Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – After two straight weeks of practice any basketball player is ready for a return to game action.
Clear Creek Amana senior forward Nolan Schwarting was certainly ready for break from what had become a seemingly nonstop string of practice sessions.
“Having to guard TJ (Bollers) every day at practice it’s not very fun with him being so huge,” Schwarting said. “It was good to see somebody else.”
After winter weather-related postponements caused Clear Creek Amana to go 13 days without a game Schwarting and his Clipper teammates finally got a chance to take out their frustration on someone else on Monday.
Schwarting scored a game-high 20 points as Clear Creek Amana downed South Tama 67-56 in a WAMAC West Division makeup in Tiffin.
“It was good to get out and play,” Schwarting said. “We’ve been playing against each other for two weeks and getting chippy so it was fun to see somebody else.”
Christian Withrow added 11 points and Nick O’Connor had 10 as Clear Creek Amana improved to 9-4 and 6-2 in WAMAC West Division play while South Tama dropped to 0-15 and 0-9.
“We needed to play,” Clear Creek Amana coach Brandon Clubb said. “I told them after the game there are no style points in winning but the concern level has to be raised now because on paper that is the easiest team we have left.”
Cold and snowy weather has thrown a wrench into the schedule for many teams across the state.
Clear Creek Amana was among the teams with the longest weather-induced layoff.
The Clippers last played on January 15, a 61-57 win over Williamsburg.
Since that Tuesday win over the Raiders it had been strictly practice for Clear Creek Amana and sometimes not even that as weather kept the Clippers out of the gym entirely several days.
“It’s a little frustrating when you can’t get in the gym,” Clear Creek Amana sophomore Christian Withrow said. “We’ve missed a few practices and we’ve missed quite a few games which is frustrating at the time but we have to get ready to go now because we have a couple of weeks with four games.”
Early on Monday the Clippers didn’t look like a team coming off a nearly two-week layoff.
Clear Creek Amana jumped to a 28-11 lead after the opening quarter.
“They came out in a zone and we kind of shot them out of it,” Schwarting said. “We hit shots early and got a lead.”
Schwarting scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the opening half as Clear Creek Amana took a 39-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Clear Creek Amana struggled to put South Tama away.
The Trojans outscored Clear Creek Amana in the third quarter and got as close as 53-44 on a basket by Keith Keahna with 5:23 left.
Clear Creek Amana responded by scoring the next four points on a Kaden McAreavy basket and a steal and layup by O’Connor to push the lead back to 13.
“At times we hit little rough spots but that’s reasonable for any team that hasn’t played in a while,” Withrow said. “We pulled through when we needed to and got a win.”
Kaden McAreavy had nine points, Mike Potter had seven and TJ Bollers had six for the Clippers.
Keith Keahna had 17 points in the second half and finished with 19 to pace South Tama.
“That’s what I told them it’s like the first two weeks of the season where we are sick of each other and we need to go out and play,” Clubb said. “It was good to go out and do that today but I wanted them to understand that can’t be our level we have to go out and play at a higher level.”
Clear Creek Amana (67) – Nolan Schwarting 20, Christian Withrow 11, Nick O’Connor 10, Kaden McAreavy 9, Mike Potter 7, TJ Bollers 6, Tyler Schrepfer 2, Brock Reade 2
South Tama (56) – Keith Keahna 19, Eli Keahna 9, Matt Wiese 9, Sonny DeMarce 9, Tyrin Lasley 4, Bishop Chavez 4, Lane Lekin 2