By Marianne Gasaway
Entering the final week of the regular season, the Clear Lake Lions are a perfect 17-0 and ranked number one in Class 3A. Last week the Lions cruised past North Central Conference rival Humboldt, 63-54.
Clear Lake was slated to complete their conference schedule with games on the road against Hampton-Dumont (Tuesday, Feb. 5) and Iowa Falls-Alden (Thursday, Feb. 7), then finishing up at home Tuesday, Feb. 12, against Algona.
CL 63, Humboldt 54
A scrappy Humboldt team did their best to upset the Lions Friday night, but Clear Lake prevailed, 63-54.
The Lions started strong defensively and rebounded well, but couldn’t knock down some open looks and ended the quarter with a slim 10-8 advantage. In the second quarter they got their offense rolling and built a double digit lead. However the home team hit some shots at the end of the quarter to cut the lead to six at the half, 27-21.
Three-pointers helped the Lions to extend their lead in the third quarter, as Drew Enke, Tate Storbeck and Carson Toebe successfully launched shots from beyond the arc. Clear Lake took a 45-34 lead heading into the final quarter.
Humboldt kept the outcome in question by hitting some big shots in the fourth quarter to stay within striking distance. “We did help them by missing free throws, as well,” added Coach Ainley.
Jaylen DeVries had a monster night for the Lions with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Enke and Storbeck scored 13 and 12 respectively.
Andrew Formanek played a solid game with seven points and 11 rebounds and Kody Kearns gave the team some good minutes with six points.
“It was a nice win in which we didn’t shoot it well, but were able to rely on our defense to grind out a win. We took care of the ball better and I was pleased with the effort,” said Ainley. “The win gave us a share of the conference title, but we are looking at our next goals now and continuing to build towards the playoffs. It will be nice to have a practice and iron out some things.”