Pocahontas Too Much for Lions

Clear Lake's Sara Faber reaches for a rebound over Pocahontas Area's Elle Ruffridge, center, and Olivia Ahlers, left, during Class 3A quarterfinal action in last year's state tournament.

TIM HYNDS, For The Globe Gazette

Sara Faber has the ball at the top of the paint, she rounds the left edge of bodies before she slips a layup to the top corner for a score.

Faber would finish Tuesday's season opener against Charles City as the Lions’ top scorer, going 11 for 18 with 23 points, including three 3-pointers. This is nothing new.

“She had a great night (Tuesday),” head coach Bart Smith said. “We’re trying to get her to see the whole game. She’s very fast with the ball, she did some really good finishes by the basket and she’s going to learn here pretty soon that defenses are going to focus on her.”

At 5-foot-8, Faber doesn’t have a dauntingly tall stature, but she looks taller on the court, and maybe that’s because she stands above the rest.

Last year, Faber led the team with 296 points, averaging 11.8 points per game, and she made 10 3-pointers. Tuesday she already made 30 percent of that in one game.

And she’s going to get better with time, which is scary to any opponent, because she’s only a sophomore with Clear Lake-black-colored braces as she grins from ear-to-ear.

“It was really fun; it felt good to be back,” Faber said.

It’s not Faber’s first time to step into the gym as a varsity athlete this year. She was the Lions’ top hitter on the varsity volleyball team, averaging 1.69 kills per set as she capped off the year at 147 kills. But basketball is something special, and on Tuesday, she was in her element.

“It’s more fast-paced; it’s different from the other sports that I play. I kind of like running and doing something all the time,” Faber said.

Clear Lake starts the season at No. 3 in Class 3A after losing in the state quarterfinals last year. Faber is one of four sophomores on the team, along with Lexi Fasbender, who also scored in double figures on opening night.

The team also presents a strong senior presence with starters Gretchen Jones, Jordyn Barragy and Chloe Mueller. With the two experienced classes dominating the mix, there’s potential for a return to the state tournament. But for right now, Faber, like many others, is looking to build off each game.

“I’ve been shooting more and just kind of putting myself in real-life situations as trying to focus on that,” Faber said. “[Goal is] to work together more and just keep winning.”

​Reach sports reporter Leah Vann at 641-421-0526.

Follow her on twitter at @GG_LeahVann

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