Tough road for Tritons
Any chance of a third straight victory by the Iowa Central men’s basketball team slipped away down the stretch here Wednesday night.
Dropping their first home game of the season, the Tritons (9-7 overall) suffered an 89-74 setback to Div. I foe Northeast Nebraska inside Hodges Fieldhouse.
After leading by double figures on three different occasions in the first half, Iowa Central was outscored 48-30 over the last 20 minutes.
“They’re a talented basketball team with good size and good guards, so give them credit,” said ICCC head coach Dennis Pilcher of the Hawks. “We hung in there, but we just made too many mistakes in the last six or seven minutes. They really hurt us on the boards, too (Northeast held a 39-25 advantage on the glass).”
Malik Brooks netted 15 points off the bench for the Tritons, going 5-for-6 outside the arc.
“Brooks sparked us with his five threes,” Pilcher said. “That’s what he does pretty well.”
Ky Kramer and Dylan Travis each contributed 13 points for Iowa Central, while Javante Young added 10. As a team, the Tritons drained 11 of 25 triples.
“I think we’ve been making some progress, but we’re still just so darn inconsistent, which I didn’t expect at this time of the year, ” said Pilcher. “You’re always going to have some ups and downs during a game. When we hit our lows, though, they seem exceptionally low.”
Khapri Alston delivered a double-double for the Hawks (11-5) with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Lyle Hexom (15) and Sheed Fairley (13) were next in line offensively for Northeast Nebraska, which had six players score at least 10 points. The Hawks finished 15-for-26 at the charity stripe compared to just 7 of 13 for Iowa Central.
“Alston and (Jabbar) Washington are both going to be Div. I players,” Pilcher said. “No. 3 (Hexom) also stepped up and hit a couple of huge threes, which you don’t normally see from a 6-foot-9 guy.”
With the loss, the Tritons fell to 3-1 on Dennis Pilcher Court this year. Iowa Central was unable to avenge an earlier 86-81 defeat to Northeast Nebraska.
Following the holiday break, the Tritons return to ICCAC action Jan. 4 at Iowa Lakes (8-4). Tip is set for 3 p.m. in Estherville.