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Panthers sail to wins over Red Oak, LC

Published: Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 11:17 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 11:23 a.m. CDT
Creston senior Bryce McIlravy defends Red Oak's Brendan Brit (31) during the first half of Creston's 89-50 win over Red Oak on Friday, while fellow senior Briar Evans (30) defends Jose Perez. McIlravy and Evans were two of nine senior players honored prior to Friday's game on senior night.

The Class 3A fifth-ranked Creston boys basketball looked like a well-oiled machine, and got big contributions off the bench as it picked up a pair of Hawkeye 10 Conference south division wins here on Friday and Saturday.

The Panthers rolled to an 89-50 win over Red Oak on senior night here on Friday, and followed that game up with a 59-39 win over Lewis Central here on Saturday.

On a night when the Panthers honored nine seniors, four of them scored in double figures to lead a balanced attack against Red Oak.

The Panthers, featuring an all-senior starting lineup of Trey Thomsen, Bryce McIlravy, Zach Powers, Luke Neitzel and Ryan Cook, got inside shot after inside shot in a first quarter that saw the Panthers take a 26-3 lead.

“We shot the ball extremely well,” head coach Billy Hiatt said. “I think the first half, we only missed about three or four shots, but we shot a lot of layups, attacked the glass.”

Powers scored eight points in the first quarter to pace Creston, now 15-2 after its two wins.

Thomsen ended the half with back-to-back 3-pointers for six of his team-high 14 points, giving the Panthers a 51-24 lead at the break.

Thomsen also finished the game with a team-high six assists.

“The way they got out tonight, they jumped out to a 19-2 lead again tonight as they did at our place, but they seemed to do it easily with inside shot after inside shot,” Red Oak head coach Bryan White said. “We did not do a very good job of defending our paint in the first half.”

While the first half saw the Panthers get numerous easy looks inside, the second half turned into a 3-point shooting clinic, as Creston hit six 3-pointers in the second half.

For the game, Creston shot 10-of-15 from behind the 3-point arc, and shot 63.4 percent from the field for the game. The Panthers also shot 13-of-18 from the free throw line.

“Hats off to Creston for the way they played and the way they shot the ball,” White said. “It was a pretty spectacular performance, especially from the 3-point line in that second half.”

Early in the fourth quarter, Kainen Somers fed Cook underneath, allowing Cook to step toward the basket and throw down a two-handed slam dunk, while taking a hard foul, which was met with a resounding cheer from the Creston fans.

Cook hit the free throw following a timeout. He finished the game with 11 points.

Neitzel and senior Colby Taylor joined Cook and Thomsen in double figures, while Powers and Cole Crawford each scored eight points. Thirteen different Panthers scored in the game.

The nine seniors honored before the game included Caleb Thompson, Thomsen, Powers, McIlravy, Taylor, Somers, Neitzel, Briar Evans and Cook, along with senoir manager Tyler “Skippy” Mood.

Lewis Central

Once again, four Panther players scored in double figures in a 59-39 win over Lewis Central on Saturday.

Neitzel led the way with 14 points, while Taylor and Evans each netted 11 points. Thomsen added 10 points off the bench. Nine total Panther players scored in the win.It was another fast start for Creston, as the Panthers built a 17-5 first quarter lead, and took a 30-9 lead into the halftime break.

“Defensively, we played a lot better tonight than we did last night, especially the first half,” Hiatt said. “We held them to nine points the first half, so that’s probably the best we’ve done so far. We need guys to stay focused. This is a hard stretch for us.”

Creston’s lead reached its peak at 39-11 when Somers fed Evans for a basket midway through the third quarter.

Somers finished the game with a team-high five assists.

“I think our bench play was important tonight, just being emotional and staying focused,” Hiatt said. “I think we turned the corner tonight as a team. Just need to keep getting better.”

Creston returns to action tonight at Winterset, and hosts Clarinda Tuesday at Southwestern Community College.

Creston 89, Red Oak 50

RED OAK (50) – Jordan Nelson 6 5-7 19, Tanner Johnson 2 7-11 11, Pete Walker 4 1-4 10, Jose Perez 1 5-8 7, Ryan Leininger 1 0-0 2, Brendan Brit 0 1-2 1. Free Throws – 19-32. Total fouls – 16. Fouled out – None.

