Basketball teams take on Hillcrest and Wilton


Boys basketball

The West Liberty boys basketball team fell in all three of their matchups this week, starting with a road loss to Tipton followed by a pair of home defeats against Mid-Prairie and Hillcrest academy.

The week started with a road trip to Tipton. The Comets were able to keep pace with their hosts as both teams scored 13 points each in the opening quarter.

The Comets fell behind before the break, as matching their scoring output from the opening quarter proved not enough as the Tigers pulled ahead 30 - 26.

The Tigers were able to solidify their lead in the third quarter, outscoring the Comets 16 - 8, claiming a 12-point lead heading into the finale. The Comets were able to outscore the Tigers in the final quarter, but not be enough as they fell 60-50 on the road to start the week.

Jayce McHugh tallied 22 points for the Comets, shooting 8 of 11 from the floor and 6 of 10 in the from the line along with eight steals and four rebounds. Ty Jones tallied six points for the Comets. Four Comets tallied four points as Seth Axsom, Connor Melick, Caden Laughlin and Ryker Dengler all accomplished the feat. Diego Hernandez and Ryan Noble each added three to round out the Comet scoring.

Friday, the Comets played host the Mid-Prairie. The Comets were able to keep pace with their visitors in the first quarter as both teams tallied nine points. The slow offense slowly evaporated as the Golden Hawks tallied 23 points ahead of the break while the Comets were held to 12 points. Coming out of the break, the Comets looked to have formed a strategy for the high scoring Golden Hawks, as they kept pace seeing the lead extend by just one point. The final quarter saw the Golden Hawks extend their lead more as they were able to roll to a 65-44 victory over the Comets.

Ty Jones tallied 18 points for the hosts along with six rebounds. Ryker Dengler tallied nine of his own, along with five rebounds and three assists in the loss. Jayce McHugh added eight more and Diego Hernandez added three of his own. Cameron Iske, Ryan Noble, and Cole Daufeldt all added two points to round out scoring.

The Comets ended their week with a non-conference matchup against Hillcrest Academy. The Comets found themselves in a large hole following the opening quarter as the Ravens jumped ahead to a 23-6 advantage. The Comets were able to keep in close in the second quarter, but conceded another point heading into the locker room trailing 38-20. The Comets were able to cut into the lead in the third quarter, outscoring their visitors 18-10 to pull the lead to 10 points. The teams did battle in the final quarter as the Comets were able to stay within striking distance, cutting the lead to two points in the waning minutes of the game. The effort fell just short as the Comets suffered their third loss of the week 59-51.

Jayce McHugh and Seth Axsom split scoring duties with 15 points apiece. Dengler and Jones each scored six points in the effort as Ryan Noble added five more. Comet scoring was rounded out by Diego Hernandez and Caden Laughlin each scoring a pair of points.

Girls basketball

The West Liberty Girls basketball team claimed a pair of wins in their three contests this week, knocking off Tipton on the road, Monticello at Cornell College for the RVC shootout and falling to Mid-Prairie at home. The Comets sit at 10 - 5 on the season and will matchup in non-conference action Friday against Midland on home court

The Comets started the week with a Tuesday road trip to face off against the Tipton Tigers. The Comets exploded in the opening quarter, dropping 17 points in the opener and holding their opponents to five, including half the opening quarter where the Tigers scored just one point.

The Comets matched their output in the second quarter, scoring 17 more and holding the Tigers to just 14 over the opening two quarters. After the break, the hosts matched the Comets scoring output, both teams putting up 13 points and the Comets rolled into the final quarter leading 47 - 22.

The Tigers found their stride in the final quarter as the Comets took advantage of their opportunity to rest starters for the busy week ahead, scoring 19 points bring the scores closer but was little more than a speedbump on the Comets march to victory 56 - 41.

Finley Hall led the Comets with 18 points and six rebounds. She also tallied three assists and steals. A trio of Comet contributed 12 points, as Kelsey Joens, Pearson Hall and Sophie Buysse all reached the total. Brooklyn Buysse rounded out the Comets point tally with a pair.

Friday, the Comets hosted the Mid-Prairie Golden Hawks in the second matchup of the year. The Comets jumped ahead early, capturing a 14 - 10 lead after the opening quarter before an offensive dry streak plagued the second quarter, as the Comets scored three and matched their opponents stride ahead to a 23 - 17 advantage going into the break.

The Comets watched on as the lead extended in the third quarter, falling behind an additional two points heading into the closing quarter. The Comets failed to recapture the lead in the closing quarter but were able to draw even with 11 seconds left. An ill-timed foul on Landry Pacha put her at the line with two second left where she converted on both free-throws.

The last second heave from Kelsey Joens found the back of the iron but was no good as the Comets were unable to claim victory, falling 50 - 48. The loss was just the second the Comets had surrendered to the Golden Hawks in the last 10 matchups.

Kelsey Joens led the Comets with 25 points, drilling 13 of 15 free throws to keep her team within striking distance, nabbing 14 rebounds and six steals. Finley Hall scored 11 points and pulled down four boards, three steals and a pair of assists. Sophie Buysse tallied six for the Comets while Brooklyn Buysse tallied four. Scoring was rounded out by Pearson Hall recording a pair of points.

The Comets final matchup of the week came from a neutral site game against Monticello on the campus of Cornell College. The Comets exploded offensively to start the matchup putting up 17 points in the opening quarter while holding the Panthers to five. A slowdown in the second quarter saw the Comets being outscored 13 - 9 while taking a comfortable 26 - 18 advantage into the break.

The girls found their stride again coming out of the break, putting up 13 points in the third quarter and extending their lead to 13 heading into the final quarter. A slow final quarter that was 13 points scored combined as the Comets secured their second victory of the week 47 - 31.