The Clear Lake girls showed Charles City why they are an early season favorite in Class 3A. The Lions sunk the Comets, 63-27 in their season opener Tuesday, Nov. 26.
“It was good to get that first win to start the season. We see some good and some things we need to improve on,” said Head Coach Bart Smith. “I was pleased with our defensive pressure and our balanced scoring.”
The Lions jumped out to a 14-5 first quarter lead and never looked back. At halftime the margin was 37-10.
As expected, the Lions have multiple offensive weapons. Three players finished in double figures and seven of nine who saw action scored.
Senior Sara Faber led the way with 16 points, including three three-pointers. Juniors Darby Dodd and Chelsey Holck were next with 12 and 11 points respectively. Dodd drained four of seven three-point attempts, while Holck was five for nine from the post position. Dodd was the team leader in rebounds with six, while Holck grabbed five.
“We have a lot of girls who can put the ball in the peach basket this year and I was particularly pleased to see us get buckets from our post players,” said Smith. “In the past we have relied heavily on our guards to produce points for us, but this year we have girls like Chelsey Holck, Zoe Fasbender, and Kaitlyn VanderPloeg (who is injured right now) to give some quality minutes at that position.”
Lexi Fasbender finished with nine points, Jaden Ainley six, and Ali Maulsby five. Zoe Fasbender rounded out the scoring with four points and four rebounds.
The Lions kept the Comets off balance all night with their quickness. Twenty-five steals resulted in multiple easy baskets for the Lions. Maulsby had a team-high five steals. Lexi Fasbender, Holck and Ainley had four apiece.
Despite holding the Comets to just five-points in each of the first three quarters, Coach Smith said there is still room for improvement for this team’s defense.
“We still need to get better at some little things on defense. We need to fix those before we get into conference play,” he said. “Overall, (it was) nothing great, but I’m pleased with where we are at right now to start the season.”
This week the Lions traveled to West Fork Tuesday and will be at home Friday, Dec. 6, to start North Central Conference action against Clarion-Goldfield-Dows. Monday, Dec. 9, the Lions take on county rival Mason City, ranked number 13 in Class 4A, on the road.
Clear Lake was ranked fourth in the Iowa Girls High School pre-season basketball ratings for Class 3A. Bishop Heelan, North Polk and Dike-New Hartford, all State qualifiers last season, comprise the top three. The only other NCC team in the ratings in Algona, coming in at number seven.