The Chanute Blue Comets boys’ basketball team played the first game of the new campaign on Tuesday against the Caney Bullpups. Kam Koester led the Comets to a 61-45 with 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 made three-pointers while also shooting 8/9 from the free throw line.
“Kam’s a guy who knocks those shots and if he has an opportunity to shoot he has a green light to shoot when he’s open and that’s what he did,” Chanute’s head coach Devon Crabtree said.
Chanute had a great first half, leading 29-16 at halftime. They also out-rebounded the Bullpups while forcing more turnovers than they gave up.
They came out in the second half and played even better. They shot better from the field, deep, and the foul line, and only turned the ball over once. Koester heated up in the 4th quarter, draining four of four threes in the period. Caney’s top scorer Jack Billingsley also hit three threes of his own to fish the night with 15 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals.
“It was all about our defense. We knew coming in they could shoot it so we guarded the three point line and our transition defense did a lot of good things for us and we rebounded. So, all of those things added up and helped us get the win for sure,” Crabtree said.
Of course, Tuesday marks the first game of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chanute did not have fans in attendance, so some adjusting had to be made for everyone.
“It’s obviously really weird. It’s the first time I’ve been a part of something like that. You wish the fans were here for that environment and you want them to see, but we are fortunate enough to stream the games online,” Crabtree said, “Other than that, for me it’s almost helpful because I can coach a little more. It’s a little quieter so I’m always yelling and talking and helping the guys out.”