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Comets extend winning streak to 7 with road win over Cadets before being stopped at home against Wahawks

Comets extend winning streak to 7 with road win over Cadets before being stopped at home against Wahawks
Press photo by John Burbridge
Comet senior Jose Hernandez drives to the basket to score after retrieving his missed free throw late into Friday’s NEIC game against Crestwood. The play helped extend Charles City’s winning streak to seven before losing to Waterloo West at home on Monday.

By John Burbridge

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Go to any basketball game, and you’ll likely hear this belligerently shouted from the peanut gallery.

“Box Out! … Box Out!”

Okay, boxing out may be a requisite for seizing rebounds. But, still, someone has to actually retrieve the missed shots.

When Charles City 5-foot-9 senior Jose Hernandez stepped to the free-throw line late in the Comets’ Northeast Iowa Conference road game against Crestwood on Friday, he should have been the least likely to retrieve a would-be missed shot with four much-taller Cadets lining the lane and Hernandez’s teammates back beyond the timeline.

But, perhaps being the first one to know he was going to miss the front end of his one-and-one opportunity, Hernandez seized his own miss and scored a contested layup.

Giving Charles City a 55-41 lead at the time with about 80 seconds left in regulation, that may have been the final nail in the coffin as the Comets went on win 57-45 while extending their winning streak to seven and getting above .500 in NEIC play (4-3).

Hernandez and senior Chase Low both scored 16 points to lead the victors, who also got 9 points from Jeb Wandro by way of three 3-point field goals — there were only five 3-pointers made by both teams combined.

Jeremy Andera scored 15 to lead the Cadets (6-12, 1-7).

The previous girls varsity game was fairly competitive through three quarters before the Cadets pulled away for good in the final stanza on way to a 60-37 final.

Cadet junior Olivia Ollendick came to life in the second half offensively where she scored most of her game-high 24 points. Britain Ferrie added 16 for Crestwood (3-12, 2-5).

Ava Ellis had a team-high 12 points, and freshman Mya Rimrod scored a varsity career-high 9 points for the Comets (0-5, 0-15).

* On Monday, the Charles City boys’ winning streak was stopped at home by Waterloo West in a 54-52 final.

The Wahawks led throughout most of the game and even shortly before as they were awarded two technical free throws due to a Comet player not having his proper uniform number listed in the official scorebook.

Charles City senior Mario Hoefer, who had 9 points and seven offensive rebounds, converted a 3-point play to tie the game at 45 with 3:35 left in regulation after Charles City trailed by as many as 8.

The Comets soon took their first lead (47-45) since the end of the first quarter on their following possession when Jose Hernandez assisted Drew Martin under the basket.

After Jahil Manago’s 3-point field goal regained the lead for the Wahawks, Chase Low made 2 free throws to put the Comets back up. But Low, who had been called for three offensive fouls during the game, soon picked up his fifth disqualifying foul.

Still, it looked as if Charles City was going to pull it off with its star on the bench as Jeb Wandro’s 3-point field goal gave the Comets a 52-50 lead with 1:11 remaining.

After Keishaun Pendleton’s 3-pointer put the Wahawks back in front (53-52) ahead of the Comets getting stopped on the ensuing possession, Martin’s steal with 16.5 seconds left gave the Charles City another chance.

But after several good looks down low at the basket, Charles City was unable to score.

When WW senior Alen Dizadaric missed the second of 2 free throws after making the first, the Comets — with no timeouts left and 3.5 seconds left on the clock — were able to attempt a half-court shot for the win only to have it blocked as the buzzer sounded.

Despite limited playing time due to foul trouble, Low led all scorers with 17 points. Jack Hanson added 16 for the Comets (10-6).

Pendleton had 15 points and junior guard Si’Marion Anderson — who also had his minutes taxed due to foul trouble — scored 14 for the Wahawks (6-6).

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