Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – Clear Creek Amana junior Meagan Harvey was told to work on her perimeter skills during the offseason, and it was obvious with her performance against Dyersville Beckman on Friday that her work is paying off.
Harvey made a team-high three 3-point baskets and finished with 13 points as the Clippers hung on to win 51-44 at home.
The victory was Clear Creek’s fifth in a row and improved its record to 8-4 overall and 8-3 in the WaMac Conference.
“Last season, I was in the paint a lot more as a (forward) and center, but this summer I worked a lot more on my outside game because I thought that’s kind of where I could be a presence as well,” Harvey said. “I wanted to be that multi-dimensional player, so that’s a lot of what I’ve been working on lately.”
Harvey’s second 3-pointer in the game came with 1 minute, 18 seconds left in the second quarter, and with the Clippers clinging to a 19-16 lead. Her trey was the only points that Clear Creek scored in the second quarter as Dyersville Beckman trimmed a 19-6 deficit after the first quarter to just 22-19 at halftime.
“We were struggling there in that second quarter,” said Clear Creek coach P.J. Sweeney. “They kind of run that two-one-two (zone) and they’re blitzing and they’re trapping everywhere and we just struggled to handle it a little bit. I think we became a little bit impatient there where it was one pass shot, one pass shot and we kind of went into what they were trying to do, up tempo us and make us have quick shots.
“And then towards the tail end of that second quarter she hits that big three, and I don’t think until then we had scored. So that gave us a little bit of momentum going in at halftime. We made a couple adjustments coming out and that kind of paid off a little bit.”
The Clippers started the third quarter on a 9-2 scoring that run included an old-fashioned 3-point play by junior Karsyn Stratton that expanded the lead to 29-21 with 2:48 left in the quarter.
The lead swelled to 15 points, but the Blazers closed the game on a 9-1 scoring run.
But it wasn’t enough as the Clippers kept their winning streak alive.
“I came in the locker room and I don’t know how excited they were, but it’s like, hey girls, we just won a WaMac game,” Sweeney said. “You should be excited, and they are. But five games in a row, we’ve got the ball rolling, and hopefully, we can keep it going.”
A number of factors have contributed to the winning streak, but one thing stands out to Harvey.
“I think it’s mostly our team chemistry,” Harvey said. “We work real well together and our defense has been a lot more improved. Our rebounding could have used some work tonight, but it has been real good lately. So I think that plays a big part as well, second-chance shots for us and taking that away from the other team.”
Stratton led the Clippers in scoring with 21 points, including 10 in the first quarter. The fact that defenses make stopping her a priority allows for Harvey to get open looks on the perimeter.
“They definitely look at her stats and see that she’s an amazing player and it creates good opportunities for everybody,” Harvey said of Stratton, who entered Friday’s game averaging 18.2 points per contest. “So it’s good to have her on the team.”
Dyersville Beckman only made 11-of-52 field-goal attempts, but compensated by making 18-of-22 free throw attempts.
Harvey’s performance on Friday was efficient and timely. So often when the Clippers needed a basket she came through.
“They came at big moments,” Sweeney said. “We were having those struggles and those lulls and every single time we needed a basket she came up big.”
Stratton missed some shots that she normally makes, but she kept attacking the basket, which is what Sweeney wants her to do.
“She found a way and she’s going to keep on being aggressive and she’s going to get her points,” Sweeney said of Stratton. “And for us to win some of these games, there are times when she has to do that.
“But a game like tonight, Meagan stepped up and said, hey, I can do this, too, which is great to see.”
Sweeney praised Harvey for embracing the challenge to improve her perimeter skills.
“She works extremely hard,” Sweeney said of Harvey. “She started as a freshman and now she’s a junior. She keeps on improving, but she keeps on putting in a lot of hard work for it.”
Dyersville Beckman (44) – Sydney Arens4-9 2-2 13, Sydney Steffen 3-16 2-2 9, Jess Lueken 0-2 1-2 1, Olivia Pirc 2-13 3-4 76, Tara Hansel 1-6 2-2 4, Paige McDermott 0-3 5-6 5, Ashley Engelken 1-1 2-2 4, Haley LeGrand 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 11-52 18-22 44.
Clear Creek Amana (51) – Karsyn Stratton 9-22 3-3 21, Gracie Downes 1-2 0-0 2, Meagan Harvey 4-10 2-4 13, Whitney Traetow 2-5 0-0 4, Calia Clubb 2-2 1-4 5, Allie Rummelhart 1-3 0-0 2, Morgan Etscheidt 2-6 0-0 4, Lydia Banwart 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-50 6-11 51.
3-point goals – Dyersville Beckman 4 (Arens 3, Steffen); Clear Creek Amana 3 (Harvey 3). Fouls – Dyersville Beckman 10, Clear Creek Amana 16.