Comet tame Lions, press while winning (75-64) again on the road

Press photo by John Burbridge Charles City senior Mike Cranshaw, center, attempts to get through a Lion double-team of Zach Lester (No. 23) and Drew Enke during the Comets’ road win over Clear Lake on Monday.
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City senior Mike Cranshaw, center, attempts to get through a Lion double-team of Zach Lester (No. 23) and Drew Enke during the Comets’ road win over Clear Lake on Monday.
By John Burbridge sports@charlescitypress.com

CLEAR LAKE — A full-court trapping press will get you some easy baskets.

But it can also lead to easy baskets for your opponents whenever they break it.

Such was the double-edged fate of the Clear Lake Lions when they tried to harass the Charles City Comets out of their home den.

Though the Lions were able to snare the turnovers they sought while taking an early lead, the Comets repeatedly managed to make Clear Lake pay for opening up the court and took the lead in the second quarter before outscoring their opponents 25-12 in the third quarter on way to a 75-64 non-conference victory on Monday night.

For Charles City (2-1), it was their second-straight road win after dropping the season-opener at home.

For Clear Lake (2-1), it was their first loss of the season.

Charles City junior Jackson Molstead had 24 points to lead the Comets, who also got 14 points apiece from seniors Mike Cranshaw and Noah Schlader, the latter of whom had three 3-pointers.

Clear Lake senior Zach Lester led all scorers with 29 points.

Lester’s steal and layup  borne from a press helped give the Lions a 17-10 lead late in the first quarter.

Like in their opener, the Comets were forced to play much of the first half without all-conference senior forward Cade Hemesath, who picked up two early fouls.

Nonetheless, Charles City managed to close the deficit and took a 22-21 lead on Molstead’s 3-pointer.

The Comets would never trail again, and soon after extended their advantage to 28-21 on the first of Schlader’s 3-pointers.

The Lions did come roaring back and got within 1 (38-37) early in third quarter. But then Charles City took control for good.

It started when the Comets broke the press enabling Molstead to assist Cranshaw, who filled an open lane in the open court. Then Hemesath assisted a back-door cutting Molstead to extend the gap to double-figures (47-36) shortly before another 3-pointer by Schlader helped give the Comets a 61-45 lead going into the final quarter.

Charles City will be back in action on Friday when it takes on Crestwood for its first Northeast Iowa Conference game of the season. It will be part of a varsity basketball doubleheader with Charles City’s girls team taking on the Class 3A No. 2-ranked Cadets in the first game.

CHARLES CITY 75, CLEAR LAKE 64

Scoring by Quarters

CHARLES CITY 14 22 25 14 — 75

CLEAR LAKE 17 16 12 19 — 64

CHARLES CITY (75)

Jackson Molstead 24, Noah Schlader 14, Mike Cranshaw 14, Cade Hemesath 8, Bradley Andrews 7, Marcus Cranshaw 4, Tait Arndt 4.

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