Fans filed into Hillcrest's student activities center hoping to see more aggressive basketball by what is becoming one of Hillcrest's most prolific scoring teams. Posting 96 points in three games since Christmas, Chris Tungseth led his team in a different way, supporting Hillcrest by cheering friends to a 92-41 win over the Rothsay Tigers.
As the Comets ran through a tunnel of fans, following their pre-game chant by the locker room, players adjusted shots and practiced their footwork before their battle with the Tigers. The attention to detail in warmups carried through to opening tip and ultimately the final buzzer.
Hillcrest's layup and jump shot drills propelled their team to another night of hot shooting. The Comets made every other shot on the night, scoring a 50% on 36-of-72 shooting. Tommy Thompson displayed a shooters mindset, scoring 16 points, 12 from the three point line, in leading the Comets' scoring. Sean McGuire, Reggie Undseth and Nate Frustol scored 13, 12, and 11 respectively, revealing a Comet lineage building in the ranks as Tungseth and Jordan Foss continue to lead the undefeated Comets.
Tungseth and Foss led Hillcrest in pre-game warm-ups. After layups the two stood on the baseline and faced the wall, getting into an athletic stance and shuffling their feet. This leadership set the stage for their underclassman teammates, evident in the Comets stealing the ball an eye-popping 20 times.
After opening tip it was clear to see the Comets shift their attention from a team built around their senior leadership, to a holistic team that plays together. Tungseth stepped back and provided 12 points, 6 from behind the arc, while Foss chipped in with a three pointer. Hillcrest's team put 11 players in the scoring column for the night, showing the consistency of play from Hillcrest's bench as the team's shooting percentage didn't change from previous nights where Hillcrest relied on senior leadership.
Hillcrest dominated the glass again on the night, something indicative of Hillcrest teams. Defensive rebounds are talked-up in the locker-room, and when the Comets pull down 26 on the night, ending Rothsay drives a total of 46 times when the steals are factored in, there is a lot of talking.
The Comets also celebrated 28 assists, 8 coming from Junior Kyler Newman, whose name is usually announced in the loud speakers after the Comets score two points. Newman's 8 assists couple with his 5 rebounds and 10 points, revealing how even the Comets played across their lineup for the night.
Hillcrest travels to Wheaton to play Wheaton/Herman-Norcross in a double-header Saturday with the Lady Comets. Game time for the boys is 5:30pm.