Dec 10, 2014: he 7th Grade Jr. Comets were on the road yesterday at Mason Middle School. The 7th Graders had a successful "business trip," and managed to come home with two hard fought wins.
The B Team gutted out a win. They admittedly did not play very well, but were able to put together enough good plays to get the win. Coach Ibrahim thought that it might have been the longer bus ride. "It was a longer ride than normal, and I ask them to focus on the way over, but after a long day at school and a long ride over here it is " tough to stay sharp.'
Tyler McCready kicked things off with a jump shot, but neither team could get much going in the first quarter. The score was only 8-4. The second quarter was tough to watch as both teams only managed 2 points each. The score was only 10-6 at the half.
The B team is used to scoring almost almost triple that per half were a little shocked at the half. Coach Ibrahim wanted them to wake up and play as they have played all season and get back to what they know works. In the third quarter, the Comets relied on their size and went down low to Nick Cotter. He scored 6 of the team's 12 points in the quarter. Delvin Storball also had 4 points. Storball and Brendan Esquivel ran a play that Tyler McCready told the coach to call from the bench to perfection. "That was awesome. Tyler told me that he thought we could score off of the play so I called it, and Delvin and Brendan ran in to perfection. I want the guys to be checked in on the bench and know what is happening in the game so that was pretty cool. It also shows Tyler's high basketball IQ which has been off the charts lately."
In the 4th quarter, the Comets sealed the game with defense. Devin Harris had 4 of his 8 points and a few timely steals. Tyler Smith had a big jumper that put the game out of reach. The final score was 30-13. Nick Cotter and Devin Harris led the team with 8 points each. Delvin Storball, Andrew Buffenbarger, and Tyler Smith all had 4 points. Jonah Lyon took his second charge of the season, and Brendan Esquivel played good defense.
After watching the B Team, Coach Ibrahim made sure the A team guys understood that in order to go home with two wins the team needed to play focused, with a ot of energy, and not make mental mistakes. The Comets came out strong getting Will Jerzak involved in the game early with 5 quick points. Jared Houghton got two steals and two layups. However, the Bulldogs kept it close, and after the first quarter the score was 11-8.
The Bulldogs really got rolling in the second quarter. The Comets again could not stop the other team from getting to the free throw line. Half of the Bulldogs points came from the line in the second quarter. Even with a big three from Kavion Autrey, and a some good play from Devin Gardella and RJ Bohnet late in the first half the Comets only led 20-16.
In the third quarter, the Comets finally found some momentum and were able to capitalize. Jared Houghton hit a big 3, and was able to get to the basket for 3 layups. Later in the quarter a group that included Logan Hylek, Devin Gardella, Connor Winans, Bobby Rao, and Corey Brock got a lot of deflections and steals and some easy layups by Devin and Logan and really got the momentum going the Comets way going in to the last quarter. At the end of the third the score was 35-27 for the good guys.
During the last quarter of the game, the Bulldogs were living from the free throw line. The game was called much tighter than it was before so the players had to adjust. The Bulldogs two best players combined for 12 points and they cut the Comet lead to 1 at 41-40 with a only 3 minutes left in th contest. Jared Houghton continued his great play with two drives to the hoop and a deep three pointer. Rj Bohnet and Bobby Rao both hit a clutch free throw, and Connor Winans scored a layup late. The play of Jared Houghton sealed the game late.
The final score was 49-40 Comets, who finished the game on an 8-0 run. Jared Houghton led all scores with 23 points he also had 5 steals. Will Jerzak had 7, Connor Winans had 4 and owned the boards. Logan Hylek, Devin Gardella, and RJ Bohnet all made some big plays for the Comets.
The B Team is now 9-0 and the A team is now 7-2. The Comets finish their season next week at home with games against Waverly and Holt.
Dec 1, 2014: The 7th Grade Junior Comets were back in action last night after the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Jr. Comets traveled to Portland to face the Raiders. The B Team opened up play with a 50-16 victory.
The B team's defense again turned to offense. The Comets jumped out to a 23-2 first quarter lead. The B Team is led on defense by Devin Harris who set the tone with early steals and an impressive and one bucket. At halftime the Comets led 33-7. During the second half the Comets tried to work on attacking the gaps of a zone, and began to be successful. Many players had breakthroughs.
