Comets roll past Central Methodist, 81-58
By Eric Wade
Nevada Daily Mail
"That wasn't Penn Valley." Often times, coaches have a tendency to compare one performance to the next, but that simply wasn't possible for Cottey College Comets head coach Dave Ketterman after his squad earned its 11th win of the season by a final score of 81-58 over the junior varsity Eagles of Central Methodist Tuesday night at Hinkhouse Center.
"There's no way to compare it because that wasn't Penn Valley," he said.
The Comets entered the contest hoping to rebound from their first loss of the season at the hands of the Scouts of Penn Valley on Saturday. In that contest, Penn Valley's size and physicality simply overwhelmed the Comets in a 90-70 decision.
That size disadvantage the Comets battled in Saturday's contest wasn't an issue at all on Tuesday as the Comets were the ones who owned the size edge. That really didn't prove to be a factor, however, as the Eagles simply couldn't seem to find an answer for anything the Comets did on either end of the floor through the majority of the first half.
By the time all was said and done, the Comets had forced a total of nine turnovers, while holding the Eagles to just 30 percent field-goal shooting.
"Once we got going in the first half, I thought we played well offensively," Ketterman said. "We did some decent things on defense."
The numbers were a near-complete reversal for the Comets in the opening half. As a team, Cottey shot 57 percent from the field, while outrebounding the Eagles, 25-15 and committing seven turnovers.
As the second half began, however, both squads looked like different teams. The Comets took the floor with a 47-23 lead and ultimately forced the Eagles into eight more turnovers in the first five minutes of the half, but things picked up noticeably from there for the opposition.
"We kind of hit a lull there in the second half," Ketterman said. "When they pressed, I thought we probably didn't make as many good decisions as we should have."
By the time the second half came to an end, the early turnover edge the Comets had enjoyed was gone and the second half turned out to be a far more even affair than the first. When time expired, the 8-4 turnover edge for the Comets in the first 5 minutes of the half turned into a 13-12 advantage for Central Methodist.
"Turnovers were excessive," Ketterman said. "(I'm) just a little disappointed in turning the ball over and not being as efficient in the second half."
Despite being outscored in the second half, 35-34, the Comets still had no trouble holding on to take the 81-58 victory. The Comets finished the night 50 percent overall from the field -- 33-for-66 -- while the Eagles finished 19-for-55 from the field, or 34.5 percent.
"This is a game where we were able to come out and work on some things, especially our defenses," Ketterman said. "We worked on our man defense, worked on a little bit of pressing and trapping in the halfcourt."
Though the Comets were able to dictate the pace of the game on the defensive end with a fair amount of efficiency, things didn't go nearly as well at the free-throw line. As a team, the Comets finished 9-for-15 from the stripe, while the Eagles made 13 of their 19 foul shots on the night.
Sophomore forward Blaklee Sanders led four Comets in double figures on the night as she finished with 17 points. Sanders was joined in double figures by freshman Dayna Turnbull with 13, sophomore Bailey Braden with 12 and freshman Selena Gochenour with 12.
For the Eagles, freshman Ashley Walker led the offensive effort with 14 points. Four other players came up just short of double-figure performances for Central Methodist, including Bronaugh High School product Katlyn Douglas, who finished with seven points.
With the win, the Comets improved to 11-1 on the season and are scheduled to be back in action on Friday, Jan. 25, when they head back out on the road to take on Hesston College, in Hesston, Kan. Tipoff for that contest is scheduled for 2 p.m.
The next home contest on the schedule for the Comets is set for Feb. 2, when they return to Hinkhouse Center for a rematch against Hesston at 1 p.m.