed a trending topic before hashtags and starter packs. Through mass media communications he gained followers as he humanized desegregation.  

Before Twitter, newspapers and radio broadcasting were main platforms to communicate to mass populations. In Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath, Diane McWhorter recalls, "James Bevel, dropped off leaflets at all black high schools around the country: 'come to 16th Street Baptist Church at noon on Thursday. Don't ask permission.' The city's most popular disc jockey sent out a message to his young listeners: 'Kids there's gonna be a party at the park.'"Civil Rights started its march outside the scope of mass media and began trending when it involved youth.

Civil Rights started its march outside the scope of mass media and began trending when it involved youth.
AP

AP

The children skipped school and arrived in hoards at the 16th Street church. Firemen were hesitant. They had been instructed to use firehoses as crowd controlling devices. When they turned the water on the children it sent them sprawling in every direction, the force of the spray tore the marchers' clothes from their backs. The police department used dogs as well as horses. The German Shepherds came snarling, held back by their thin leashes. One lunged at a boy, who did nothing to defend himself. Photojournalists captured the moment of aggression. The photo ran on the front page of every newspaper around the country. This is how the nation knew that civil rights protests were more than just  people holding signs in the streets, it was human beings standing up to injustice. The issue was no longer some obscure movement in the deep south, it was a national issue, because of a picture that went viral without Instagram or Facebook. 

MLK used the press and media to broaden the audience of his fight for justice. He was successful because his ideas were thought-provoking and sharable. He attracted like-minded people and built a base of followers. He had a dream for his children, and for the future of America. King grew to embody a real-life 'Mockingjay': showing the public what was really happening; how actual human beings were being treated, and why justice is worth fighting for. 

A USA Today poll showed people born between 1982 and 2000 (millennials) are the most civic-minded generation since those born in the 1930’s-40s, MLK’s generation.
AP

AP

Since  today's generation is paving the way with digital communication, the thought is that young people are narcissistic. But a USA Today poll showed people born between 1982 and 2000 (the group of young people termed "millennials") are the most civic-minded generation since those born in the 1930's-40s, MLK's generation. One of many books written on millennials, Generation We, says  they believe in political engagement, and that government can be a powerful source for good. Students at Hillcrest today are predicted to develop in such a way that they make society great. The world can be changed, possibly faster because of the pace of media today. A strong moral conscience is evident in the upcoming generation; humanity is as important to citizens now as it has ever been. King's example teaches that social media, which is at students' fingertips, being mastered through daily posts in social media, can be used to spread meaningful messages, and promote good over evil.

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Hillcrest Comets Beat Oak Grove Grovers 57-46

The Hillcrest Comets faced-off against the 3rd ranked team in class A in North Dakota Saturday night. The Oak Grove Grovers are on the same path as the Comets, both teams fighting for position and using the reqular season to gear-up for playoffs.

As the game started the Grovers displayed the reason they're number 3 in North Dakota. The fast paced game drew fans in, who could not afford to look away for fear of missing an 8 point run. The Comets provided a stiff opponent for the Grovers' quick-strike offense, using their scrappy defense to shut-down the Grovers, who average 72 points per game.

Following a nail-biting first half, fans knew the game would be close. Trading baskets with the Grovers, the Comets surged late in the fourth quarter using strong defensive stands to neutralize the Grovers. As time expired on the clock the Comets saw a ten point lead emerge, with some players looking to the score board for the first time amid their hard work defensively.

The Comets held the Grovers to 47 points. Some players said it was their best defensive night of the season. Oak Grove's consistent leading scorer, Carter Kretchman, was bottled-up by the Comet defense, contributing 7 points on the night.

Jake Isaac led the Comets with 27 points, shooting 12-of-15 from the floor. Chris Tungseth contributed 18 points and 9 assists. Evan Malmstrom hit 2 three pointers, adding 6 points to the Comet total. The Comets shot 23-of-51 from the floor, and shot 8-20 from the 3 point line. 

The Comets have won 5 straight, and play Parkers Prairie on Monday. Parkers is one of the two teams the Comets have lost to this season.

