Comets down the Aviators 65-58

Evelina Gaivoronskaia | Staff Writer

Late in the fourth quarter Mason’s Alex Morton scoops up a crucial loose ball that led to a basket to push the Comets ahead 61-55.

On Friday, February 5, the Mason Comets defeated the Sycamore Aviators 65-58 at the Mason Arena. 

Down 16-11 after the first quarter and trailing 34-30 at the half, head coach Greg Richards felt his team started out a little slow.

“I had to call the time out early and wake us up a little bit, but I think our kids responded well,” Richards said. “I was very pleased.” 

Richards had plenty of reasons to be pleased after the Comets outscored the Aves 16-6 in the third quarter to push ahead of their Greater Miami Conference rival 46-40 heading into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter proved to be wrought with tremendous intensity and a great deal of emotion. Senior Eli Jordan felt the emotion come into play and was proud he and his fellow teammates were able to keep their cool even after a Sycamore player was whistled for a technical foul after a score late in the quarter. 

 “I had to keep my cool when everybody was talking a lot,” Jordan said. 

Leading by six at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Sycamore turned up the pressure. Sycamore was sparked by the hot shooting of Bryce Darbyshire and Andrew Fehr who helped the Aves claw back into the game, but Mason matched their intensity by scrambling for loose balls and capitalizing from the free throw line.  

The Comets were able to secure the game from the foul line in the fourth quarter where their leading scorer Trey Killens, Alex Morton, and Matt Smith nailed crucial fourth quarter shots from the charity stripe. 

Killens went 16 of 22 from the foul line and finished the game with 24 points. Morton and Smith each finished the game with 14 points. Smith managed to use his defensive skills to contain Sycamore’s leading scorer 6-7 junior Ben Southerland, holding him to 11 points, six points under his average. 

With the win the Comets improve to 13-5 overall and 9-5 in the conference. Mason  will close out the league schedule on Tuesday at Colerain. Currently their final scheduled league game against Princeton is pending due to Covid related issues in the Vikings’ programs. 

While Colerain has struggled this season, Richards isn’t taking the Cardinals lightly in the always challenging GMC. A final home game has been scheduled on Saturday, February 13 against Ohio’s second ranked Division II team, the Tippecanoe Red Devils at the Mason Arena. In this unique 2020-21 season Richards just wants to see his team finish strong because he is very aware how quickly a game can be cancelled. 

“We want to finish strong in the league and see what happens,” Richards said. 

Photos by Evelina Gaivoronskaia