CLEAR LAKE — The mark of every good team to come through Clear Lake in the past few years has been the play of its defense, and again Friday night in a North Central Conference tilt vs. Humboldt, the Lions flexed their muscle.

Behind 30 forced turnovers, third-ranked (3A) Clear Lake had it all working as it strolled past the Wildcats 62-33.

“The more turnovers we force, it gives us more emphasis for us offensively, gives us more points, and gives us more of a chip on our shoulder that we can play defense and convert it on the offensive side as well,” Clear Lake senior Jordyn Barragy said.

It was with the help of Barragy, who’s in her third year starting for the Lions, and fellow senior and three-year starter Chloe Mueller that the Lions were able to find traction on both ends of the floor. This was of course after Sara Faber doing what she does and scoring a game-high 19 points.

But the pair of experienced seniors did more than their fair share as each scored 12 points. Mueller was the threat from deep with three 3-pointers and Barragy a force under the basket as all but two points — a pair of free throws — came right under the hoop.

“I thought Barragy and Chole were really good tonight,” Clear Lake coach Bart Smith said. “Obviously, Sara, she’s all over the place, but you don’t want to forget them. … They came out and looked for their shots, and Jordyn was very aggressive in the post and finished.”

On the defensive end, the Lions used their typical full-court pressure to generate most of their offense. Clear Lake limited the Wildcats to five points in the second and four in the third.

Much of the remainder of the Lions’ scoring came from second-point chances off offensive rebounds.

When put together, it equaled another quality performance for Clear Lake, which moved to 7-0.

“We really enjoy our full-court defense,” Barragy said. “That really gets us going as a team and we have a deep bench, which is really good for us as well. We have just as many girls off the bench that can score as well as anyone who that starts.”

Ali Maulsby gave the Lions good minutes off the bench as she added seven points, Lexi Fasbender had seven of her own and Gretchen Jones added five.

Sydney Lane led Humboldt with 10.

The Lions now turn their attention to a pair of big games before the break — one at No. 8 (4A) Mason City on Monday, and the other at Iowa Falls-Alden, which has one loss in conference play, on Tuesday.

“It’s been so much fun,” Barragy said of the Lions’ start. “It’s a breath of fresh air actually, and we just hope we can continue this out of Christmas break and onto the rest of the season as well.”


Sports Reporter

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