Nevada Daily Mail
The Cottey College Comets basketball squad increased its season-opening winning streak to four games Monday with another home victory over the Vikings of Missouri Valley College. For the fourth time in as many games, more than half of the Comets players who entered the game made it into the scoring column and the Comets defeated the Missouri Valley JV squad by a final score of 71-52.
"That's the style we try to play. We're a little unconventional in that we really don't have that big post player to bring it down and throw it in to," Comets head coach Dave Ketterman said of his offense that seems to have developed a scoring-by-committee philosophy. "So we really try to clear the lane and play off the pass and the trap. The kids did a nice job."
The Comets came into the night with a strong desire to win for two reasons. Not only were they heading into the third game of a four-game homestand, but the Comets had already beaten Missouri Valley once and were looking to make it two in a row. In the first game between the two squads that was played in Marshall, Mo., on Nov. 8, Cottey invaded the Vikings' home court and picked up a 77-51 victory.
"We really beat them pretty easily up there," Ketterman said. "I mean, we were tight at half, but we came out in the second half and went on a scoring blitz and we knew that wouldn't happen here."
That early second half "scoring blitz" didn't happen again in Monday's contest, but the Comets didn't need it. Though Cottey shot just 31 percent in the opening half, Ketterman's squad still found itself with a 31-18 lead at the break after holding the Vikings to just 26 percent from the field.
The Comets committed just five turnovers in the half and Missouri Valley simply couldn't seem to do much of anything with the Cottey defense and that ultimately put head coach Josephine McLane's squad in a hole from which it simply couldn't dig out. "I thought our kids got in a pretty good flow tonight," Ketterman said. "I thought we came out and really guarded well in the first half."
Things were much different in the second half as the Vikings stepped up and found some of the holes in the Comets' defense, but were still unable to really make any kind of a comeback. Both teams shot much better from the field, but the Comets ultimately won the second half, 40-36, leading to the final score of 71-52.
"I kind of let them back into it (in) the second half, probably stayed in the press too long," Ketterman said. "You know, we gave them some transition threes."
As a team, the Comets finished 29-for-71 from the floor (42 percent) and made five of their eight free throws. Dayna Turnbull and Blaklee Sanders each finished with 14 points, while Kat Zumalt had 11 off the bench and Petra Stankovic finished with 10. Missouri Valley finished just 15-for-51 (29.4 percent) from the floor and 15-for-21 from the free-throw line.
With the win, the Comets improved to 4-0 on the season and are scheduled to conclude their first homestand of the season on Dec. 1, when they take on Southeast Iowa Community College at 1 p.m.