CLEAR LAKE – When the Clear Lake boys basketball team is able to get out and run, there are not a lot of teams that can keep up.
On Monday, the Lions were in need of a strong all-around performance, and that is exactly what they got in an 84-69 victory over New Hampton.
“We stressed getting back to the basics,” Lions coach Jeremey Ainley said. “We got out and ran and got some guys to hit some shots.”
One Lion who stepped up big against the Chickasaws was senior guard Zach Lester.
Lester, who entered the contest needing 21 points to become the fifth 1,000-point scorer in Clear Lake boys basketball history, went off for 35, including 26 in the second half.
Lester was 12 of 17 from the field and 9 of 11 from the free-throw line.
“It has been in the back of my mind,” Lester said of reaching the 1,000-point mark. “But I was really trying to get my teammates involved.”
Clear Lake broke out to a 14-0 lead after the first 3:04 of the game.
New Hampton, though made a run to pull within two at one point and trailed by eight at intermission.
Lester took over the third quarter as he went 5-of-6 from the floor and tallied 15 points in the stanze.
His 1,000th point came on a layup and sparked a Clear Lake run that put the Lions up by double digits for the remainder of the contest.
Lester had a lot of help from the rest of the Lions as two other Clear Lake players reached double figures and two more finished with eight.
Drew Enke scored 11 points in the second half and finished with 16 while Sam Pedelty added 11.
Tate Storbeck and Jared Penning had eight apiece.
Tyler Rentschler paced New Hampton with 17.
Clear Lake (7-4) returns to conference action on Friday when it plays host to St. Edmond.
The game marks the beginning of a three-game conference home stand that will be crucial for the Lions.
New Hampton fell to 6-6.