CRESTON (89) – Trey Thomsen 5 2-2 14, Luke Neitzel 4 3-4 11, Ryan Cook 4 3-4 11, Colby Taylor 3 2-2 10, Zach Powers 3 2-2 8, Cole Crawford 3 0-0 8, Jay Wolfe 2 1-2 7, Brandon Phipps 2 0-0 5, Alex Nielsen 2 0-0 4, Briar Evans 2 0-2 4, Kainen Somers 1 0-0 3, Caleb Thompson 1 0-0 2, Cole Thompson 1 0-0 2. Totals – 33 13-18 89. Free Throws – 13-18. Rebounds – 30 (Neitzel 9, Evans 5, Taylor 3). Assists – 17 (Thomsen 6, Taylor 4). Steals – 4 (Thomsen 2). Blocked shots – 9 (Taylor 3, Cook 3). Total fouls – 22. Fouled out – None.

Red Oak — 3 24 36 50

Creston — 26 51 65 89

Creston 59, Lewis Central 39

LEWIS CENTRAL (39) – Lincoln Rodenburg 2 4-5 8, Ja’Chai Baker 2 3-4 7, Mitch Moran 2 2-2 6, Tobias Korner 3 0-1 6, Alexander Reed 1 3-5 5, Cody Cook 1 1-2 4, Tanner Mathews 1 0-2 3. Free Throws – 13-25. Total fouls – 17. Fouled out – None.

CRESTON (59) – Luke Neitzel 5 4-4 14, Briar Evans 5 0-0 11, Colby Taylor 2 6-6 11, Trey Thomsen 4 1-2 10, Ryan Cook 2 0-0 4, Caleb Thompson 1 1-1 3, Bryce McIlravy 1 0-0 2, Kainen Somers 1 0-2 2, Cole Crawford 1 0-0 2. Totals – 22 12-16 59. Free Throws – 12-16. Rebounds – 18 (Neitzel 4, Cook 4, Taylor 3). Assists – 14 (Somers 5). Steals – 8 (Evans 2, Thomsen 2). Blocked shots – 4 (Cook 1, Thomsen 1, Taylor 1, Cole Thompson 1). Total fouls – 18. Fouled out – None.

LC — 5 9 28 39

Creston — 17 30 47 59

Junior varsity

Creston’s JV team also picked up a pair of victories over Red Oak and Lewis Central here on Friday and Saturday.

The Panthers defeated Red Oak 72-11 on Friday thanks in part to 17 steals.

Cole Thompson and Alex Nielsen each scored 10 points, while Jay Wolfe added eight points and Brandon Phipps and McClain Haines scored eight points.

Creston also survived a physical battle against Lewis Central, winning 51-37.

Cole Thompson led the way with eight points and four assists, while Sam Hartsock, Christian Groumoutis and Jay Wolfe each scored seven points. Alex Nielsen pulled down six rebounds, while Wolfe finished with a team-high seven.

Creston 72, Red Oak 11

RED OAK (11)

CRESTON (72) – Cole Thompson 10, Alex Nielsen 10, Jay Wolfe 9, McClain Haines 8, Brandon Phipps 8, Evan Nielsen 7, Christian Groumoutis 5, Nick Noecker 5, Trey Benson 4, Sam Hartsock 3, Maxx Walters 2, Cole Crawford 1. Rebounds – Noecker 4, Benson 4, Hartsock 3. Assists – Thompson 2, Alex Nielsen 2, Haines 2. Steals – Thompson 3, Haines 3, Jake Miller 2. Blocked shots – Alex Nielsen 2.

Creston 51, Lewis Central 37


CRESTON (51) – Cole Thompson 8, Sam Hartsock 7, Christian Groumoutis 7, Jay Wolfe 7, Cole Crawford 6, Alex Nielsen 6, Brandon Phipps 5, McClain Haines 3, Maxx Walters 2. Rebounds – Wolfe 7, Alex Nielsen 6, Groumoutis 4, Trey Benson 3, Evan Nielsen 2. Assists – Thompson 4, Phipps 2. Steals – Phipps 3, Thompson 2, Wolfe 2.


The Creston freshman boys team played a pair of competitive games on Friday and Saturday, but came away with two losses.

Creston lost to Red Oak, 36-32, on Friday, as 16 turnovers hampered the Panthers.

Brandon Jones scored 14 points for Creston, while Brandon Lee added six. Sam Eagan and Nick Walsh each scored two points.

Creston also lost a close game to Lewis Central, 49-44, on Saturday.

“They cut down on their turnovers by more than half and played a very hard fought and tough-nosed game,” freshman coach Larry Beaman said. “They hustled and played with their heads up.”

Creston trailed by 30 points at one point in the first half, but battled back in the second half.

Brandon Lee scored 23 points, while Brandon Jones added 11. Ryan Kucera scored five points, as Josh Reed and Nick Walsh each added two.

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