By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manchester Flying Dutchmen Boys basketball team, 7-8 (4-7), fell to the Hanover-Horton Comets, 14-1 (10-0), 78-37 as the Comets looked like a team that returned 10 of 12 players from a regional title run less than a year ago.
Dutchmen head coach Mike Ahrens had devised a new game plan after their first meeting, a 79-38 loss, to try and combat the depth and scoring ability of the Comets but their experience proved too much for the Dutchmen.
“(We wanted to) hold the ball, spread the defense, and take time off the clock,” said Ahrens. “We looked at it as, we’re on offense, but also on defense. As long as we have the ball, they’re not scoring points. We thought if we could execute the spread offense and get good high percentage shots, we could keep it close. that’s a very good team.”
Despite the result, Ahrens said the focus was on improving as a team with districts fast approaching.
After the first quarter ended, the Comets led 22-6. Comet juniors Jack Brockie and Luc Laketa got to the rim early and often combining for 12 of the 22 Comet points.
The Dutchmen had trouble getting to the rim all night and when they did, they were contested attempts.
In the second quarter, the Comets outscored the Dutchmen 13-11 to take a 35-17 lead into the locker room. Dutchmen junior guard Ty Horky had all 11 of the second quarter points for the Dutchmen, driving to the lane and hitting pull up jumpers as he led the Dutchmen with 19 points.
“Horky’s a good player,” said Comet head coach Chad Mortimer. “We wanted to make them work, he hit some tough shots, but we also knew he was looking to take probably half their shots. Kelly is a good player too, that’s their 1-2 punch, I thought we did a good job on them.”
A 9-4 Comet run to start the second half put the game out of reach as they would outscore the Dutchmen 21-9 in the third to build a 56-26 lead.
Laketa had 10 of those points including two threes as he and Brockie led the Comets with 19 points each.
Other stat leaders for the Dutchmen included senior forward Devon Kelly with six points and a team high three blocks, freshman Aiden Kelly also added 11 rebounds to lead the team.
On Monday, the Dutchmen travel to East Jackson to make up a game cancelled earlier in the season due to weather.