Comets hold on for the win

Norv and Mary Coblentz · Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The West Liberty boys' basketball team built a huge lead in the first half in their Jan. 30 home win over the Falcons of Louisa-Muscatine. It was a good thing they did, because L-M outperformed West Liberty in the second half. The final score was 60-41.

"It was a tale of two teams," West Liberty Head Coach James Laughlin said. "We came out in the first half and played as well as we have all year offensively and defensively.

"We've got to learn how to extend that lead after halftime and not let them do things they want to do. First half, we took care of business on the defensive end. The second half, we took the foot off the pedal a little bit, and we let up. We need to learn to keep that focus the entire game."

First quarter

The Comets got the tip but didn't score until Troy Heick was fouled at the 7:36 mark. Heick hit the second of two free throws. L-M scored in the paint, then Kyle Miller scored, assist Brett Becker, for a 3-2 West Liberty lead.

L-M scored again, then Miller drove to the hoop and scored. Riley Anderson deflected the ball and Becker came up with it. The Falcons got a defensive rebound; then Becker got a steal and a layup. A defensive rebound by Anderson and a basket by Miller made it 9-4, Comets.

The Falcons turned the ball over on a five-second call, then Miller scored, assist Carl Guardado. L-M made a putback basket. Heick got an offensive rebound and was fouled on the putback try. He made both free throws for a 15-6 West Liberty lead with 3:33 on the clock.

L-M drove to the basket. The Comets turned the ball over, but Guardado got a defensive board. The Comets were fouled on a shot but missed both free throws. Cooper Koenig got the rebound for the Comets. L-M got a defensive rebound, then Becker chased down a loose ball. Miller scored, assist Becker.

A shot by the Falcons went over the backboard, then L-M got a steal. The Falcons were fouled and made the first of two free throws. Becker got the rebound. The Comets turned the ball over, then Miller got a steal and a layup. The Comets were fouled on a shot and missed both free throws. L-M got the rebound but traveled.

Heick made a basket for a 21-9 West Liberty lead at the end of the first quarter.

Second Quarter

West Liberty outscored the Falcons 20-2 in the second quarter. The Comets were fouled at the 6:52 mark but missed both free throws. Miller got a steal, but L-M got a defensive board. Guardado got a block, but the Falcons kept the ball. Heick got a defensive rebound, then Guardado drove the baseline and scored.

L-M got an offensive rebound and basket, their only score of the quarter.

The Comets scored on a steal and layup by Miller, two free throws by Luke Seele, a drive by Becker, a high-flying shot by Anderson and two more free throws by Seele to bring the score to 33-11 with 2:54 left in the half.

Miller scored, assist Becker, then Becker made two free throws. Becker got a steal and Koenig scored, assist Becker. Miller was fouled on a shot. He made both free throws for a 41-11 score at halftime.

"We've struggled in our first quarters (this season)," Louisa-Muscatine Head Coach TJ Duncan said. "When you have four quarters and you only play three - and tonight we only played two (you don't win). In the second half, (the Falcons) just chipped away."

Third Quarter

West Liberty had possession to start the second half, and Miller drove and scored. L-M got a putback basket and drew a foul. They missed the free throw, and Smith got the rebound. L-M turned the ball over, and Smith made a three-point shot for a 46-13 score with 5:30 on the clock. L-M was fouled and made both free throws.

Guardado scored, assist Becker, then L-M made a three-pointer for a 48-18 score. The Falcons scored the next 11 points as well with a steal and layup, an inside shot, a putback, a free throw, another inside basket and another putback basket. Miller finally broke the Comets' scoring drought with a layup at the 1:12 mark for a 50-29 score. The Falcons turned the ball over and Guardado scored, assist Miller.

The score going into the fourth quarter was 52-29.

Fourth Quarter

Louisa-Muscatine scored the first six points in the final quarter on a putback basket and two baskets in the paint. Becker made a three-point shot with 5:23 to go for a 55-35 score. L-M got a steal, then Heick got a block. Miller powered up for a basket and a 57-35 score at the 4:10 mark.

Miller drew a foul and made the second of two free throws. Miller got a steal and Smith a basket with about 3:30 to go. It was the last score of the game for the Comets.

L-M scored three more baskets on a putback, an outside two and a quick basket after an inbounds pass. The final score was 60-41.
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