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Falcons start fast to beat BCLUW

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - BCLUW’s Chloe Walters, right, is fouled by Aplington-Parkersburg’s Kasidy Mohwinkle (40) on a shot attempt during the second half of Monday’s cross-NICL girls basketball game in Parkersburg. The host Falcons won 55-40.

PARKERSBURG — A worse state for BCLUW girls’ basketball Monday night at Aplington-Parkersburg would hardly have been possible.

Trailing 20-4 after the first eight minutes and not looking like scoring, the Comets had their backs firmly against the wall.

They responded rather well, out-scoring the Falcons by a point over the next three quarters. However, it wasn’t enough to pull out the win and the Comets (1-1) fell 55-40.

Comets head coach Dave Lee wasn’t thrilled by the way the game started, although he attributed a lot of it to a stretch of hot shooting from the Falcons.

“We didn’t anticipate that, I’ll tell you that,” Lee said. “They only missed one, they hit three or four of them. They kind of caught us by surprise with their ability to make the three the way they did. I think we reeled a little bit from that and got ourselves out of sync offensively a little bit.”

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - BCLUW’s Allison Engle, center, shoots from the center of Aplington-Parkersburg’s defense during the first half of Monday’s cross-NICL girls basketball game in Parkersburg. Engle scored a team-leading 13 points in the Comets’ 55-40 loss.

The Comets were caught off guard by the 3-point consistency of A-P early on, and after trailing by 16 with Chloe Walters on the bench in foul trouble, it was up to Allison Engle to keep the Comets in the game. The junior delivered, and thanks in part to four points from bench forward Katie Hill the deficit was trimmed to 11 points (31-20) at the half.

Lee was frustrated by the end of the half as the Comets missed an opportunity to take the final shot of the second quarter and potentially trim the nine-point gap, but a turnover allowed the Falcons to score right before the buzzer. Lee said the team didn’t have good ball movement in the first half, taking too many shots and making poor decisions without making the extra pass necessary to create a good opportunity.

He said it’s part of the learning process for a team that has been set behind the eight-ball due to COVID isolation for five of the team’s top seven players at the start of team practices.

“We’re about 10 days behind everybody with practice,” Lee said. “We’re not in shape enough where we can play pressure, and that’s what we’re gonna have to do to be good.”

The third quarter started poorly for BCLUW as A-P threatened to pull away. But more strong play from Walters and Engle kept the Comets within striking distance.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

Engle led the Comets with a 13-point, 15-rebound double-double. Walters scored 11 and added seven rebounds. Lizzie Garber led the team in assists with five.

BCLUW had opportunities to trim the 10-point gap in the fourth quarter, at one point getting within eight. But they were unable to find enough baskets to really make the Falcons sweat.

A late run from A-P made the final score 55-40 and proved that the untimely deluge of threes in the game’s first eight minutes had proven decisive.

Now, the Comets have to prepare for a Friday night game against AGWSR, their first dip into NICL West action — and another chance to make up for lost time from a preseason unlike any other.

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