After grinding out a win over conference rival Pioneer Friday night, Caston’s boys basketball team turned its attention to Faith Christian, the second opponent in a weekend twinbill Saturday night.
The Eagles made the trip from Lafayette riding a three-game winning streak, with hopes of garnering their first ever victory over the Comets. In only their second season of IHSAA tournament eligibility, fourth-year coach Clayton Callan is trying to recapture his success from the 2011-12 season, where the Eagles went a respectable 12-8.
The weather outside was still frightful, but the shooting Saturday night was much more delightful. Caston used a second quarter surge and a solid defensive effort to put away Faith Christian, 62-46.
The Comets got a positive sign from the start, as junior Dustin Offenberger connected from the arc. Brayton Jellison followed with a 3 of his own, and the Comets seemed to conveniently forget their shooting woes from Friday.
Junior Matt Rumpke showed nice post moves and scored on consecutive hoops to draw the Eagles to within one. Cam Berning scored with 5 seconds remaining to give Faith Christian its only lead of the game at 11-10.
Jake Kingery nailed a corner 3 to start the second period, which started the key run in the game. Senior Quentin Douglass took a Vernon Ford charge just seconds later, which led to another big trey by Jellison. Offenberger followed his own missed 3, and scored on the stickback and-one. Alex Howdeshell’s two free throws completed the 11-0 surge.
Christian Anderson’s pullup jumper in the lane cut the lead back to three at the 2:20 mark. The Comets took advantage of open perimeter shots and finished the half strong behind consecutive 3s by Eli Douglass and Jellison, giving the Comets a 29-21 lead at the break.
Spending much of the first half distributing to teammates, point guard Quentin Douglass began attacking the lane in the third. He scored off a Kingery feed off the baseline to extend the lead to 10 and had eight points in the quarter. Another Offenberger 3, followed by Howdeshell’s putback put Caston up by 13 mid-way through. Berning also had a big quarter, hitting two 3s and a layup, keeping the Eagles in the game. He finished with a game-high 22 points.