The Lady Comets saw the bar set to move out of the conference in tournament play Thursday night. After heating up against Henning on Tuesday, the Comets traveled to conference favorite Brandon to face a Charger team that is picked to represent the Little Eight and Pheasant conferences in section playoffs.
Coming off a 21 point effort Tuesday, Sophomore Olivia Foss posted 8 points in the first quarter. Foss' work in the paint opened perimeter shots for Hillcrest's guards where Susana Preston and Ruthanne Erickson set up for shots behind the arc. Both Preston and Erickson hit big shots to keep the Comets near a tough Brandon team who is playing at a mid-season form in the Comets' second game.
At the end of the first half Hillcrest jogged into the locker room down 22 points, half the score of the Chargers. The lady Comets play 6 players consistently, with the coaches outnumbering the available jerseys to play. With this, halftime is a time to refuel.
With the whistle and pass marking the second half a new Charger strategy went into play. Foss, the leading Comet scorer at the start of the second half, was keyed on for the rest of the night, struggling to get a shot off without an arm across her elbows. Foss went to the line 2 times in the second half, never getting a field goal to fall as the Chargers shut down the Comet inside game. Foss hit four free throws in the second half, closing her scoring card with 12 points and four fouls.
Hillcrest's guard play worked to compensate for the Chargers' smothering defense. Senior Hanna Lavin added 7 points in working to create separation off the dribble. She closed the game with 7 assists as her work breaking down the Charger defense off the dribble opened lanes for the Lady Comets to get shots off in the second half. All told, Hillcrest struggled to get any shots off, finding the free throw line consistently, visiting it 7 times in the second half with the Charger intensity increasing as the seconds ticked off the clock.
The Comets closed the second half with only 4 field goals in the second half, the buzzer marking a 17 point scoring effort. The Chargers finished the game with 71 points to the Comets' 39. The Comets will rest this weekend before their game Monday, versus Park Christian at 7:15pm at home, and Tuesday, versus Parkers Prairie at 7:15pm away.