Comets defeat Go-Hawks 63-57, share top NEIC perch
By John Burbridge
CHARLES CITY — The cherished days of defeating Waverly-Shell Rock in front of a spirited and well-populated home crowd to even a season series while avenging an earlier loss and seizing a share of the top spot amid the Northeast Iowa Conference with the Go-Hawks are likely numbered for the Comets.
It has been widely reported that WSR is due to leave the NEIC after the 2023-24 school year.
So the scene of the Charles City student section rushing the floor to form a congratulatory gauntlet for the Comets on their return to the locker room after vanquishing the Go-Hawks 63-57 in the boys game of Friday’s varsity doubleheader may serve as one of many wistful memories in years to come for those recalling the historic and sometimes controversial archrivalry that will have come to pass by then.
Charles City senior Chase Low led all scorers with 20 points which included 3-of-5 3-point shooting — the Comets were just 2 of 19 from beyond the arc during their double-overtime loss to the Go-Hawks earlier in the season.
Low also made his mark on the game from point-blanc range as his two dunks breaking down the Go-Hawks’ half-court defense — one was a reverse throw-down from along the baseline that might have made Dr. J proud — that seemed to add more fuel to the fire to the Comets and their fans after WSR pulled within 2 at several junctures during the second half after Charles City took a 7-point lead (37-30) at halftime.
Charles City junior Kam Mestas continues to get more efficient on offense while adjusting to his new high school team as he shot 9 of 13 from the field for all of his 18 points. Mestas got much of that from put-backs as eight of his team leading 10 rebounds were on the offensive end.
Keenan Wiley also attained double-figure scoring for the Comets (12 points) while shooting 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.
Even without all-conference forward Asa Newsom, Waverly-Shell Rock has proven to be a good team. The Go-Hawks shoot well, dribble well, always are able to find a wide-open shooter along the perimeter after patient ball movement, and will aggressively push it up the floor to quickly get back points given up after an opponent celebrates a 3-pointer or dunk a little longer than they should — something the Comets are prone to do on occasion.
Junior Cole Marsh led the Go-Hawks with 17 points and eight rebounds. Noah Franzell added 15 points for WSR.
The win improved the Comets’ overall record to 10-3 while the Go-Hawks fell to 10-4. Both teams lead the NEIC with a 6-1 league record. Each team has three more conference games with the Comets scheduled to play Crestwood (Jan. 27), New Hampton (Feb. 3) and Waukon (Feb. 7); and the Go-Hawks scheduled to play Waukon (Jan. 27), Crestwood (Feb. 3) and Decorah (Feb. 10).
Charles City also cracked the Associated Press Top 10 for the first time this season as the Comets are currently ranked No. 10 among Class 3A teams according to the latest rankings.
* As for Waverly-Shell Rock’s girls basketball team … it’s ranked No. 10 among Class 4A according to the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.
In the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, the Go-Hawks improved to 10-4 overall and 6-1 in the NEIC with a 55-11 win over Charles City.
Brenna Bodensteiner scored 17 and Katelyn Eggena added 15 points for the victors.
The Go-Hawks held the Comets to just 2 points in the second half, but though this may sound patronizing or facetious — or a combination of both — Charles City never looked better running its offense against the Go-Hawks.
With patient ball movement and deft entry passes, the Comets were able to create excellent shots for themselves possession after possession. They just couldn’t get the ball through the rim.
The Comets lone points in the second half came from a steal and layup from senior Janila Toney, a play initiated from Charles City’s full-court press — another area the team has improved this season.
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK 55, CHARLES CITY 11
Scoring By Quarters
WSR 19 16 13 7 — 55
CC 6 3 2 0 — 11
RECORDS — Waverly-Shell Rock 10-4 (6-1 Northeast Iowa Conference), Charles City 0-13 (0-7).
CHARLES CITY 63,
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK 57
Scoring By Quarters
WSR 12 18 13 14 — 57
CC 17 20 12 14 — 63
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK — Noah Frazell 15, Cole Marsh 17, Sam Roose 4, Luke Frazell 10, Jordan Kruse 3, Benny Ramker 2, Clay Draper 6.
CHARLES CITY — Jack Hanson 7, Brennan Schmidt 3, Keenan Wiley 12, Chase Low 20, Kam Mestas 18, Jeb Wandro 3.
RECORDS — Charles City 10-3 (6-1 Northeast Iowa Conference), Waverly-Shell Rock 10-4 (6-1).