HARLAN — The Class 3A top-ranked Harlan Cyclones knocked down five 3-pointers in third quarter, outscoring Creston 20-11 in the quarter, to pull away in a 58-49 win here on Tuesday.
“They hit shots on us, got some second chances in the third and fourth, especially and started to pull away from us,” Creston head coach Billy Hiatt said. “We fought back in the fourth quarter and gave ourselves a chance at the end. A couple turnovers there in the third hurt us, but we fought back in it. We were about one big shot from being right in the middle of it.”
Creston trailed by as many as 18 points late in the third quarter before McClain Haines hit a shot at the end of the quarter to make the score 47-31.
The Panthers fought back in the fourth quarter, and cut the lead to single digits on multiple occasions, but could never get any closer than nine points.
Trey Lansman scored 12 first-half points for the Cyclones, but the Panthers got him into foul trouble in the second half and he finished with 14 for the game.
With Lansman on the bench, Creston slowly crept back into the game, but Nathan Cave always found an answer. Cave, who had eight points at the break, finished with 24 for the game.
“He can shoot 3s,” Hiatt said. “He shot from real deep. We got Lansman in foul trouble in the second half. Give them credit, they’re a good team and are coached well. I think we can make some adjustments and be right in the mix.”
Creston trailed 16-14 after one quarter and 27-20 at halftime as Jay Wolfe had accumulated just five points at that time.
The 6-4 junior finished the game with 25 points to lead the Panthers. McClain Haines was the only other Panther in double figures with 12.
“The good thing is it shows our guys as well as our coaching staff that we’re right there,” Hiatt said. “We should be able to compete every night. We get a little better at things, and maybe give us a chance to be successful.”
Creston dropped to 4-1 for the season with the loss. The game did not count in the Hawkeye 10 Conference standings, so both teams remain 2-0 in the conference. Harlan improved to 4-0 overall.
The Panthers return to action Friday with another tough road contest, this time at Kuemper Catholic, ranked eighth in Class 2A.
Hiatt said he expects to have Alex Nielsen in the lineup for Friday’s game, after Nielsen suffered a right ankle injury late in the loss to Harlan.
“They’re big, too,” Hiatt said about Kuemper Catholic. “It’s going to be a tough game, especially at Kuemper. They were there scouting us tonight, so they’ll be ready. We’re going to have to regroup a little bit.”
HARLAN (58) — Nathan Cave 24, Trey Lansman 14, Adam Juhl 11, Kyle Juhl 7, Gabe Ferry 2.
CRESTON (49) — Jay Wolfe 25, McClain Haines 12, Christian Groumoutis 6, Alex Nielsen 4, Cole Thompson 2.
Harlan — 16 27 47 58
Creston — 14 20 31 49
The Creston JV team dropped a tight contest at Harlan on Tuesday, losing 64-61.
The Panthers took a shot for the tie at the buzzer, but Christian Groumoutis’ shot was off the mark as time expired.
“We had a shot to tie it at the end,” Creston JV coach Michael West said. “We ran a play and they played pretty tight defense on us, so we couldn’t set the screens. We heaved one up fro halfcourt at the end, and it didn’t fall.”
Groumoutis scored 25 points to lead the Panthers, while Cooper McDermott tossed in 15 and Sam Hartsock scored 10.
“We played pretty good defense,” West said. “Our offensive sets, we’ve got to work on them a little bit, but other than that, we played pretty well.”
Creston (61) — Christian Groumoutis 25, Cooper McDermott 15, Sam Hartsock 10, McClain Haines 7, Jake Miller 2, Brandon Jones 2.
The Creston freshman team fell to 1-3 for the season with a 62-46 home loss to ADM on Monday.
“I thought we came out and played an amazing first half,” Creston freshman coach Anthony Donahoo said. “They started to press us in the second half and it was something we weren’t comfortable with. We’ll learn from this, practice it and be ready the next time we see it.”
Cole Crawford led the way with 12 points, while Ian Burns and Kyle Somers each chipped in seven points.
Information on Tuesday’s game at Harlan was not available at press time.