CL girls back on track

(Above) Clear Lake’s Chelsey Holck looks for an outlet pass during Saturday’s game against Forest City.  Holck came off the bench to connect on three of four three-point shots.  She finished with 15-points for the night.  -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy

by Marianne Gasaway

The Clear Lake girls basketball team started the new year by ending a three-game losing streak and getting back on track with wins over Humboldt and Forest City.  The Lions, ranked fourth in Class 3A, are now 8-3 overall and 5-1 in the North Central Conference.  The Lions, along with Algona and Iowa Falls-Alden, are tied atop the conference.

This week the team will host Hampton-Dumont Friday night and face Clarion-Goldfield-Dows on Tuesday, Jan. 15, in Clear Lake.

CL 66, Humboldt 20

The Lions were back to business on Friday, Jan. 4, at Humboldt.  Clear Lake outscored the Wildcats 21-5 in the second quarter to take a 32-12 lead into the halftime break.

“I thought we played well at times.  We are starting to look for consistency in all four quarters now as we progress toward the end of the season,” said Coach Bart Smith.  “We had a slow first quarter, but we were able to get the ball where we needed it, to be effective against their zone.”

Sara Faber put in 20 points and Julia Merfeld had 11 to lead the Lions.  Mikayla Vanderploeg and Kaitlyn Vanderploeg finished with nine and eight points respectively. Balanced scoring continued down the lineup with Lexi Fasbender putting in six points, Ali Maulsby five, Zoe Fasbender four, and Chelsey Holck three points.

Kaitlyn Vanderploeg and Holck each pulled down seven rebounds to lead the team.

“I was pleased to see us rebound better.  That was a focus over break and we did a nice job of that,” said Coach Smith.  Overall, the Lions had 34 rebounds, compared to 19 for Humboldt.

CL 66, Forest City 53

The Lions had another solid game rebounding and came away with a 66-53 non-conference win over Forest City (6-6) Saturday.

“It was another solid game for us rebounding,” said Coach Bart Smith.  However, the coach said he saw aspects of the game which he will be focusing on in practice.

“Our half court defense in the first half wasn’t where it needs to be.  They were getting high percentage shots and we weren’t protecting the paint.  I’ve got to do a better job in practice of getting them to understand that this is what wins games.  This has always been a focus for us but it looks we need more attention to that in practice.”

The Lions had the lead throughout the first half, but the Indians kept it close.  Clear Lake’s first quarter 22-15 lead was just 37-34 at halftime.

Better defense in the second half helped the Lions pull away.

“Offensively we were pretty efficient.  I was happy with how attacked their match up zone and got some good looks out of it,” said Coach Smith.

Sara Faber led the Lions with 21 points and 10 rebounds.  Chelsey Holck came off the bench with a hot hand.  She connected on three of four three-point attempts and finished with 15 points. Lexi Fasbender put in nine points, Julia Merfeld eight, and Zoe Fasbender had six points.  Kaitlyn Vanderploeg put in three points and Mikayla Vanderploeg and Ali Maulsby rounded out the scoring with two points.

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