DES MOINES — The Creston boys basketball team opened its season with a pair of wins Friday and Saturday, defeating Lewis Central 50-42 on the road before avenging last year’s double-overtime loss to ADM with a 76-39 win at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The Panthers jumped out to an early lead against ADM and never looked back, pulling away just before halftime, and stretching its lead even more in the second half.
“Our guys came out and executed pretty well early on, and defensively we were kind of sluggish early on, but then we kind of got going and extended our lead out,” head coach Billy Hiatt said. “We were able to play all our guys, so it was a pretty good experience for us.”
Creston held an 18-10 lead after the first quarter thanks to several layup opportunities. ADM cut the Panther lead to six midway through the second quarter at 24-16, but Creston responded with a 14-6 run to end the half, leading 38-22.
Jay Wolfe and Caleb Thompson hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the corner and Ryan Cook converted a layup to close out the half.
Wolfe and Colby Taylor each netted seven points in the first half.
“We shot a lot of layup-type stuff,” Hiatt said. “We played well as a team. We were trying to figure out what they were doing and made some adjustments. Scoring-wise, we’ve got quite a few scorers, it just depends on who gets hot. And our guys do a pretty good job of passing the ball.”
Creston took command with a 54-31 lead after three quarters, allowing Hiatt to sub in his bench. The Panther reserves closed the game out on a 14-0 run to give the Panthers the 76-39 victory.
Senior Bryce McIlravy saw a couple of minutes of action, even diving after a loose ball on the floor, in his first action since a broken ankle suffered during football season.
“One day we’d like to be back here at the state tournament, so you’ve got to have some experience playing here on this floor,” Hiatt said. “It enabled our guys to get some experience out there and see what it’s like to play in a big arena. We can’t simulate that in practice.
“We had Bryce McIlravy back. We gave him a few minutes just to see how he would do with his injury from football. He looked all right, and I think he’ll be ready to go soon.”
Caleb Thompson, Luke Neitzel and Wolfe led the team with 11 points each, while Taylor added 10. Brandon Phipps added seven points off the bench.
The Panthers, 2-0, travel to Kuemper Catholic on Tuesday.
CRESTON (76) — Caleb Thompson 4 2-2 11, Luke Neitzel 5 1-2 11, Jay Wolfe 5 0-0 11, Colby Taylor 4 0-0 10, Brandon Phipps 3 0-0 7, Trey Thomsen 2 0-0 4, Zach Powers 1 2-2 4, Kainen Somers 2 0-0 4, Briar Evans 1 2-3 4, Alex Nielsen 1 1-1 3, Ryan Cook 1 1-2 3, Cole Thompson 0 2-3 2, Cole Crawford 0 2-4 2. 3-point goals — 5 (Taylor 2, Wolfe 1, Phipps 1, Caleb Thompson 1). FG shooting — 29-49 (59 percent). Rebounds — 16 (Cook 6, Evans 5). Assists — 4 (Thomsen 2). Steals — 3. Blocked shots — 3. Team fouls — 20.
ADM — 10 22 31 39
Creston — 18 38 54 76
COUNCIL BLUFFS — The Panthers opened the season Friday with a road win against Lewis Central, 50-42.
“Tough game,” Hiatt said. “They’re athletic, well-coached. They were bigger than us and it was a dog fight. We didn’t play real well defensively the first half — they had 27 points the first half, and I believe we held them to 13 the second half. At halftime we talked about what we need to do and play a little harder. And we did. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen us play that hard defensively for an entire half like we did the second half.”
Taylor led the Panthers with 17 points, while Trey Thomsen added 14. Briar Evans pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and Neitzel added eight.
LEWIS CENTRAL (42) — Lincoln Rodenburg 15, Toby Korner 3, Alex Reed 13, Tony Rew 9, Nate Pettepier 2.
CRESTON (50) — Colby Taylor 5 4-6 17, Trey Thomsen 4 3-8 14, Luke Neitzel 3 1-4 7, Kainen Somers 0 4-6 4, Briar Evans 1 1-2 3, Cole Thompson 1 1-1 3, Jay Wolfe 1 0-0 2. 3-point goals — 6 (Taylor 3, Thomsen 3). FG shooting — 15-36 (41 percent). Rebounds — 32 (Evans 9, Neitzel 8, Taylor 6, Thomsen 3). Assists — 8 (Somers 3, Neitzel 2). Steals — 4 (Cole Thompson 2). Blocked shots — 2. Team fouls — 13. Fouled out — None.
The Creston boys JV team improved to 2-0 for the season with a 63-50 win at Lewis Central on Friday.
Cole Thompson, Cole Crawford and Alex Nielsen each scored 11 points while Brandon Phipps added eight and Christian Groumoutis netted seven.
“I was very pleased with the balance within our offens,” Creston JV coach Kristopher Hayes said. “Nine out of 10 guys scored in this game. We faced a physical LC team that pressured us throughout the game and we handled it just fine.”
CRESTON (63) — Cole Thompson 11, Cole Crawford 11, Alex Nielsen 11, Brandon Phipps 8, Christian Groumoutis 7, McClain Haines 5, Maxx Walters 5, Sam Hartsock 3, Nick Noecker 2. Free throws — 19-24. Rebounds — Thompson 4, Evan Nielsen 4, Alex Nielsen 3, Noecker 3.
LEWIS CENTRAL (50)
The Creston freshman team fell to 0-2 for the season with a 48-20 road loss to Lewis Central on Friday.
Josh Reed and Brandon Jones each scored seven points to lead the Panthers, while Brandon Lee and Kole Lovely added three each.
“The boys seemed a bit winded at half,” Creston freshman coach Larry Beaman said. “But, they played a much better second half, holding the Titans to 12 points in the second half. It was a much better team effort in the second half with better hustle and more diving after loose balls.”
CRESTON (20) — Josh Reed 7, Brandon Jones 7, Brandon Lee 3, Kole Lovely 3. 3-point goals — Lee 1. Halftime score — Lewis Central 36, Creston 11.
LEWIS CENTRAL (48)