Scheels Athlete of the Week: Clear Creek Amana's Withrow a Matchup Problem For Opposing Defenders

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Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

TIFFIN – Defining the role Christian Withrow plays within the Clear Creek Amana offensive can get a little tricky.

Depending on who you ask or how you view the game Withrow is either a guard that can post or a post with a handle.

One thing is for sure, Withrow has become a major matchup problem for opponents.

“He’s kind of a tweener and we play him at the post but he never posts up,” Clear Creek Amana coach Brandon Clubb said of Withrow. “We get him in a lot of screening action and get him down hill. As a staff we always look to see who is guarding him from the other team because that can kind of dictate what we do with him and other guys.”

At 6-foot-2 Withrow has the size and length to score in the paint but also has the creativity and ballhandling skills to beat a bigger defender off the dribble.

Call him a guard if you like or maybe a point forward but the bottom line is Withrow can score.

The junior leads Clear Creek Amana (11-4) in scoring and has the Clippers riding a three-game winning streak that has already matched last season’s win total.

“He is extremely crafty at putting the ball in the hole,” Clubb said. “Sometimes you watch him do it and you say ‘how did that happen’ but he does it every single night for us.”

His diverse offensive arsenal makes Withrow the perfect centerpiece for a free-flowing Clipper offense that lacks the restrictions of set positions.

The position-less style of basketball fits the Clippers to perfection and with his ability to create mismatches for defenders Withrow is the prime player to spearhead the attack.

“No one has a set position,” Withrow said. “We all flow, we all do our thing and because of that I think we are hard to guard. Clubb is a great supporter of the way we play and really allows us to play the style that fits us.”

Withrow averaged 11.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game last season as a sophomore ranking in the top three on the team in all three categories.

After growing several inches in the offseason Withrow has become the key to a Clipper resurgence that has the Clippers chasing their best season under Clubb.

“Growing was an aspect of it along with getting in the weight room, improving my vertical and all of that stuff,” Withrow said. “Those are huge things that have allowed me to keep improving.”

Withrow is averaging a team-high 16.1 points per game while shooting 51 percent from the field.

The specialty of Withrow is putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim, evident by his increased trips to the foul line.

Last year Withrow attempted 45 free throws. This season he has already made 54 (in 71 attempts) while shooting 76 percent from the charity stripe.

“I figured out what my strengths are and I’m playing to those strengths,” Withrow said. “I’m not trying to create new strengths, I’m always developing other skills but I’m sticking to the basics and what puts points on the board and helps the team win.”

Withrow has scored in double figures in 14 of 15 games this season with four 20-point performances but is more than just a scorer.

He plays the role of facilitator for an offense that has three players scoring in double figures and four averaging more than 8.4 points per game.

“They do a great job of playing that position-less basketball,” Clubb said. “We have guys that can knock down the 3 and we do a good job of getting to the rim and having options off of that.”

Withrow is averaging a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game and leads the Clippers with 3.1 assists.

For the Clippers it’s all about finding the hot hand.

“We know who is who and we know what our teammates can do and we trust each other with the ball,” Withrow said. “We do have our set offenses that we run every now and then but we play so well together, we have such good chemistry that we can go out there and do our thing.”

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