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Comets capture colossal win

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL: CHARLES CITY 46, NEW HAMPTON 44

Comets capture colossal win

Heyer drops 16 points in CC’s first win of the season

With 4.6 second remaining, junior Gen Wandro outstretched her arms toward the basketball as if fell off the glass for what seemed like the hundredth time. Wandro snagged the ball away. The buzzer sounded. The Comets won.

Charles City topped Northeast Iowa Conference foe New Hampton at home Tuesday night, 46-44. After a string of three losses, the Comets earned a pivotal conference win against the Chickasaws.

“This was probably one of our best games,” Wandro said. “We’re just really excited. Even if it’s just one free throw, everything is exciting. Especially when we’re winning.”

The win is the first of the season for the Comets, who move to 1-3, 1-0 NEIC. In the previous three losses, head coach Danielle Rippentrop didn’t see her girls playing collectively. But on Tuesday night, the pieces fell into place.

“We’ve improved every single game,” Rippentrop said. “This was definitely our best game, and not just because we won. That has nothing to do with it. If you take the score out of it, this is just our best game altogether.”

Despite it being the most put together game of the season for Charles City, Rippentrop said there were a lot of teaching moments to take away.

With just more than four minutes left in the game, the Comets capped off a 6-0 run attributed by senior Jamie Sindlinger and freshman Sami Heyer. The Comets led 41-31.

But after freshman Jodie Sindlinger fouled out, and more fouls on their way, the Chickasaws battled back to within one point, 41-40. Without a bucket in more than two and a half minutes, the Comets quickly found themselves in do-or-die situation.

“(The referees) were calling it really tight, and we knew they were calling it tight,” Rippentrop said. “Once we made the adjustment, we did a lot better on the fouls. We had people sitting, so other girls had to step up.”

Three players fouled out for both teams Tuesday night. A total of 50 fouls were called; 29 on Charles City and 21 on New Hampton.

“We need to take a charge and when not to; when to foul and when not to,” Wandro said. “We know that they’ll call it tight, we just have to be careful with the fouls.”

The Comets battled with the Chickasaws all evening. Senior Taylor Hoffman sank two 3-pointers to give the Comets a 16-13 lead late in the first half. And a Megan Staudt 3-pointer right before the half gave the Comets a 21-18 lead going into the half.

Heyer was the Comets’ leading scorer Tuesday night with 16 points. Hoffman capitalized on her six points in the first half; Jamie brought home 12 points; Staudt with six points as well; Jodie and Sarah Barry (who had the first two points of the game) each had two.

With a long road ahead of them, the Comets have seen what it’s going to take to win games later on this season. Communication, teamwork and basketball smarts were all on the list.

“This game really showed what we need to do, because we hadn’t won yet,” Wandro said. “We talked a lot this game and worked together really well this game. We’ve still got things to work on but we’ve game showed how to do it.”

By Stephen Koenigsfeld [email protected]

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