Jonah Lyon took the Comets' first charge of the season! Tyler McCready was aggressive and made some nice plays for his teammates. Andrew Buffenbarger followed up his breakthrough game with another solid effort, scoring 15 points. Evan Woyke also had a strong shooting performance.
Andrew Buffenbarger led the Comets in scoring. Devin Harris had 9 points along with a number of steals. Wyatt Smedley scored 11, and both Delvin Storball and Evan Woyke had 6.
The A team suffered a heartbreaking defeat in overtime against the Raiders. The Jr. Comets turned the ball over early which allowed the Raiders to score in transition. The Comets did not get back, and did not play defense without fouling which hurt them through out the game. The score after the first quarter was 11-9 in favor of the Raiders. The Raiders played tough defense against the Comets. This defense forced turnover, and shook the Comets' confidence on offense. The Comets were held scoreless during the second quarter and went into the half down 5 at 14-9.
In the third quarter the Comets also turned the defense up and got back into the game. Some early steals off of their press led to some easy layups. The Comet's turned the game into a low scoring defensive battle.
The atmosphere in the gym was incredible as the team traded blows down the stretch. The fourth quarter featured late runs with under 3 minutes left from both teams. Portland was up 37-30, but the Comets went on an exciting 7-0 run with under 1 minute left. Jared Houghton drilled a three, followed by a steal and a layup from Connor Winans, and then trialing by 2 and with possession the Comets drew a foul. Will Jerzak made two huge free throws with 3 seconds to tie the game up. The Comets set up their press and Connor Winans forced a steal. Will Jerzak could not convert the layup and with new life the Comets marched onto overtime.
In overtime, the Comets got out to a quick start and held the lead. However, foul trouble plagued them and the Portland defense stayed tough throughout the game making it hard for the Comets to score. The Comets fell 45-40.
Coach Ibrahim was disappointed about the loss, but felt that his team had its opportunities. "We didn't do enough to win, we missed layups, and free throws early in the game as well as late which can cost you a W in a close game. We have to learn how to play defense without fouling, we work on that daily in practice, but I have to do a better job and put these guys in a position to succeed."
He added that he was most proud of his players. " I feel bad that we came up short. Our guys really fight. I am blessed with such a good group of players. They fight tooth and nail for their teammates and leave it all on the floor. I have a couple players in that locker room with bloody lips, and a black eye. I say that we have to win the 50/50 ball battle every game, and boy our players really do not want to lose that fight."
The Comets are back at home Wednesday against St. Johns.
November 17, 2014: The 7th Grade Jr. Comets brought home two wins last night at Waverly Middle School. Both the A and B Team met the challenge of playing on the road, and was able to come out victorious. The B Team's defense turned to offense early in the game. Devon Harris led the charge on defense forcing two early turnovers. The pace of the game was quicker than the what the B team has seen in their previous contests, but they were able to adapt and play Grand Ledge Basketball which ultimately allowed them seal the victory.
Tyler Smith, and Adrien Mcgill gave consistent, and strong play at the point guard position. Adrien Mcgill led the B team with 9 points. The team got strong contributions again from NIck Cotter and Devin Harris who both scored 8 points. Wyatt Smedley had his best performance of the year scoring the basketball, and continued to be a force on the boards. Evan Woyke had a break out game as well, and the coaching staff hopes he continues to improve.
The A Team was chomping at the bit, and was ready to get after it yesterday evening at Waverly Middle School. Coach Ibrahim was more than impressed with the attitude and focus of both teams, and decided to use this to their advantage. The A team pressed early in the game which established Grand Ledge's style of play, were the aggressors, and the A team began to put together an impressive win.
After getting off to a slow start, Will Jerzak finished with 18 points. Jared Houghton added 12 of his own, but more importantly he was a force on the defensive end, was in every play, and really led the charge for the A team with his effort and attitude. Jaden Michael complimented Houghton well and had some exciting plays and passes. Connor Winans, Bobby Rao, and Logan Hylek again provided tough and heady play off the bench. Coach Ibrahim stated that this team is great because he knows that anyone that comes in the game will give him 110 %.
The 7th Grade Jr. Comets are back in action at Dewitt tomorrow night.