David Reeder

With the exception of three first quarter turnovers in the paint, pretty much everything went the Lady Comets way against Summit Christian Monday evening in the opening game of the 21st edition of the Afton Coca-Cola Basketball Classic. And while the Lady Comets ran roughshod over the overmatched Lady Eagles, the Comet boys continue to struggle finding any kind of offensive rhythm.

The Kansas girls started back this Monday pretty much where they had left off against Foyil last Tuesday…forcing turnovers in the double digits on defense and pouring in points on offense.

Shooting 10 of 16 field goals and three of six treys as a team in the opening quarter Kansas was led by Kelsey Barnwell’s 10 spot to go with a half dozen each from Courtney Baker and Shannoah Smoke.

With the offense scoring 33 points in the opening eight minutes of the game, the Lady Comet defense was equally formidable. Again, led by Barnwell who had five steals in the first half, Kansas forced their opponents to commit 17 first quarter turnovers and to shoot a frigid one of 10 from the floor.

Kansas continued to pour it on in the subsequent stanza. Anchored by seven each from Brooke Panther and Baker, in addition to six more from Barnwell, the Lady Comets took an overwhelming 60-11 lead into the break.

Following a cursory third quarter appearance by the starters, the remainder of the game would be handled by the Kansas reserves. And the Comet bench didn’t let up, cruising to an incredible 122-23 victory.

Summit Christian jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first two and a half minutes of the boys’ game, forcing Comet Coach Todd Lankston to call a timeout in the hope of re-centering his team. But the Eagles continued to keep Kansas off balance by forcing a half dozen turnovers and some ice cold three of 13 floor shooting.

A pair of field goals and a free throw by the Comet’s leading scorer, Trenton Cochran kept things within reason. But Summit senior Justin Kanipe put in 10 of his game high 19 points to pace the 15-7 opening period scoring.

Five Eagles combined for a dozen points in the second while holding Kansas to a pair of Cochran buckets, a Nevin Nofire 3-pointer, and an Ethan Fausett deuce, for a 27-16 halftime lead for Summit.

Following the break, the Comets played some pretty good defense, holding their opponents to only two of 10 from the floor and four third quarter points.

Unfortunately, Kansas turned the ball over 6 more times and were unable to convert on any of their 10 attempts from the floor, resulting in a scoreless third.

Trailing by 15, the Comets began to find their game in the final chapter. With five tallies, junior Jon Williams joined six of his teammates to put together a 20 point fourth. But Summit’s Kanipe added five of his team’s 15 final period points, staving off any chance of a Comet comeback and the 46-36 final score.