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Comet Defense Stifles Tigers

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Comet Defense Stifles Tigers

The Comet boys held the Rothsay Tigers to 8 points in the first half of Thursday nights game. A steady dose of half-court traps and zone defense allowed Hillcrest to march to a win without needing to contribute a great deal of offense for the night.

The Tigers threw nearly a dozen shots to their basket in the first ten minutes of the game, a number that is much lower than many would've liked. "Defensively, Hillcrest was too quick for us tonight and forced 28 turnovers," commented Rothsday Head Coach Trever Hone on craigolsonsports.com. The Tigers failed to score a basket before the three minute mark in the first half, with a free-throw finally ending their scoring drought before tacking on eight other points before heading into the locker room.

The Comets returned from their half-time break setting-up half-court traps and working in a zone defense. The Comets continued to work hard in the game, sitting down on defense and holding a tight reign on the game until the final buzzer. 

Jake Isaac led the Comets with 15 points. Ben Herzog had a breakout game with 13 points and 7 rebounds. The Comet backcourt continued a strong display of defense and ballhandling, controlling the game and opening the court for scoring opportunities for Hillcrest's big men. Chris Tungseth had 4 assists and 3 steals on the night, while Reggie Undseth contributed 3 assists and Evan Malmstrom added 4 assists and 5 steals.

The Comets play Oak Grove in Fargo Saturday at 5:30pm as part of a guys-girls double-header.

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Comet Girls lose 61-29 against Chargers

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Comet Girls lose 61-29 against Chargers

The lady Chargers jumped to a 11-4 lead at the beginning of the game and never looked back. They shot 37% from the floor and hit 13-14 free throws. Megan Aasness and Lydia Tostenson from the Comets led the scoring with 8 points each. The Chargers came away with the victory the final score was 61-29.

The lady Comets will host Ashby Friday night and will go to Oak Grove in Fargo on Saturday. 

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Comets Drop 80 points in Win over the Owls

As the Game started on Tuesday night in Hancock the Owls jumped to a 18-13 lead. The Comets called a timeout to regroup and ended the half on a 23-2 run. The Comets defense and better shot selection shut down the Owls in the second half. The final score was 80-40. The Comets shot 46% from the floor, Jake Isaac was the leading scorer with 28 points and 10 boards. Chris Tungseth had 10 points and 6 boards. Micah Jones and Evan Malmstrom also scored 8 points each.

The Hillcrest boys basketball team has won 8 of their last 9 games. They play Rothsay Thursday night at home and Oak Grove in Fargo on Saturday.

 

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Knowledge Bowl Secures Two Spots in Top 5

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Knowledge Bowl Secures Two Spots in Top 5

Hillcrest's Knowledge Bowl team brought home top honors in their competition on January 20.  The team placed 2 teams in the top 5 of the 21 team knowledge bowl meet. The 2 upper-class teams outperformed bigger schools, including the Fergus Fall High School and Barnesville. The group looks forward to another competitive year in displaying their hard work in the classroom through academic competition. 

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Comets Stay in Stride to Pass Ashby

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Comets Stay in Stride to Pass Ashby

The Comets are in continuing a solid run to the playoffs. Holding Ashby to 10 points in the first half, the Comet defense stifled the Arrows and opened the game, allowing Hillcrest to move to 12 and 2 on the season as they correct weaknesses while viewing the post-season.

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Consistency from Comets is Too Much for Chargers

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Consistency from Comets is Too Much for Chargers

Brandon-Evansville coach John Holsten is being inducted in to Minnesota's Basketball Hall of Fame this year. The Comets took time to congratulate coach Holsten prior to their 70-41 victory over the chargers. Holsten is recognized as a humanizing coach who treated players, fans and opponents with dignity during his 41 year coaching career.

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Comets Fall to State Favorite Battle Lake

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Comets Fall to State Favorite Battle Lake

The Comets had Thursday night circled on their calendar. Coach Preston, kneeling in the huddle before the start of the game, drew a smile from the players as his words caught their attention. The gym was packed and the playoff atmosphere present.

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