The junior post combination of Kelsey Fields and Samantha Dunphy led the Creston girls to a 65-56 victory over Winterset in the Panthers’ home opener Monday night.
With Winterset graduating much of its interior height off last year’s team, Creston coach Tony Neubauer exploited the size advantage he had in the 6-foot-3 Fields and 6-0 Dunphy in this year’s matchup. Fields scored a game-high 32 points and Dunphy was the other Panther in double figures with 15. Guards Rylie Driskell and Sydney Hartsock added seven and six points, respectively.
“We settled down in the halfcourt and made it really simple tonight,” Neubauer said. “We just went to Kelsey right away. Her up-and-under move was sensational tonight and she did a nice job of finding Sam and Bri (Fields) underneath. If we get 2-foot shots, we’re going to take those all night long.”
Winterset trailed 35-25 at halftime and fell behind by 15 points early in the second half, but made several comeback attempts behind the strong second half of freshman guard Jena Young, who finished with 29 points after netting only five in the first half.
“She hit some tough shots and kept them in the game,” Neubauer said. “We let it get down to seven a couple of times, but we never let them get all the way back. It was a growth night for us to finish a game tough and get the win. Winterset is not a bad basketball team. There were not a lot of seniors on the court tonight — Sydney Hartsock for us, and I think one for them.”
UP NEXT — Creston (1-1) opens Hawkeye 10 Conference play tonight (Tuesday) at Atlantic.
“It’s a quick turnaround and a Hawkeye 10 road game, which is never easy,” Neubauer said. “We won by nine there last year, but we were down going into the fourth quarter. We’ll take this win tonight and try to build on it.”
Winterset won the JV game 44-26 after taking a 23-9 lead at halftime, dropping Creston to 1-1 in the JV season.
“They came out and pressed us and we struggled with it,” Creston coach Bryant McCabe said. “When we broke the press we got some good looks in the halfcourt. I told the girls, the good thing about basketball is you get to play again tomorrow. We’re mostly freshmen with a few sophomores.”
Aleah Calvin led Creston with seven points, Doryn Paup added six, Keely Coen had five and Nevaeh Randall finished with four.