CLEAR LAKE | For Clear Lake senior basketball players Chloe Mueller, Gretchen Jones and Jordyn Barragy, the Lions’ 41-36 win over Iowa Falls-Alden on Tuesday was just another part of the mark they will leave when their careers finally come to end.
With the win, Clear Lake clinches the North Central Conference title outright, and for the Lion seniors, it marks the third conference title they have won or shared in the four-year run.
“This was one of our goals from the beginning of the year,” Mueller said.
“We owe all of our success to coach (Bart) Smith and our teammates,” Barragy added.
Ironically, the Lions’ clinching performance, while solid on defense, was not one of the better offensive efforts of the season.
Clear Lake appeared to be well on its way to a lopsided win after a solid second quarter allowed the Lions to take a nine-point advantage into the halftime locker room.
Cold shooting in the second half allowed the Cadets to pull within two points midway through the fourth quarter before a Barragy layup and a pair of free throws by sophomore Sara Faber helped the Lions secure the victory.
In the second half, Clear Lake shot just 20 percent from the floor.
The Lions made just one three-point goal in the final half, although it was a big one as Zoe Fasbender nailed a buzzer beater at the end of the third quarter.
Faber was the lone Clear Lake player to reach double figures in scoring as she totaled 18 on the night.
Faber added eight rebounds.
Barragy and Lexi Fasbender had seven points apiece.
Following the contest, Smith had high praise for his senior leadership.
“They have been great leaders and great role players,” Smith said. “They understand the strengths of the freshmen and sophomores.”
Clear Lake (18-2) has two regular season games remaining before opening Class 3A regional play on Feb. 10.
The Lions travel to St. Edmond on Friday before concluding regular-season play on Tuesday with a home game against Webster City.