Comets fall to Spartans
Home opener slips away
By Greg Seubert
Three days after opening the season with a road win in Shawano, it looked like the Waupaca boys’ basketball team was on its way to a 2-0 start.
Not so fast.
The Comets led Luxemburg-Casco by 16 points at halftime, but ended up falling to the Spartans 68-62 Nov. 30 in the North Eastern Conference opener for both teams.
Waupaca also defeated Shawano by the same score Nov. 27.
Lux.-Casco 68, Waupaca 62
Six three-pointers helped the Comets take a 36-20 halftime lead over the Spartans.
However, the Spartans had the hot hand in the second half, as they outscored Waupaca 48-26 and opened the half with a 15-3 run.
The Spartans took their first lead – 49-48 – on Ryan Robillard’s three-pointer with 8:09 to go in the game and never trailed again.
Nathan Coisman’s three-point play that gave the Spartans a 62-54 lead wrapped up a 18-8 run.
Brandon Wanty cut the lead to 63-61 with a three-pointer with 55 seconds to go, but the Comets never got any closer.
“It really was a tale of two halves and that’s exactly what we said in that locker room,” coach Ethan Dayton said. “We’re likely not going to make all the shots in the second half that we made in the first half and they aren’t going to be ice-cold like they were in the first half. We’ve got to be prepared for them to make that run. Unfortunately, they get that run and it got to be a little too big.”
Wanty led the Comets with 16 points, while Shaun Anderson and Adam Kennedy also finished in double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
“We don’t care who scores, as long as we’re scoring as a team,” Dayton said. “We wish we could’ve done it more in the second half.”
Justin Vaughn, the Comets’ second-leading scorer last season, finished with seven points after Shawano held him to one field goal and two free throws in the opener.
“Justin’s noticed that teams are going to key on him,” Dayton said. “He’s going to have to keep making more cuts, we’re going to have to set better screens for him and try to get some things toward the rim to use his length and get some of those easy ones.”
Robillard led the Spartans with 19 points. Anthony Otradovec finished with 14 and Coisman added 12.
“We knew that he was going to be a key factor in their offense,” Dayton said. “We talked about, ‘Hey, don’t let that guy beat us by catching it on the block and scoring or beat us on the glass.’ Holding him to 12 (points) is a positive for us. Unfortunately, he got to kick it out to some pretty good shooters that knocked them down.”
Waupaca 68, Shawano 62
The Comets and Hawks went into the locker room tied at 34-34, but Waupaca took advantage of turnovers and missed shots to take build a 14-point lead with just under 30 seconds to play.
Waupaca needed that lead, as the Hawks finished the game with three-pointers from Karsten Anderson and Nick Sherman and Sherman’s steal and layup.
Wanty and Hunter Marcom led the Comets with 23 and 18 points, respectively, while Shawano’s Carter Weisnicht led all scorers with 25, including 17 in the first half.
Waupaca hosted Mosinee and will wrap up a three-game home stand at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, against Freedom.