MOUNT VERNON– A slow start Tuesday night turned into a big win for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers girls basketball team. The Clippers pulled-off a 47-45 win in overtime in the Lady Mustangs’ stable.
A dismal first period found the Clippers struggling, shooting only 1-11 from the floor, and trailing 8-2. CCA narrowed the gap to 3 points, but watched as the Mustangs galloped away on a 12-3 run late in the quarter. Mount Vernon had the 21-9 advantage at the halftime break.
“I thought early in the game we were a bit nervous and that showed on the offensive end,” coach Matt Haas said, noting the ladies were rushing their shots. “At halftime, we told the girls, ‘let our defense fuel our offense.’ We needed to pick up our intensity on the defensive end a little bit and do a better job on the boards.” Haas said if they did those two things, and their shots started to fall, they would be right back in the game.
In the third the Clippers found the range on their shots but still trailed 34-22. “We really picked up our intensity on defense,” Haas said about the fourth period, but CCA was still in the hole 38-24 with 6:04 left to play.
Then, the switch was flipped and the Clippers pounded-out a 16-2 run to tie the game and force the overtime period. “Midway through the fourth the basket seemed as big as an ocean for the girls, and our shots started dropping.” The Mustangs almost got the win, but a 3-pointer with 11 seconds to go missed its mark.
Tara Walls was the hero of the night, sinking a 3-bomb with 2:45 remaining. Her shot put the Clippers ahead, 43-40. “From there, we were able to knock down our free throws to earn the win,” Haas said. The victory made a clean sweep for CCA as the freshmen won 37-35 earlier in the evening, and the junior varsity squad picked up a 61-48 win.
“To come away with a three-game sweep of Mount Vernon says something about our girls and the things they can accomplish when they work together as a team. I’m proud of the fact that the girls never gave up. They continued to battle and in the end they were rewarded for their effort,” said Haas.
Maliah Fligg led the Clippers with 15 points while Hannah Mougin and Walls had 10 each. Mougin led in 3-pointers with three of the long bombs to her credit. Mallory Neubauer had 5 points, Hanna Stokes put in 3, and Kelly Noska had 2, as did Kelsey Hall. Walls and Neubauer had one 3-pointer each. Walls and Fligg both knocked down five free throws as well.
On the boards, Walls pulled down 11 of the team’s 33 defensive rebounds while Fligg grabbed four offensive rebounds.
The team is on the road Friday, Nov. 30, in Dyersville to take on Beckman Catholic and returns home Saturday, Dec. 1, for an afternoon/evening freshman/sophomore, junior varsity and varsity matinee against Iowa City Regina. The action starts at noon with the varsity scheduled for 6 p.m.