The Hackett Catholic Irish basketball teams earned a sweep Friday night over the Kalamazoo Christian Comets, although neither victory came easy. The boys game was decided in overtime, 52-46, in favor of the Irish, with the girls game ending on a 55-45 final.
The boys game stayed tight throughout the contest. Hackett scored first and took a 10-6 lead into the second quarter. The Comets grabbed their first lead early in the second and after four lead changes, the Irish carried a narrow 21-18 advantage into halftime. Hackett made it 36-29 after three and led by as many as nine in the fourth quarter, but their lead fell with 2:35 remaining after a three-point play by Trey De Jong. Teddy Oosterbaan tied the game back up at the free throw line, then reclaimed the lead on a bucket after a quick steal. Drew Scheffers put the score at 44-44 for K-Christian with 35 seconds remaining. Hackett held for the final possession and missed a three at the buzzer, sending the game to OT.
Seconds into overtime, Cooper Smith put Hackett ahead and they would not lose the lead from there, holding the Comets to only two points in the extra period. Smith led the Irish with 23 points, followed by 11 from Oosterbaan. Strong free throw shooting also lifted Hackett, going 19-24 from the line to K-Christian’s 12-18. Sean Cummings topped the Comets with 10 points. The Irish boys move to 17-1 overall and 10-1 in Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley Division play, fighting with Schoolcraft (9-1 entering the evening) for the top spot. The Comets fall to 11-7 overall and 6-5 in the Valley. It’s the sixth consecutive win for the Irish over the Comets.
It was also the sixth consecutive for the Hackett girls in their 55-45 win over the Comets. Despite the final, Hackett didn’t lead until Jessie Wenzel put them ahead on the game’s lone lead change early in the fourth quarter. The Comets led 26-20 at halftime and by as many as 10, but couldn’t hold on in the fourth after a 14-14 finish at the free throw line for Hackett between Sydney Preston and Emily Matthews. Preston led all players with 17 points with 13 from Matthews. Haley Balkema scored 16 for the Comets, followed by 10 from Jaxsen Meldrum.
The Hackett girls end the regular season at 14-5 with the Comets ending at 10-10. They meet again to start the postseason on Monday 5:30 p.m. from Kalamazoo Christian in the first round of District 79. The boys could potentially meet in the second round of districts in two weeks, but they both still have regular season games ahead. The Comets host Bangor Tuesday, followed by Lawton at home Thursday. Hackett hosts Watervliet Tuesday, then ends at Galesburg-Augusta Thursday.
Listen back to Friday’s games below: