FOREST CITY – The Forest City boys basketball team has flown under the radar this season while amassing a 9-1 record.
While coaches tend to place greater emphasis on conference games, Indians coach Dan Rosacker was looking for something special on Saturday as the Indians entertained a quality Clear Lake squad in nonconference play.
Forest City responded with a spectacular defensive effort, particularly in the third quarter, and pulled away for a 74-54 victory to move to 10-1 on the season.
“(Clear Lake) is a very good offensive team,” Rosacker said. “This was all about the defense.”
Forest City broke the game open in the third quarter when it limited the Lions to one field goal and just three points.
By contrast, the Indians were 8-of-11 from the floor and scored 20 in the same period to balloon a four-point halftime advantage to 21 heading to the fourth quarter.
The Forest City defensive effort also frustrated Lions senior guard Zach Lester, who entered the game with second-best points per game average in the state at better than 31 per game.
Lester, who is generally successful driving through the lane, frequently had his drives thwarted by Forest City’s Sam Snyder and Ryan Theel – who both list at 6-foot-6 – among others.
“Avery Busta gets lost in the shuffle,” Rosacker said. “He is so quick.”
Busta, a 5-foot-8 junior, occupied the point in the Indians’ zone defense and was consistently able to slow the Lions’ dribble penetration.
Snyder finished with 17 points to lead a balanced scoring attack for Forest City.
Chris Jermeland tallied 11 points while Micah Lambert added 11 points off the bench.
Busta and Theel had nine points apiece.
The Indians were on their game again in a 53-36 win over Lake Mills on Friday.
Snyder led a balanced Forest City team with 13 points, Theel scored 12 and Micah Lambert tossed in 10. Also, Busta added seven and Zach Miller had six.
On Tuesday, Jan. 2, Forest City was handed its first loss of the season in a 58-56 defeat vs. Bishop Garrigan.
Snyder paced the Indians with 24 points while Busta had 14 points and four assists.