CHARLES CITY | After a late night at Decorah on Friday, the eighth-rated (3A) Charles City boys basketball team had about a 14-hour turnaround as the Comets played host to Osage in no-conference play on Saturday.
Charles City, which can put up a lot of points, relied on the defensive side early and rumbled to a 67-42 win over the Green Devils to improve to 11-1 on the season.
It was the Comets’ 11th consecutive win after a season-opening loss.
“We put a lot of pressure on their guards,” Comets coach Ben Klapperich said. “We didn’t let them catch and shoot.”
Osage was going to need a strong all-around effort against the Comets, but Charles City’s defense was relentless from the start.
Midway through the second quarter, Charles City had built a 28-3 lead by holding the Green Devils to just 1-for-21 shooting from the floor.
While the Green Devils did markedly improve over the remainder of the game, the deficit from the first 12 minutes was just too much to overcome.
The Comet offense got an early boost from Noah Schlader.
Schlader, a 6-foot-1 senior, made his first seven field goal attempts, including five 3-pointers.
Schlader, who entered the game averaging better than eight points per game, finished with 19.
Jack Molstead, the Comets’ leading scorer on the season, overcame a slow start to finish with 22 to pace Charles City.
“I worked really hard in the off season, especially on ball handling,” Molstead said. “My teammates have really helped.”
Molstead also leads the Comets in assists at nearly seven per game.
Drew Olson led Osage with a hard-fought 12 points.
Charles City has a difficult week upcoming as the Comets travel to Independence on Monday for a matchup with the 9-3 Indians before traveling to Cedar Rapids on Saturday to face Mount Pleasant in the Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout.
“We think about this team as a puzzle,” Klapperich said. “We have all the pieces. We just need to put them together.”