Comets exhibit balanced attack in win over Tigers

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR CORRESPONDENT
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   The Central Comets landed on Monday to rock Keenburg in a 58-33 final, which featured four different scorers finishing in double digits.
   Keenburg didn't have an answer for the tough guard play or big bodies inside, as it struggled all night in containing the boards and handling the defensive pressure.
   "I liked how we performed and our team play. They proved tonight of how unselfish of a ball club they really are," said Central coach Lamont Barnett.
   Central came out to score the first six points of the ball game, with Jared Cline driving the lane on the Comets' first series of offense.
   A shot inside the paint by Nick Sanders and a turnaround off a rebound from Josh Moore gave the Comets the early advantage.
   It took the Tigers over half a period before they managed to score, when Cody Marley connected down low.
   Keenburg managed to keep the deficit within four until the last minute of the quarter, when Caleb Johnson tallied back-to-back goals.
   Johnson poured in the last six scores of the period to give Central a 14-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
   It was another long drought for the Tigers in the second period, as Central scored the first 14 points.
   A bucket right off the bat came from Jerry Miller down low, and teammate Matt Moore added eight scores to give the Comets a 22-point lead.
   Marley hit a shot from the corner, and a nice underhanded lay-up by the Tigers' Josh Moore ended the dry spell for Keenburg.
   The Comets enjoyed a 32-10 lead at the half, as their defense and passing on offense was proving to be the difference in the game.
   "They really looked to pass the ball around and look for the open shot, and I think we are finally able to start reading what the defense is going to do," said Barnett.
   Jordan Lewis captured the Comets' first basket after the break, when Matt Moore made a steal and assist on the transition.
   Central's offense hit a little slump after that, with Keenburg going on a 7-0 run.
   An eight-foot jumper from the Tigers' Josh Moore and a putback off a rebound from Daniel Garvin cut the Central lead to 17 with under three minutes left in the third.
   Central was able to push the lead back to 20 by the end of the period, as the Comets were starting to get themselves back in sink.
   In the final period, Central continued its domination by going on a 10-0 run at one point.
   A steal from Lewis and the Comets' Josh Moore in the front-court paced Central to the easy victory.
   Josh Moore was the leading scorer for Central with 12 points on the night, while Lewis added 11, with Matt Moore and Johnson each contributing 10.
   Keenburg was paced by Garvin with eight points, and the Tigers' Josh Moore poured in seven.
   "We had an opportunity of getting some of our young players time on the floor, and I feel we are playing our best ball so far, and that's important heading into our upcoming conference games," said Barnett.
  
Girls

   Central 54
   Keenburg 30

   It was definitely plain to see when the Central Lady Comets grabbed them a Tiger by the tail, as they won a 54-30 decision over Keenburg.
   "Our press was very effective this evening, and I was real pleased of how we were able to work the ball both inside and out and knock down the shots," said Central girls coach Shannon Byers.
   The Comets were led by Courtney Byers, who exploded to scoring 21 points on the night.
   The Tigers hung tough in the first half, as they trailed by seven going into the break, but a third and fourth-quarter surge from the Comets erased any hopes of a Keenburg comeback.
   "Our press was not that strong in the first half, but in the second half it was a lot better. At one point we went on a 14-0 run," said Byers.
   Keenburg was led by Katie Harrell with 15 points on the evening, while Natasha Bunten added 10.
   Ashley Walters finished with 12 points for Central. Billy J. Campbell had 10, while Whitney Murray came off the bench to score six.
   "We had some young players come in and help step it up, and we were clicking on offense. We did a good job at moving the ball around and finding a good shot," said Byers.