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Panthers dunk Rams, 53-41

Published: Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 11:28 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 11:36 a.m. CST

(Continued from Page 1)

The Creston boys basketball team put pressure on the Glenwood Rams early here Friday night, and then finished the Rams off with clutch free throw shooting down the stretch in a 53-41 win.

The Panther defense got a good start, forcing several turnovers in the first 2:30 of the game, which led to easy baskets for Creston.

After the teams traded 3-pointers to make the Creston lead 11-5, senior guard Kainen Somers lobbed a high pass toward the basket, and thanks to a pair of back screens, senior forward Luke Neitzel glided through the air and grabbed the pass at its peak before slamming it through the basket to emphatically give the Panthers a 13-5 lead.

After Trey Thomsen knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Panthers up 21-13 in the second quarter, Caleb Thompson came up with a loose ball and hit Neitzel with the outlet pass, as Neitzel put down another dunk, forcing a Glenwood timeout down 23-13 with 2:43 left in the half.

“I thought Luke Neitzel probably played his best game I’ve seen all year,” head coach Billy Hiatt said. “He was really going at it and helping us out. We snuck one out of here. They’re a really well-coached team. They’re big and physical. I feel fortunate we won.”

But Glenwood’s 5-9 senior guard Tyler Jensen got hot in the second half, scoring a majority of his game-high 22 points in the half. Jensen cut the Panther lead to 42-38 with just under 2:00 remaining in the game.

Free throws

To that point in the game, the Panthers had shot just 2-of-7 from the free throw line.

But, with Glenwood forced to foul down the stretch, the Panther shooters responded by knocking down 9-of-10 free throws in the final 1:31 of the game to put the game on ice.

Somers went 3-of-4 in that stretch, while Colby Taylor was a perfect 6-of-6 after starting the game 0-of-3.

“We’d been working on free throws every day, and we need to get better at it,” Hiatt said. “That’s kind of a mental thing. We needed them at the end and we hit them. Back to the free throw line, though.”

Neitzel finished off the game with a steal and lay-in to end the night with a team-high 13 points and four steals, as the Panthers won 53-41.

“He was around everywhere,” Hiatt said of Neitzel on defense. “His athleticism is what helps us. He did a great job for us in all areas. I thought Briar Evans did good, too. He doesn’t score a lot of points, but since he defends the big man and keeps him off the boards, that kind of allows Luke to open up and use his athleticism. They work well together, so I was really happy with it.”

The Panthers, 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Hawkeye 10 Conference, sit in a three-way tie atop the conference standings with Harlan and Kuemper Catholic after the Knights knocked off Atlantic 64-57 on Friday.

Creston hosts Shenandoah (1-5) tonight.

GLENWOOD (41) — Tyler Jensen 8 5-6 22, Corey Bertini 3 0-1 8, Jacob Radcliff 2 0-0 4, Grant May 1 1-3 4, Brady Douma 1 0-2 3. Totals — 15 6-13 41. 3-point goals — 5 (Bertini 2). Team fouls — 15. Fouled out — May.

CRESTON (53) — Luke Neitzel 6 1-2 13, Colby Taylor 2 6-9 11, Trey Thomsen 3 1-2 8, Jay Wolfe 3 0-0 7, Briar Evans 2 0-0 5, Kainen Somers 1 3-4 5, Caleb Thompson 1 0-0 2, Cole Thompson 1 0-0 2. Totals — 19 11-17 53. 3-point goals — 4 (Thomsen 1, Taylor 1, Wolfe 1, Evans 1). FG shooting — 19-45 (42 percent). Rebounds — 16 (Evans 5, Neitzel 5, Taylor 3).  Assists — 13 (Somers 3, Thomsen 2, Taylor 2, Neitzel 2, Evans 2). Steals — 8 (Neitzel 4, Taylor 2). Blocked shots — 4 (Taylor 2). Team fouls — 17. Fouled out  — None.

Glenwood — 9 18 29 41

Creston — 15 26 37 53

JUNIOR VARSITY

The Creston boys junior varsity team improved to 3-1 on the season with a 59-49 home win over Glenwood on Friday.

Cole Thompson led the Panthers with 27 points and five steals, while Brandon Phipps added 10 points and six assists.

“This was a good win for our team,” Creston JV coach Kritter Hayes said. “It is our goal each and every night to set the tone for the varsity game that follows us. The leadership from the juniors was fantastic. They willed our team to victory in a tough contest. Cole Thompson was unstoppable, putting up a career high in points.”

CRESTON (59) — Cole Thompson 10 3-4 27, Brandon Phipps 4 0-0 10, Cole Crawford 3 1-3 7, Alex Nielsen 1 4-6 6, Evan Nielsen 2 0-2 4, Christian Groumoutis 1 0-0 3, Trey Benson 1 0-0 2. 3-point goals — Thompson 4, Phipps 2, Groumoutis 1. Free throws — 8-15. Rebounds — Alex Nielsen 11, Jake Miller 2. Steals — Thompson 5, McClain Haines 1. Assists — Phipps 6, Thompson 2.

GLENWOOD (49) — Jacob Lewis 6 3-4 15, Dylan Stouder 4 1-3 9, Cole Kennedy 3 1-4 8, Drew Knofrst 2 1-2 5, Scout Crow 1 0-0 3, Ridge Fisher 1 0-0 3, James Fuller 1 0-0 3.

FRESHMEN

The Creston freshmen boys fell to Glenwood 62-26 here on Friday.

Kole Lovely knocked down two 3-pointers for the Panthers, finishing with eight points. Brandon Jones also scored eight to lead the Panthers, while Brandon Lee finished with six and Nick Walsh contributed four.

Tristan Miller and Travis Purdy played well of the bench, coach Larry Beaman said.

The next game for the Panther freshmen is 4:30 p.m. Friday at home against Harlan.

CRESTON (26) — Kole Lovely 8, Brandon Jones 8, Brandon Lee 6, Nick Walsh 4. 3-point goals — Lovely 2.

GLENWOOD (62)

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