ALLEMAN - There was no quit in the North Polk boys’ basketball versus Nevada in its Heart of Iowa Conference opener Friday in Alleman.


The Comets looked dead to rights down 18 with just over 6 ½ minutes left in regulation. But they roared all the way back to within four in the final minute before falling by a 60-56 score.


“We’re not looking for moral victories in the sense we still lost, but they could’ve easily hung it up,” North Polk head boys’ basketball coach Nick Wilkins said. “We’ve grown from Tuesday (against Perry). We’ve had three games this week — it’s been a long week — and I’m not sure on Tuesday if we were down 20 we would have just hung it up and just been ‘it’s good, let’s go onto the next day.’ That’s where we’ve already grown in just a week’s time.”


North Polk (0-3) fell at Perry and Iowa Falls-Alden in its first two games. The Comets were playing without their defensive anchor and top post threat in Caleb Lomica, who has an injured knee.


For the first 21 minutes of Friday’s game, the Comets looked like a team going through a rough stretch. But sparked by Colten Parkins, Cameron Markert and Cole Bouchard, North Polk suddenly snapped out of its funk and played like it was on a mission in the fourth quarter.


Bouchard hit two 3-pointers, Markert made a free throw and a basket and Parkins also scored a hoop to get North Polk within 10. After a Trent Stahl basket for Nevada, Bouchard hit another trifecta and Colten Parkins converted a basket and drew a foul to close the gap to seven with 3:19 remaining.


On Parkins’ basket, Nevada was also whistled for a technical foul. But Parkins was unable to make his free throw, Bouchard missed both technical shots and North Polk couldn’t capitalize on an offensive rebound.


That didn’t deter the Comets. They made a defensive stand and Parkins hit two free throws to get his team within five with 2:40 left.


Nevada buckled down defensively to halt North Polk on its next two drives and the Cubs made 1 of 2 foul shots on three straight possessions to push their lead to eight. Parkins ended the short Comet drought by converting the front end of two free throws with 40 seconds left.


After Parkins missed the second free throw, Mark Cox came down with an offensive rebound for North Polk. Cox kicked the ball out to Parkins for a clutch 3-pointer to get the Comets within 60-56 with 40 seconds left.


“That one possession I think he blocked out five different guys,” Wilkins said of Cox. “He’s willing to do it. He’s the guy that’ll go in there and he doesn’t care if he scores. He’s going to make a good pass, he’s going to get the offensive rebounds — he’s been a good surprise.”


But Stahl hit two free throws 10 seconds later and then Jack Higgins made a big defensive play for Nevada on the next North Polk drive by forcing a turnover with a big deflection off the Comets’ Clark Hood to ice the game.


North Polk only shot 32 percent from the field in the loss. But the Comets held Nevada to 3 of 20 shooting from 3-point range and they drew even with the bigger Cub team on the boards as both squads finished with 39 rebounds.


Parkins scored a game-high 23 points and also had eight rebounds, one assist and one block for North Polk in a losing effort. He scored 15 points in the second half.


“We’ve seen that from Colten since he was a freshman,” Wilkins said. “We’re just seeing it more consistently this year.”


Markert was also huge down the stretch. He tallied 14 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block.


“Cam’s got some experience from last year and he’s one of the kids on our team that’s put in the time,” Wilkins said. “All summer long, if you asked where Cam was, he was probably in a gym trying to get better.”


Bouchard totaled nine points and one assist and Cox had five points, two rebounds and two assists. Sam Carstensen chipped in five points and seven rebounds.


Nevada went to 1-1 with the win. Wilkerson totaled 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists; Luke Merfeld had 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks and Higgins delivered 12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks.


Nevada 63, North Polk 56


N 18 12 21 12 - 63


NP 8 10 17 21 - 56


Nevada (63) - Kyle Bauman 0-1 2-2 2, Trent Stahl 3-13 0-0 6, Devin See 1-3 0-2 2, Kody Kruschwitz 0-0 0-0 0, Jack Higgins 5-8 2-5 12, Tyler Sansgaard 3-12 0-0 9, Luke Merfeld 5-9 5-7 15, Jakob Strottman 0-1 0-2 0, Om’Unique Wilkerson 5-12 5-7 15, Ayden Rhodes 0-1 0-0 0, Jack Cahill 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 23-63 14-25 63. 3-point field goals (3): Sansgaard 3. Rebounds (39): Higgins 11. Assists (18): Wilkerson 6. Steals (9): Stahl 2, See 2, Sansgaard 2, Merfeld 2. Blocks (7): Merfeld 4. Fouls: 23.


