Boys beat Waterford, lose to Burlington

By Kevin Cunningham

Correspondent

A four-game winning streak was in place for Chris Hembrook’s team coming into last week and, with two games on the schedule, the Delavan-Darien High School boys basketball team had a 6-2 overall record. On Jan. 3, the Comets hit the road to face Waterford, which would be the team’s third consecutive road matchup.

Despite being away from home, Delavan-Darien came away with its fifth straight victory on the season, pushing its record to 7-2. The two teams played to a close first half, ending with the Comets possessing a 29-28 lead.

The Comets also won the second half but only by five points, leading to the 55-49 victory. The two leading scorers in the game were both from Delavan-Darien, as Brandon Edmonds and Seth Kirsch put in 15 points apiece.

The Comets made more shots from the field and more of their free throws, but Waterford made seven of its 3-pointers compared to Delavan-Darien’s six. The 55 points scored in the win were the second-least amount scored in a win for the team this season, beating only its season-opening victory over Fort Atkinson, 54-42.

“We’re slowing it down a lot more than I anticipated we would, but our spacing and patience on offense was very good,” Hembrook said.

The win marked the fifth straight game in which Ethan Cesarz didn’t eclipse the 10-point mark, but finished with at least 10 rebounds, as he had 11 against Waterford.

“The thing about Ethan is that he’s definitely our workhorse underneath,” Hembrook said. “He gets us rebounds. Points-wise, he doesn’t force shots. The other key thing about Ethan is that not only is he our leading rebounder, but he’s our leading assist guy. He’s very strong with the basketball and he’s always looking for other open guys and guys that are cutting.

“He’s not worried about points. He’s worried about doing what he can to help us win.”

At 7-2, Delavan-Darien had a chance to push its winning streak to six as the team had its fourth straight road game Friday at Burlington High School. The winning came to a close against the Demons, as Burlington ran away with the game in the second half, eventually winning 63-45.

The first half ended tied at 29. Burlington won the second half, 34-16.

“(In the second half) they put a press on that our guys couldn’t really do a very good job breaking,” Hembrook said. “Burlington always has been very good defensively. They always over-play and get you out of what you’re good at. They took us out of our game because of their defense. We had too many unforced turnovers.”

Jayce Crull was the only Comet to reach double digits in the game with 15. For Burlington, it was a two-man show, as Luke Geiger scored 21 and Nick Klug put in 20. No other Demon scored more than nine, and aside from those three, no player had more than four.

The two were fairly even statistically scoring except from the free-throw line. The Demons went 12-of-14 from the charity stripe while the Comets shot just 2-of-5.

Over the course of the team’s five-game winning streak, Delavan-Darien went 78-of-113 from the free-throw line, averaging more than 22 attempts per game compared to the five against the Demons. The team also recorded just nine assists compared to its 21 turnovers.

The loss marks the first defeat for the Comets since Dec. 6 against Muskego, which is 9-1 overall and competes in Division 1. Delavan-Darien, with the loss, is now 7-3 on the season.

The team was scheduled for another road contest against Whitewater on Tuesday. Following that game, the Comets will be at home for a 7:30 p.m. start against Westosha Central on Friday.

“Whitewater, we’ve played every year recently,” Hembrook said. “They were 5-1 and are on a three-game losing streak. They have some height, and Bryce Parrish, he’s a junior. He’s been starting for them since their freshman year. They’re a decent basketball team. So, we’re not taking them lightly or overlooking them because we have a big game on Friday. We’re looking to get back home Friday finally with a little momentum.”

It will be the team’s first game at home since Dec. 13 when the Comets won a high-scoring affair against Wilmot 89-84.

 

 
 

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