Senior center leads Newman’s rally
STERLING – Down by double digits late in the first half, Newman didn't panic.
The Comets righted themselves and dominated the second half in a 59-49 Three Rivers win over Prophetstown on Friday at Newman.
The remedy was simple.
"Execution," said the Comets' Kyle Moore, who scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds. "In the first half, we were hurrying shots. In the second half, we settled down and ran our offense, and things started clicking."
Moore gave the Prophets fits, scoring 17 points in the second half alone.
Prophetstown (11-12, 5-6) got off to a terrific start, jumping in front 15-8 late in the first quarter. The Prophets led nearly the entire first half, going up 25-14 on a bucket from the right baseline by Carter Ames, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half.
"It seems like we always have a good first half," Ames said. "We keep freaking out if they make a run. We just need to calm down and handle the pressure. It's been a bad habit. We can't finish the game."
Prophetstown led 27-20 at the break.
The third quarter was all Newman. The Comets (17-3, 7-1) outscored the Prophets 20-7 in the period.
Trailing 34-31, Newman went on an 11-0 tear to end the third quarter and start the fourth, and built a 42-34 advantage. Prophetstown could not recover.
"I think we were pretty heady," Comets coach Ray Sharp said. "We did a nice job of staying composed. Last week, St. Bede came in here and put it to us. I was a little worried about that again when we got down 11. But, I thought the team responded."
A.J. Sharp, who scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, began the decisive blitz with a bucket off an inbounds pass under the basket. Moore gave the Comets the lead for the first time since 4-2 when he converted on Newman's fourth shot of a possession, making it 35-34 with 1:59 left in the third quarter.
Nate Terveer (6 points) added a fast-break bucket and Sharp knocked down a 3 to make it 40-34 heading to the fourth quarter. Sharp tacked on two free throws to start the fourth quarter.
"They went on a run, and we got in that funk," Prophets coach Cordell Juhola said. "We just cannot put a second half together. We've led the last five or six games at halftime. I'ts been ridiculous."
Devin Johnson added 11 points for the Prophets, who also got seven points apiece from Grant Ames and Ethan Howard.
Star of the game: Kyle Moore, Newman, 25 points, 10 rebounds
Key performers: A.J. Sharp, Newman, 17 points; Carter Ames, Prophetstown, 13 points; Devin Johnson, Prophetstown, 11 points
Up next: Fulton Ottens Shootout, Prophetstown vs. Stockton, 2:30 p.m. Saturday; Erie at Newman, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2