BOYS BB: Caston bolts past Pioneer with first-half surge

Dec. 4—The Caston boys basketball team jumped out to a big lead and held on for a 52-36 win over Pioneer Friday in the consolation game of the Logansport Savings Bank Cass County Tournament at the Berry Bowl.

The Comets (1-2) took a 19-5 lead after one quarter of play and a 31-10 lead at halftime behind relentless fullcourt pressure.

The Panthers (0-2) responded with a better second half. They got as close as 34-21 in the third quarter before the Comets took a 40-24 lead into the fourth. It never got any closer than 14 the rest of the way.

Talon Zeider had 16 points and four steals on 4 of 9 shooting from 3-point range to lead the Comets. He was named to the all-tournament team.

Caleb Stinson added 14 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Cain Schanlaub had eight points and Jackson Rentschler added seven.

"I thought we got off to a good start tonight which is something that we talked a lot about coming into the game and something we needed to work on," Caston coach Carl Davis said. "I thought our guys were ready to go and put some pressure on the basketball early and created some turnovers and some transition opportunities for us. Offensively I thought we did a really good job of trying to screen the zone and get our shooters some open looks and that opened up some slips inside. I thought we played really well for most of the first half.

"In the second half, credit to Pioneer, they came out and went on a run and we needed to tighten some things up on the defensive end of the floor. I thought we rebounded it really well tonight. I think that was a big takeaway. I think we had a couple scouting report breakdowns that we need to fix and get better at but I'm just proud of the way they competed especially on the boards on both ends of the floor."

Caston won the rebounding battle 31-25 and the turnover battle 19-11.

Zeider had 20 points earlier in the week in a 60-47 loss to Lewis Cass.

"He puts a ton of time in and works really hard," Davis said. "I thought his teammates did a really good job of finding him the last couple games here. He's somebody that just gets better and better. I thought he did some good things off the dribble tonight too and that's something he's going to have to continue to do because teams are going to be keying on him and trying to take away the 3-point line. I think he had a great two games and we're looking forward to seeing him continue to grow here the next few months.

Pioneer committed 14 of its 19 turnovers in the first half.

"I felt pretty helpless in the first half. Every time I would turn around we were turning the ball over," Pioneer coach Darren McKaig said. "It surprised me a little bit because we've worked against pressure. But it just hasn't been enough yet. We're going to keep working against pressure. We showed in the second half that we could actually — even if it's not smooth — we could actually move the ball around safely and if you do it enough you're eventually going to get a better shot. So we're just going to keep working on that."

Drew McKaig led the Panthers with 25 points and six boards. He was 10 of 19 shooting from the field including 5 of 10 from 3. He scored 18 of his 25 in the second half and was named to the all-tournament team.

Rylahn Toloza added five points and Caleb Sweet chipped in four points and six boards. Brayden Erickson added six rebounds.

"I thought Drew had a nice game. Guys just came out and took care of the ball in the second half," coach McKaig said. "We can build off of that. We'll try to get better."

Pioneer hosts Triton for its HNAC opener Friday and travels to North Miami Saturday.

Caston hosts Class 2A No. 4 Carroll Friday and travels to Frontier Saturday.