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Trojans hand Panthers first loss, 47-40

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 11:10 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 11:17 a.m. CDT
Creston senior Briar Evans goes up for a layup in transition as Atlantic's Sam Markham closes in on defense. Evans made the layup and drew the foul, for two of his team-high 13 points, but the Panthers fell to Atlantic 47-40 in a battle of top-10 teams.

In a microcosm of the night, with the game tied at 36-36 early in the fourth quarter, Atlantic grabbed several offensive rebounds in a possession, and then kicked out to senior guard Chad Christensen, who knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Trojans their first lead of the second half at 39-36.

That one play, with Atlantic receiving multiple attempts to put the ball in the basket, summed up the game for Creston, as the Panthers suffered their first loss of the season, 47-40 to Atlantic here Tuesday, in a battle of state-rated teams.

Creston entered the game ranked second in Class 3A, while Atlantic was ranked eighth. Atlantic improved to 10-1 for the season. The game did not count in Hawkeye 10 Conference standings.

“They’re physical. They’re big. They crash the boards hard,” Creston head coach Billy Hiatt said in describing Atlantic. “We talked about we have to limit second shots, and we didn’t do that. We gave them second shots, a couple of times they got three, four tries at it one time down the floor. It’s hard to beat any team, especially a good team when you’re giving them three or four chances to score each time down the floor.”

Creston quickly answered Christensen’s 3-pointer with a Luke Neitzel basket off a Kainen Somers assist to cut it to 39-38.

But, Stuart Hoegh went up and tipped in a missed shot on the next trip down for Atlantic.

Following a pair of timeouts, Neitzel hit Trey Thomsen for a layup to cut the lead to 43-40 with 2:50 remaining, but Atlantic shut the Panthers out the rest of the quarter.

Creston, which entered the fourth quarter holding a 36-34 lead, managed just four points in the final quarter.

The Panthers held a 12-4 lead after the first quarter, thanks in part to earning eight free throw attempts while getting Atlantic into foul trouble.

But, Creston attempted just one free throw in the second quarter, as the Panthers only scored four points in the second, allowing Atlantic back into the ballgame.

Atlantic’s Dalton Franken scored his first points of the game late in the first half, and then scored 11 straight points in the third quarter to bring Atlantic back from being down seven, to down just two entering the fourth.

“It wasn’t a pretty game by either team,” said Atlantic head coach Steve Blazek, a native of Creston. “I don’t think either team could find its footing at the offensive end. Part of that was some good defense. Our kids have big hearts, and Creston’s kids played hard, too. It was a battle. It wasn’t pretty basketball, but it was a battle.”

Franken and Sam Markham each scored 15 points to lead the Trojans, while Briar Evans led Creston with 13 points and seven rebounds.

“He’s played well for us the last couple of games,” Hiatt said about Evans. “He’s outsized a little bit in height sometimes, but he makes up for it in his athleticism and his determination.”

ATLANTIC (47) — Sam Markham 6 3-4 15, Dalton Franken 7 0-1 15, Chad Christensen 4 2-3 11, Stuart Hoegh 2 0-0 4, Harrison Hoegh 1 0-2 2. Totals — 20 5-10 47. 3-point goals — 2 (Christensen 1, Franken 1). Team fouls — 11. Fouled out — None.

CRESTON (40) — Briar Evans 5 2-5 13, Trey Thomsen 3 2-3 9, Colby Taylor 3 0-0 8, Luke Neitzel 3 1-2 7, Kainen Somers 1 1-2 3. Totals — 15 6-12 40. 3-point goals — 4 (Taylor 2, Thomsen 1, Evans 1). FG shooting — 15-35 (42.8 percent). Rebounds — 20 (Evans 7, Neitzel 5).  Assists — 3 (Neitzel 2, Caleb Thompson 1). Steals — 8 (Neitzel 3, Thomsen 3). Turnovers — 12. Team fouls — 12. Fouled out  — None.

Atlantic — 4 15 34 47

Creston — 12 16 36 40


Creston’s JV team improved to 9-1 for the season with a 52-45 win over Atlantic here on Tuesday.

Alex Nielsen led the Panther JV with 16 points, while Cole Thompson added nine and Brandon Phipps netted seven.

The Creston junior varsity returns to action at Glenwood on Jan. 15.

CRESTON (52) — Alex Nielsen 7 2-3 16, Cole Thompson 4 0-0 9, Brandon Phipps 3 0-0 7, Evan Nielsen 2 0-0 4, Nick Noecker 1 1-2 4, Trey Benson 2 0-0 4, Jay Wolfe 2 0-0 4,. 3-point goals — Phipps 1, Thompson 1, Noecker 1. Free throws — 3-5.

ATLANTIC (45) — Tristen Benn 3 7-7 14, Joseph Walker 2 8-11 12, Nicholas Podhajsky 3 3-4 9, Adam Wieser 1 2-2 4, Evan Schuler 1 0-0 3, Brody Peterson 1 1-2 3. 3-point goals — Schuler 1, Benn 1. Free throws — 21-26.

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