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Playing strong in the second half can make up for a slow first half in the blink of an eye.
This was the lesson learned by the Comanche Indians Tuesday night at Tommy D. Weast Gymnasium, as Velma-Alma managed to break open a 30-29 halftime lead and cruise to a comfortable 72-50 victory over the Indians.
“I thought we had the same intensity in the second half as we did in the first,” V-A coach Kenny Bare said. “The difference was in the second half we were making the close shots and the driving lay-ups. Defensively we stepped it up a notch and kept them (Comanche) from getting as many open looks as they did in the first half.”
To no one’s surprise, physical play dominated the course of the game, as these long time rivals squared off against one another.
While the Indians were holding their own at the 4:35 mark of the third with the score 36-31 in favor of Velma, from that moment on it was all Comets.
CHS managed just four points the rest of the quarter, and found itself down 51-35 going into the fourth.
A 21-15 scoring advantage was more than enough cushion for Bare and his squad to hang onto.
“We were hanging with them (Velma-Alma) in the first half, but they came out with a vengeance in the second,” Comanche senior Garrett Morrow said. “Take nothing away from them, they played a good, hard game. But, I don’t feel like we played up to our potential tonight like we should have.”
V-A though found life tough in the first quarter, as many of the Comets putbacks and lay-up attempts were going every which way but in.
“When your making shots, the game of basketball can be pretty easy,” Bare said. “But when your not making shots then you have to slow things down and stop every possession. We were fortunate to pull away and open things up like we did.”
Comanche was more than happy to take advantage as the Indians showed their nerve, being down five points heading into the second at 15-10.
Try as they might in the second, V-A couldn’t quite shake the Indians, as the physical play continued, with both sets of fans erupting throughout the night.
V-A (2-0) junior Jaz Gayanich led all scorers on the evening with 21 points, followed by Dallen Mercer with 16 points. Zac Cable scored 11 points as Connor Sullivan put in seven.
Comanche (0-2) was paced by Kale Reed with 12 points followed by Jerron Sanders with 10 points.
Both of these teams will be playing in the Bullet Energy Comet Classic starting on Thursday in Velma.
CHS will meet Carnegie at 5 p.m. Thursday, while V-A entertains Healdton at 8 p.m.