Both basketball teams win games



The West Liberty girls basketball team was dominant in their pair of wins this week, dispatching of the Durant Wildcats Monday, 70-58, and the Wilton Beavers Friday 45-34. After the pair of victories, the Comets find themselves in a tie for second in the River Valley Conference South division, with a matchup against Mid-Prairie Friday giving them an opportunity to slide into sole control on the second spot.

The Comets started the week with a trip to Durant. Being away from their home gym proved no problem for the Comets as they blitzed ahead to a 22 - 8 advantage after the first quarter. Nearly matching that output in the second, the Comets rolled comfortably into the halftime break with a 42 - 18 advantage over the Wildcats. The break gave the home team an opportunity to reset, as they put up 15 points in the third quarter, allowing the Comets to extend their lead by just one. A 25 point effort in the final quarter proved little more than a moral victory, as the Comets were able to provide some much needed rest to the starters and playing time to the remainder of the roster. The Comets eventually closed out the game with 12 in the closing quarter and cruised to the 70 - 58 victory.

Kelsey Joens tallied 27 points, 17 rebounds and seven steals for the Comets in the outing. The Hall duo of Finley and Pearson each tallied 13 more for the Comets, with the elder Hall scoping up 11 rebounds of her own. Sophie Buysse scored 11 on the night, while sister Brooklyn recorded six more to round out the Comets score total.

Friday, the Comets hit the road again, this time to Wilton. The Comets and the Beavers struggled offensively out of the gate to get the contest started, scoring 13 points combined, with the Comets taking a 8 -5 advantage. The Comet offense wouldn't stay stagnant for long, as they tallied 20 points in the second quarter, holding their hosts to nine and taking a 28 - 14 advantage into the break.

The Comet offense stalled again after the break, as the Beavers drew closer, outscoring the Comets 10 - 9 in the third. The Beavers matched that scoring output in the final quarter, but it wasn't enough to overcome their halftime deficit, as the Comets cruised to the 45 - 34 victory.

The Comets look to a trio of matchups over the next week as they'll matchup against the Mid-Prairie Golden Hawks and the West Branch Bears in conference action, before finishing their week Thursday with a home contest against Midland


The West Liberty boys basketball team split the week, grabbing a conference victory on the road against Durant, 55 - 51, before ending their week with a loss to Wilton 90 - 50. The Comets find themselves sitting fifth in the River Valley Conference South standings, with a pair of conference wins ahead of Durant and Tipton.

The Comets got their week started Tuesday with a visit to Durant. It was the Wildcats who would pounce first, putting up 13 points on the Comets and claiming a two point lead, 13 - 11 after the first quarter. The Comets were able to return the favor in the second, scoring 13 of their own allowing 10 points to take a slim 24 - 23 lead into half time. The Comets managed to maintain their momentum, and the lead, in the third quarter, outscoring their hosts 17 - 13 to extend their margin. The Wildcats fought valiantly in the final quarter, but were unable to produce enough offense to cut into the Comet lead as the Comets emerged 55-51 victors.

Ryker Dengler led Comet scoring. The sophomore guard tallied 17 points and eight rebounds while holding the reigns of the Comet offense. Jayce McHugh added 16 points of his own along with six steals and a pair of rebounds. Seth Axsom was the final Comet to hit double figures, tallying 11 points and three rebounds. Ty Jones locked up seven more points for the Comets. Scoring would be rounded out by Caden Laughlin and Diego Hernandez, each added a pair of points.

Friday the Comets loaded up to the RVC South leading Beavers, who have yet to drop a game in conference play. The Comets were able to keep the deficit manageable in the opening quarter, falling behind by 10, 25 - 15.

Sustained offense from the Beavers matched with a Comet dry spell allowed the margin to widen as the Comets headed into the locker room trailing 49 - 25. Landyn Putman, shooting 16/17 from the floor and 7/7 from behind the arch, and the Beavers exploded for a 31 point quarter following the break.

The Comets looked on as the final minuts ticked of the clock as they fell 90 - 50 on the road.

Ryker Dengler continued to establish his presence on the Comet offense, scoring 16 points to lead the way. The sophomore keeps a busy schedule, the only Comet to start on both the Wrestling and Basketball teams this winter. Jayce McHugh added 12 more points for the Comets and Ty Jones tallied nine. Seth Axsom added seven more points of the Comets. Rounding out scoring with a pair each was the Comet trio of Ryan Noble, Connor Melick and Cameron Iske.

The Comets face a trio of games over the next seven days, starting with hosting Mid-Prairie on Friday before heading to Hillcrest Academy on Saturday. The Comets will end the week Tuesday with a matchup against West Branch.