North Polk (56) - Cole Bouchard 2-8 3-7 9, Austin McArthur 0-0 0-0 0, Clark Hood 0-5 0-0 0, Colten Parkins 8-15 6-9 23, Quinten Sommers 0-4 0-0 0, Cameron Markert 2-6 10-12 14, Quinton McArthur 0-3 0-0 0, Sam Carstensen 2-6 1-1 5, Mark Cox 2-3 0-0 5. Totals: 16-50 20-29 56. 3-point field goals (4): Bouchard 2, Parkins, Cox. Rebounds (39): Markert 10. Assists (10): Markert 4. Steals (2): Markert 2. Blocks (1): Parkins, Markert. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: Markert, Cox.


IOWA FALLS - North Polk couldn’t withstand a poor second quarter in a 66-59 road loss to Iowa Falls-Alden Nov. 30.


The Comets were outscored 25-14 in the second quarter as Iowa Falls-Alden built a 33-25 lead at the half. North Polk pulled within two after three quarters, but the Cadets put up 18 points in the fourth and kept the Comet offense in check to wrap up the victory.


North Polk was hurt by poor outside shooting. The Comets only made 3 of 27 3-pointers.


North Polk won the rebounding battle by a 32-29 margin. The Comets also had 11 steals defensively.


Colten Parkins put up 19 points, six rebounds, four steals, two assists and one block for North Polk. Cameron Markert tallied 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds and steals apiece.


Karson Sharar led Iowa Falls-Alden with 25 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.


Iowa Falls-Alden 66, North Polk 59


NP 11 14 21 13 - 59


IFA 8 25 15 18 - 66


North Polk (59) - Cole Bouchard 2-5 1-2 6, Austin McArthur 2-6 0-0 4, Clark Hood 1-7 3-6 6, Colten Parkins 8-15 3-4 19, Quinten Sommers 3-5 0-0 6, Cameron Markert 4-6 3-5 12, Quinton McArthur 0-0 0-0 0, Sam Carstensen 1-2 0-0 2, Mark Cox 1-7 2-4 4. Totals: 22-53 12-21 59. 3-point field goals (3): Bouchard, Hood, Markert. Rebounds (32): Parkins 6, Markert 6. Assists (13): Markert 7. Steals (11): Markert 6. Blocks (1): Parkins. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: A. McArthur.


Iowa Falls-Alden (66) - Devin Sheridan 2-4 3-6 7, Luke Rubow 0-1 0-1 0, Brody Steinfeldt 0-0 0-0, Karson Sharar 6-14 8-17 25, Brady Janssen 3-7 0-0 7, Tyjon Rose 1-4 1-2 3, Luke Haverkamp 3-6 0-0 6, Logan Aldinger 4-5 2-2 12, Tim Long 3-6 0-0 6. Totals: 22-47 14-28 66. 3-point field goals (8): Sharar 5, Aldinger 2, Janssen. Rebounds (29): Sharar 7. Assists (13): Rubow 4, Sharar 4. Steals (10): Sharar 3. Blocks (1): Long. Fouls: 17.


PERRY - The North Polk boys’ basketball team opened the season with a tough 58-47 loss at Perry Nov. 28.


The Comets fell behind by seven after one quarter and kept within that margin at the half, trailing 27-20. Perry outscored North Polk by seven again in the third quarter to double its lead and the Comets couldn’t recover.


North Polk shot well from the line (13 of 16) and had 10 offensive rebounds. The Comets shot 39 percent overall from the field and struggled from 3-point range, making just 2 of 10 shots from beyond the arc.


Colten Parkins paced North Polk with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Caleb Lomica put up 10 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and one steal.


Quinten Sommers and Cameron Markert each added four points for the Comets. Sommers also had six rebounds and one steal.


Perry 58, North Polk 47


NP 10 10 12 15 - 47


P 17 10 19 12 - 58


North Polk (47) - Cole Bouchard 1-2 0-0 3, Austin McArthur 0-2 2-2 2, Clark Hood 1-4 0-0 3, Colten Parkins 5-15 7-8 17, Quinten Sommers 2-5 0-0 4, Cameron Markert 2-3 0-0 4, Caleb Lomica 3-7 4-6 10, Sam Carstensen 1-2 0-0 2, Mark Cox 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 16-41 13-16 47. 3-point field goals (2): Bouchard, Hood. Rebounds (28): Lomica 9. Assists (12): Hood 3, Parkins 3. Steals (6): Markert 3. Blocks (3): Lomica 3. Fouls: 15.