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After serious Tiger injury, Panthers roll, 63-29

Published: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 1:41 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 1:53 a.m. CDT
Caption
(CNA photo by LARRY PETERSON)
Brandon Phipps comes down with a rebound against Red Oak freshman Weston Rolenec during the Panthers' 63-29 victory here Friday. Phipps finished with seven points and two rebounds.

A few minutes after a heartwarming tribute to the cause of the night, raising more than $4,000 for a blanket warmer at Greater Regional Medical Cancer Center by two student groups, a hush came over the Creston High School gym Friday night.

Red Oak senior center Evan Mellott failed to get up from a fall under the Creston basket after a rebound scrum. Soon, it became apparent why.

Mellott’s right foot was angled to the right, the gruesome sight of a compound ankle fracture that drew gasps from the crowd.

Fortunately, trainer Chris Leonard and orthopedic surgeon Dr. William Ralston of Greater Regional Medical Center were quickly on the scene. Mellott’s ankle was placed in a splint as he was carried — hopping on one leg by his choice — to an awaiting ambulance for surgery that night at GRMC.

After a standing ovation for Mellott as he left the gym, the teams regrouped and the Panthers methodically pulled away to a 63-29 victory. Fourteen total players scored for the Panthers as coach Billy Hiatt liberally used his bench throughout the second half. The team’s halftime lead was 35-14.

The teams then had much different outcomes one night later, as the Tigers upset Shenandoah to improve to 3-16 for the season, while the Panthers fell to 10-8 with a home loss to Atlantic. Both were nonconference games, leaving Creston at 6-3 in league play.

But on Friday, all cylinders were clicking for the Panthers, once everyone got settled back in after the severe injury.

“We were just trying to keep our guys focused,” Hiatt said. “For anybody to see something like that, you get kind of sidetracked and not thinking straight for a little bit. We ran a set that we’re comfortable running, to get back into the flow.”

Jay Wolfe had 17 points and seven rebounds, with 15 in the first half. By the end of the third period, it was nearly a 30-point game at 46-19.

“We wanted to make sure we brought a lot of energy, and obviously having a big crowd helped,” Hiatt said. “When we went to our bench we wanted to keep the momentum going, and I thought we did well with that. That’s important, because we have three games in four days.”

The Panthers play at Glenwood tonight in a snowed out makeup game.

RED OAK (29) — Ryan Leininger 5 0-0 11, Jordan Nelson 1 6-7 9, Conner Jansky 1 1-2 3, Ryan Lundgren 1 0-0 2, Connor Johnson 1 2-3 2, Brendon Birt 0 2-2 2. Totals — 8 11-18 29. 3-point goals — 2 (Nelson 1, Leininger 1). Team fouls — 19. Fouled out — None.

CRESTON (63) — Jay Wolfe 5 7-7 17, Brandon Phipps 3 0-0 7, Cole Thompson 2 2-2 6, McClain Haines 2 1-2 5, Christian Groumoutis 2 0-0 5, Jake Miller 2 1-1 5, Evan Nielsen 1 2-2 4, Alex Nielsen 0 3-4 3, Trey Benson 1 0-0 2, Cooper McDermott 1 0-0 2, Carson Whittington 0 2-2 2, Sam Hartsock 0 2-2 2, Jon Birchard 1 0-0 2, Cole Crawford 0 1-2 1. Totals — 20 21-24 63. 3-point goals — 2 (Phipps 1, Groumoutis 1). Rebounds — Wolfe 7, A. Nielsen 5, Benson 4, Groumoutis 4, Phipps 2, Miller 2.  Assists — Thompson 2. Steals — Thompson 3, A. Nielsen 2. Team fouls — 19. Fouled out  — None.

Red Oak — 8 14 19 29

Creston — 16 35 46 63

JUNIOR VARSITY

A 17-6 second quarter fueled the Creston JV to a 47-37 victory over Red Oak Friday night.

Sam Hartsock scored 19 points for Creston (9-5) and Christian Groumoutis added 12.

“It was a good defensive game for us,” Creston coach Michael West said. “We got a lot of shots in the paint, but we missed too many free throws.”

Creston (47) — Sam Hartsock 19, Christian Groumoutis 12, McClain Haines 7, Cooper McDermott 5, Jake Miller 4. 3-point goals — Groumoutis 1, Hartsock 1, McDermott 1. Free throws — 16-36. Halftime score — Creston 27, Red Oak 17.

Red Oak (27) — Conner Jansky 9, Gavin French 8, Dylan Graber 6, Jesse Taylor 5, Eli Guerra 4, Rob Vial 2, Oscar Vega 2, Tanner Gilliland 1. 3-point goals — Taylor 1. Free throws — 6-20.

FRESHMEN

Creston missed 18 free throws, which proved costly in a 58-52 freshman boys defeat Friday.

Red Oak was 16-of-17 at the line. Cody Crawford led Creston (4-9) with 21 points and Seth Thompson added 12.

“We hadn’t really had a chance to practice all week and we just didn’t come out hitting against their zone,” Creston coach Anthony Donahoo said. “And we missed a lot of free throws.”

Creston was 7-of-25 at the line.

Creston (52) — Cody Crawford 21, Seth Thompson 12, Deaven Reese 11, Gavin Woods 3, Quinton Scadden 3, Kyle Somers 2. 3-point goals — Crawford 4, Thompson 3. Free throws — 7-25. Halftime score — Red Oak 25, Creston 24.

Red Oak (52) — Jacob Schaefer 21, Ryan Lundgren 18, Von Kraus 13, Connor Johnson 4, Matthew Dentlinger 2. Free throws — 16-17.

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