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Aplington-Parkersburg clobbers Comets in season opener

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - BCLUW guard Noah Gallentine, center, attempts a shot between Aplington-Parkersburg defenders Garrett Hempen (3) and Joshua Haan, right, during the second half of Monday’s cross-NICL boys basketball game in Parkersburg.

PARKERSBURG — BCLUW boys’ basketball head coach Evan Janssen said he was pleased with the Comets and their success at getting past halfcourt against a suffocating Aplington-Parkersburg press.

The problem was everything after that. BCLUW lost to the Falcons 82-34 in their season opener, dropping to 0-1 and getting what Janssen called a learning experience from the Falcons.

“The thing that we try and take away from games like this is, every single time when we play Aplington-Parkersburg we’re focused on their pressure and we’re focused on getting used to that type of thing,” Janssen said. “It makes us a lot better of a team in terms of trying to move forward in terms of a program.”

From the start, A-P’s press caused issues in the BCLUW side of the court. Despite getting past halfcourt, Janssen said it felt like at times the Comets struggled to figure out how to take that success and turn it into points. The result of this indecision was a glut of turnovers and easy Falcons baskets. The Falcons held a 24-4 lead after the first eight minutes.

The lead grew in the second quarter as BCLUW continued to struggle with shot creation. When halftime rolled around the Comets were down 49-10.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

Janssen said it’s hard to take positives from a big beatdown, but there were some to grasp at.

“Actually in the first little bit we did a really good job of handling their press, I thought,” Janssen said. “It’s one of those situations where we would get there and didn’t know what to do.”

In the second half things did get better for the Comets. Playing against the Falcons was still difficult, but shots began to fall and the Comets were outscored by just nine in the last 16 minutes. Leading the way offensively for the Comets were Jesse Moore and Noah Gallentine, who had nine points each and hit two of the team’s four 3-pointers.

On the other side, five Falcons reached double-figures — with Owen Thomas and Gavin Thomas leading the way at 13 points. A-P made 31 shots while BCLUW made just 12.

Still, up next for the Comets is a game against division rivals AGWSR Friday night. It’s a chance to reset after a tough opener and start conference play off on the right foot, Janssen said.

“It’s a rivalry game, it’s something we look forward to every year as a coaching staff,” Janssen said. “When it comes to NICL West play, that’s one of our goals. We want to compete for a conference championship, year in and year out. Even after today, and I know it’s tough with all of that just happened, I still believe we’re an NICL West contender.”

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