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Panthers race past Clarinda, 67-53

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 12:51 a.m. CST

Monday was a good day for the Creston boys basketball team.

On a day when Creston got a favorable district tournament draw from the Iowa High School Athletic Association, the Panthers had a good shooting night in picking up a 67-53 conference victory here over Clarinda.

Jay Wolfe broke out of a mini-slump offensively with 24 points, including four 3-pointers, and Alex Nielsen likewise got back on track with a 17-point performance. Brandon Phipps added 10 points off the bench.

The Panthers cruised in the second half after opening up a 44-27 halftime lead over the Cardinals who fell to 4-9 overall and 1-6 in the Hawkeye 10. Creston moved into a fourth-place tie with Glenwood at 4-2 in league play, and 6-6 overall.

“We ran a lot better tonight,” said Panther coach Billy Hiatt. “We had a little bit of a lead and they were shooting with confidence. That helps.”

Clarinda guards Jett Kettwick and Troy Aldrich combined for seven 3-pointers as outside shooting kept the Cardinals in it for much of the first half. They were defended much tighter in the second half.

“Clarinda’s guards can shoot the ball and they hit some deep ones on us tonight,” Hiatt said. “We tried to get up in them and pressure them. In the first half we weren’t up on them as much because in our last game they were calling so many touch fouls.”

The IHSAA pairings for Class 3A assigned Creston to District 16 along with Atlantic, Glenwood and Winterset. That district is paired with District 15 in substate play, which includes third-ranked Harlan (11-1), which owns a 58-49 victory over Creston. The teams meet again Feb. 18 in Creston.

That district also includes Denison-Schleswig, which has two narrow victories over the Panthers, along with ADM and Perry. Creston beat ADM 70-61 at Wells Fargo Arena.

Hiatt says his team, which opened the season with four straight wins before going 2-6 so far in the seeding period (games five through 15), has a legitimate shot at emerging from District 16 for a substate berth.

The Panthers have defeated Atlantic 43-39 and beat Glenwood 62-53, with second meetings coming up against both squads. The Panthers get their first look at Winterset at home at 5 p.m. Saturday, one night after traveling to new Hawkeye 10 Conference member Council Bluffs St. Albert.

“We can play with any of them in it,” Hiatt said. “We need to play strong near the end and see what happens.”

CLARINDA (53) — Jett Kettwick 4 4-4 15, Troy Aldrich 4 1-2 13, Jason McCall 3 4-4 10, Noah Bix 3 1-2 7, Jared Devoe 0 2-2 2, Justin Cabeen 1 0-0 2, Clint Fine 0 1-2, Dedric Kettwick 0 1-2 1, Jacob Carlson 0 1-2 1. Totals — 16 14-19 53. 3-point goals — 7 (Aldrich 4, Kettwick 3). Team fouls — 18. Fouled out — None.

CRESTON (67) — Jay Wolfe 9 2-3 24, Alex Nielsen 4 5-7 17, Brandon Phipps 3 2-2 10, Cole Crawford 2 1-1 6, Maxx Walters 1 0-2 3, McClain Haines 1 1-1 3, Cole Thompson 0 2-2 2, Trey Benson 1 0-0 2. Totals — 21 16-21 67. 3-point goals — 9 (Wolfe 4, Phipps 2, Walters 1, Crawford 1, A. Nielsen 1). Rebounds — Wolfe 8, A. Nielsen 3, Benson 3.  Assists — Thompson 6, Phipps 4, Haines 2. Steals — Thompson 3. Blocked shots — Thompson 2, E. Nielsen 1, A. Nielsen 1, Wolfe 1, Haines 1. Team fouls — 19. Fouled out  — None.

Clarinda — 13 27 39 53

Creston — 20 44 58 67

JUNIOR VARSITY

Ten different Creston players scored in a 64-39 victory over the Clarinda JV here Monday.

Sam Hartsock scored 17 points to the lead the Panthers (6-4).

“It was a real good defensive game for us,” said Creston coach Michael West. “We were moving the ball well against their zone. It was a good overall team win.”

Creston (64) — Sam Hartsock 17, Christian Groumoutis 13, McClain Haines 10, Cooper McDermott 8, Jake Miller 4, Brandon Jones 3, Ryan Kucera 3, Sam Eagan 2, Chris Foster 2, Nick Walsh 2. 3-point goals — Groumoutis 3, Hartsock 3, Haines 2, Kucera 1. Free throws — 5-14. Halftime score — Creston 35, Clarinda 12.

Clarinda (39) — Alex Stull 7, Jacob Carlson 6, Josh Espinosa 6, Jayden Landess 6, Jacob Degase 5, Clint Fine 2, Elijah Bix 2, Logan Brooke 2, Ethan Lantz 2, Dedric Kettwick 1. 3-point goals — Fine 1. Free throws — 8-17.

FRESHMEN

Cody Crawford poured in 36 points to lead the Creston freshmen past Clarinda Monday, 49-37.

“They played off Cody and he was hitting threes,” Creston coach Anthony Donahoo said, “and we did a good job on the weak side of the zone of anticipating that second pass and getting layups off the steal. This is how we should have been playing.”

Seth Thompson added six points for Creston (3-7).

Creston (49) — Cody Crawford 36, Seth Thompson 6, Deaven Reese 3, Quinton Scadden 3, Dawson Smith 1. 3-point goals — Crawford 3. Free throws — 16-22. Halftime score — Creston 23, Clarinda 15.

Clarinda (37) — Donevan Kelley 18, Connor Pirtle 6, Cody McClarnon 5, Deitrich Engstrand 3, Josh Degase 2, Zach Carlson 2, Carlton Rahn 1. Free throws — 13-19.

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