Photo by Rob Howe
Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – Paired together on a pick and roll Karsyn Stratton and Calia Clubb present a difficult decision for defenders.
In Tuesday’s season opener no choice Solon made against the Clear Creek Amana combo seemed to be correct.
Clubb and Stratton used the pick and roll to perfection on multiple occasions while combining for 43 points in a 58-43 win over the Spartans in the season opener for both teams in Tiffin.
“We knew coming in that the pick and roll with Calia and I is going to be something that we are going to go after this whole year,” Stratton said. “She is an amazing finisher and we just went after that a lot.
Clubb and Stratton combined to score 13 points, mostly on pick and roll sets, during a 16-1 Clear Creek Amana to close the first half.
The duo scored the final 11 Clipper points of the second quarter as Clear Creek Amana turned a 12-12 tie into a 28-13 halftime cushion.
“If you go small on big what are you going to do?,” Clear Creek Amana coach PJ Sweeney questioned when asked about defending Stratton and Clubb on the pick and roll. “If you switch it, Calia is going to have a mismatch or even Karsyn is going to have a mismatch, then you can maybe slip it, so we can do a lot of different things out of that. In the first half Solon didn’t have an answer for that.”
Coming off a three-win season a year ago, Solon was inspired early tying the game at 12-all on a 3-pointer by sophomore Ava Stebral with 5:45 left in the first half.
“I liked the beginning of the game, I thought our intensity was awesome,” Solon coach Jamie Sith said. “I liked the way we played early, there were a couple of open 3s that we didn’t hit early that I thought kind of hurt.”
Clear Creek Amana responded with 5 points in the next 17 seconds to regain the lead.
Stratton scored on a drive off a Clubb ball screen and Meagan Harvey buried a 3-pointer 17 seconds later to give the Clippers a 17-12 lead.
The rest of the half belonged to Clubb and Stratton who outscored the Spartans 11-1 over the final four minutes of the first half.
“It was a difference between our screen and rolls,” Clubb said. “Karsyn and I have been working a lot in practice on working together to get open shots off of that. I think we picked up our enthusiasm and our energy and that helped a lot.”
The Clippers’ leading scorer the past three seasons, Stratton had a game-high 31 points and 13 rebounds.
Clubb added 12 points and 11 rebounds as Clear Creek Amana finished with a 48-26 rebounding edge that included 20 offensive rebounds.
“We put a huge emphasis on rebounding and offensive rebounding,” Clubb said. “That is mainly what we work on at practice.”
The 6-foot Clubb was a big part of the Clippers’ dominance on the boards grabbing four offensive rebounds while six of the 13 rebounds for Stratton were on the offensive end.
Clubb led Clear Creek Amana in rebounding last year with better than eight per game as a freshman while scoring 5.3 points per game.
In her first game this season Stratton saw a more polished post presence from her pick and roll partner.
“She is a beast,” Stratton said. “She is just super athletic and after basketball season last year she hit the gym a lot and you can really tell. I am so excited to see what she can do this year.”
Solon got as close as 11 twice in the third quarter but couldn’t cut the deficit to single digits.
The teams played to a draw in the second half, the difference in the final score the 16-1 run over the final 5:45 of the opening half.
“We came back in the second half and made a nice run and we were in the 10-point range for quite a while,” Smith said. “What I liked about that the most is last year’s that a 35-point or 40; point game. I’m not big into moral victories and we are trying to stay away from those but I thought that was a big deal and kind of a turning point for us as a program.”
Sophomore Kaia Holtkamp had 19 points and five rebounds to lead Solon while MaKinley Levin had nine points and five rebounds and Stebral had seven points.
Clear Creek Amana (58) – Whitney Traetow 2-9 0-0 4, Calia Clubb 5-11 2-2 12, Gabrielle Bedford 0-1 0-0 0, Gracie Downes 0-4 0-0 0, Karsyn Stratton 13-24 5-7 31, Meagan Harvey 3-11 0-0 7, Emily Sly 2-3 0-0 4, Team 25-63 7-9 58.
Solon (43) – Claire LaDage 0-0 1-2 1, Ava Stebral 2-7 1-2 7, Aira Foster 0-0 1-2 1, Kaia Holtkamp 7-17 4-6 19, MaKinley Levin 4-13 0-0 9, Jenna LaDage 0-1 1-2 1, Jada Buffington 1-3 0-0 3, Hilary Wilson 0-4 0-0 0, Ellyse Holubar 0-1 2-3 2, Team 14-46 10-17 43.
3-point field goals – CCA 1-3 (Traetow 0-1, Harvey 1-2), SOL 5-26 (Stebral 2-3, Holtkamp 1-8, Levin 1-8, J. LaDage 0-1, Buffington 1-3, Wilson 0-3). Rebounds – CCA 48 (Stratton 13), SOL 26 (Holubar 7). Turnovers – CCA 16, SOL 15. Total fouls – CCA 15, SOL 14. Fouled out – SOL (J. LaDage). Technical fouls – None.
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