The Comets stand back-to-back with the Battlers for control of their Section nearly every year. The teams take proverbial steps each season away from each other, usually with great pace as they match, step for step, the progress and success of each other. Friday night's game was a quick-draw that saw Hillcrest dominate possessions and prove to be the hot hand in the section as of late. The 91-79 game will go down as one of the most entertaining of the season.
From the opening tip is was clear that the Comets were going to stake their claim for the game on the offensive side of the court. Quick passes around the perimeter displayed a sense of urgency on the Comet side to get the ball in the air and crash the boards. The Comets are known for long possessions and breaking down defenses. This season, Hillcrest is taking to quick shots and increase in possessions.
The change of pace for the Comets is opening incredible opportunities for their skill players. Tommy Thompson, a gym rat for the Comets whose work this off-season is evident on the court, shot a startling 67% from behind the arc. His ability to read screens and create separation opened the door for 18 points in his column.
Kyler Newman played the role of hero in the game, offering six assists to teammates and provided 11 points to the Comet total. While Newman only hit four of his twelve shots, his consistent guard play opened the door for other Comet slashers to put points on the board.
Reggie Undseth benefitted from Newman's play, providing 10 points for the Comets. Fellow Junior Sean McGuire also contributed 10 points, earning a double-double with his work in the paint as he pulled down 10 rebounds.
Chris Tungseth also earned a double-double as he saw a team of Juniors follow his lead on the court. 16 rebounds and 40 points proved Tungseth the X-factor for the Comets who saw Chris take the game over in the second half. NBA three-point shots demoralized the Battlers, who have lost four games since mid-December, watching their State ranking and Section title hopes diminish as the season wares.
Hillcrest shot a startling 50% from the floor, taking 70 shots on the night. Of those 70 shots, nearly half were 3-pointers, where the Comets made 38% of their shots, contributing 36 points to their 91 point total.
The Comets look forward to a double-header versus Park Christian Saturday, sharing the afternoon with their girls' teams. They hope to right some challenges on offense, where 19 turnovers allowed more possessions for the Battlers, who also struggled on the offensive side of the ball where Hillcrest dominated the glass, pulling down 29 defensive rebounds.