Host Comets split with visitors from Couch
If your lights don't work, you call on an electrician.
If you're the Alton Comets and your offense is not shining as brightly as it could, you call on Alex Wiggs.
Wiggs, while not an electrician, still managed to light up the scoreboard at Alton Jan. 6, pumping in a game-high 30 points as the Comets pulled away late from an energetic group of Couch Indians, 60-41.
Earlier on the night, the Lady Indians ran past the homestanding Lady Comets 50-35.
On the boys' side of things, Wiggs was wired a bit too hot for Couch to handle. In addition to posting half his squad's total output of points for the game, the senior point-forward also grabbed seven boards, dished out three assists and logged five steals for Alton.
The Indians were more than up for the challenge trying to knock off the Comets on their home court, as the first period proved.
Zain Hopper (13 points) got the Indians on strong footing by knocking in his team's first three points on the evening.
With Alton (9-2) holding an 8-3 lead, the last four minutes of the first turned into an old-fashioned shootout between Wiggs and Couch's Josh McClelland.
Wiggs hit for five points during that stretch, while McClelland (10 points) countered with eight, including a pair of triples.
A McClelland 3-ball with 18 ticks left on the clock locked the game at 13-all after one.
Try as they might, the Comets just couldn't open up much space between themselves and the scrappy band of Indians in the second period.
Logan Simpson (eight points) jacked a 3-pointer at the 2:18 point that pushed the Comets in front 26-16.
A hoop near the end of the frame by Bjorn Wilkerson (nine points) clipped two points off Alton's lead, 28-20, at intermission.
The Indians finally ran out of gas in the third period as Wiggs began to hit up.
Wiggs busted loose for Alton's first 11 points of the third, pushing his team on top 39-25.
Wilkerson and Blake Martin closed the third with back-to-back buckets for Couch, but the Indians were down 41-29, after logging just nine points in the period, after three.
This chasm was just too large for Couch to overcome, with Alton cruising to a 60-41 victory.
Jacob Alexander and Dustin Tackitt finished with six points each for Alton, while Jonathan McIntare and Nate Heotis posted four points apiece. Anthony Collins hit for two points for the Comets.
Cody Roberts tallied three points for Couch, with Doug Melton and Randy Clawson ending the game with two points each.
In the girls' clash, Couch used an early burst to set the table for victory, and a late one to finish things off.
Sarah Rowe (three points) hit the first bucket of the night to give the Lady Comets a 2-0 lead. After that, it was pretty much all Lady Indians the rest of the way in the first period.
Couch reeled off the next eight points, including four from Tara Combs (six points), as the Lady Indians sprinted in front 8-2 at the 2:08 point.
Courtney Gazaway (eight points) halted the Couch run with a floating jumper, but Kassi Burr drained a pair of jumpers and Combs hit two free throws to push Couch on top 14-4 after one. Offense was at such a premium for Alton in the first period that the Lady Indians had more team fouls (nine) than points (four) in the frame.
The Lady Comets were still a bit out of sorts early in the second, and when Sandy LaBahn (eight points) knocked down a 3-ball at the 3:49 point of the second, Couch held serve 23-12.
Samantha LaBahn (four points) stuck back a missed shot just inside the halftime horn to stake the Lady Indians to a 27-15 lead at intermission.
Things finally started to settle down for Alton in the third period, with the Lady Comets hammering out an 11-2 run late in the frame to make up some lost ground.
Shelli Ellis (11 points) came alive for Alton in the third, posting four points during the Lady Comets' late spurt.
Lauren Hatten (six points) ended the burst with a layup that had Alton within six, 34-28, with 40 ticks left in the third.
A layup from Kandy York ended the Alton run-out, keeping Couch in front 36-28 after three. York paced the Lady Indians with 11 points on the game.
Six points proved to be as close as the Lady Comets would get to the lead in the stretch run of the final frame.
Couch held Alton without a field goal until the 2:30 mark of the fourth, at which time the Lady Comets were down 48-34, thanks to a 12-2 sprint by the Lady Indians.
Outscoring Alton 14-7 in the fourth, Couch went on to post a victory over its neighbors from Oregon County.
Caitlyn Melton tallied seven points for Couch, while Traci Murdock and Taylor Hanser had four points apiece. Sadee Risner added two points for the Lady Indians.
Sam Allred finished with five for Alton, with Christina Aranda adding two.