TIFFIN– Matt Haas’ Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers picked up their third win of the season Tuesday night (Dec. 20) at home against the Golden Eagles of Mid-Prairie. The Creek girls plucked the Hawks 52-46 in overtime.
Creek jumped out to a 10-2 lead with a pair of buckets from senior Maliah Fligg and one each from junior Tara Walls, senior Caitlin Wnek and freshman Hanna Stokes. CCA took the first period 13-7. A tie at 13 in the second prompted Haas to call a time out, followed by Fligg sinking three field goals consecutively. At the half, Creek was up 28-19.
The third period started out on an ugly note as the Hawks put in two buckets and the Clippers suffered from turnovers and cold shooting.
“When you turn the ball over nine times in a quarter, it’s kinda hard to score,” Haas said. “You know, we wouldn’t even get a shot off and we come back down and get back-to-back threes (by Walls and Fligg) on two consecutive trips.” The Clippers took a 37-30 lead into what was supposed to be the final eight minutes of the game.
Fligg put her 6’1” height to full advantage inside and put up three baskets to open the period. The 43-33 lead quickly deteriorated quickly in the final two minutes however, leading to a 43-43 tie at the buzzer.
“Mid-Prairie made a big push there in the fourth quarter, but our girls bounced back in overtime. They didn’t give up, they didn’t hang their heads,” Haas noted.
Creek opened the extra period by getting the tip-off and taking the ball to the paint for no less than four shot attempts and rebounds before a foul sent Walls to the charity stripe for two more points. With a hair-thin 45-44 lead, Wnek hit one of two from the line. The rest of CCA’s points would also come from the foul line as Walls, Strub and Wnek hit their free throws for the win.
“I thought our girls were really resilient, credit Mid-Prairie, they battled back and forth. You’d think our girls hadn’t been in that position before, but they learned from it earlier in the year and it paid off tonight,” said Haas.
Fligg led all with 28 points, adding to what is shaping up to be a stellar season for her.
“Our goal tonight was to establish her inside at the post, get her going, and that was going to help open up our outside shooters,” the coach said. Haas added he knew the Hawks would pack their zone in on her, but was counting on his crew to get the ball in to her. “She’s come a long way, she’s done some good things.” The coach also credited her teammates for not only getting Fligg the ball, but having the smarts to realize when she was the best option. “A couple times we forced it, but I thought overall we did a really good job with it.”
Walls had 11 points on the night, Strub added five and Wnek and Stokes put up four each. The squad improved to 3-6 overall, 1-3 in the WaMaC heading into the Christmas break. The team will entertain Independence, West Branch and CPU at home on Tuesday, Jan. 3; Thursday, Jan. 5 and Friday, Jan. 6.
“We’ve done some good things and we just want to build on that and carry that over after the Christmas break” Haas said.