By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
WAYLAND ? The WACO basketball teams put on a dominant performance Tuesday night in their first games of 2018.
The Warriors cruised past Cardinal in both games of a SEISC South Division doubleheader. The boys? team won 72-41 and the girls? team picked up a 55-18 victory.
The Warriors were simply too good inside for the Comets in the first half. Nik Coble and Matthew Leichty dominated Cardinal throughout the first two periods, scoring 16 and 12 points respectively.
WACO led 16-10 after one period, and stretched their lead with a dominant second quarter. The Warriors cruised in to halftime with a 42-18 advantage.
The outside shooters picked it up in the second half. Jacob Fried nailed three shots from beyond the arc, and Braden Hammond added one as WACO continued to ground the Comets. The Warriors led 59-31 after three quarters and ended the night with a 72-41 win.
Coble finished with a cool 20 points to lead the squad. Leichty had 16, and Drew Kissel scored 10 to give WACO three double-digit scorers.
Fried finished the night with nine points. Conner Eichelberger and Gabe Reichenbach scored four apiece. Hammond scored three points, and the trio of Colton Horak, Calvin Battle and Beau Beckler finished with two each.
The girls? game, which preceded the boys? contest, was all WACO as well. The first half was peppered with Warrior threes, as both Kiana Miller and Kristen Conley knocked down a couple of three-pointers in the first two periods. WACO led 11-4 after the first quarter and stretched their lead to 29-13 at halftime.
WACO?s defense played a strong second half, allowing just five points from the Comets, all of which came in the first four minutes. WACO?s lead was down to 15, at 33-18 with four minutes left, but the Warriors closed the game out on a 20-0 run, including a 15-0 shutout fourth quarter, and WACO walked way with a 55-18 conference victory.
Clara Schmitz and Aubri Garnsey co-led the team with 11 points each. Schmitz scored consistantly throughout the game, and Garnsey lit it up in the second half, scoring nine of her points in the last two periods.
Miller ended the night with 10 points to give the Warriors a third scorer in double digits. Conley had eight. Laney Graber scored seven. Nadiyah Brown finished with six, and Ashleigh Hallett had two.
WACO will have their hands full in their next doubleheader. The Warriors will travel south to play a couple of tough Central Lee teams on Friday, Jan. 5, at 6 p.m.