CLEAR LAKE – An undefeated Clear Lake boys basketball team may be one of the biggest surprises of the boys basketball season to this point.
A Forest City team that entered play on Saturday at 9-2, despite heavy graduation losses from a season ago, may very well be the other surprise.
The two squared off Saturday, Jan. 5 in a game that lived up to the hype.
The Lions rode 10 three-pointers to help them overcome a stingy Indians defense for a 67-55 win that helped them improve to 10-0 on the season.
“They are a good team,” Clear Lake coach Jeremey Ainley said of Forest City. “They have good guards. This was a great test for us.”
Clear Lake’s uncharacteristic offensive struggles were largely the result of a disciplined Forest City guard court that put a lot of pressure on the Lions’ ball handlers.
The Lions also had to overcome some foul difficulties in the front line that took away from the offensive balance that has emerged this season.
Clear Lake managed to squeeze out a 10-point halftime lead but struggled to put away the Indians until senior guard Drew Enke helped spark a 14-4 run midway through the fourth quarter.
Tate Storbeck led Clear Lake with 20 points, including five threes.
“I don’t think we could predict that we would be here,” Storbeck said of Clear Lake’s hot start. “We need to take it day by day.”
Carson Toebe, a freshman guard, added three treys and 18 points while Enke finished with 14.
Micah Lambert led all scorers with 20 points – including 14 in the second half – for Forest City.
Avery Busta added 13.
“Avery handles things so well,” Indians coach Dan Rosacker said of his senior guard. “He plays great defense. He’ll do whatever we ask of him.”
The Bulldogs' late comeback attempt fell short as the Indians picked up a one-point victory Friday, Jan. 4.
The final score was Forest City 61, Lake Mills 60.
Lake Mills trailed by eight points at halftime before outscoring Forest City by seven the rest of the way.
Avery Busta had 19 points and dished out four assists for Forest City. Noah Miller, a sophomore, had 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds and also had four assists and two steals. Junior Riley Helgeson scored 10 points and had nine rebounds.
Chett Helming led Lake Mills with 25 points. He also had seven rebounds and three assists. Caleb Bacon had seven points, 13 rebounds and four assists for the Bulldogs.
Forest City (9-3) returns home to host Eagle Grove (1-10) on Tuesday, Jan. 8. They travel to Garner-Hayfield-Ventura (8-3) on Friday, Jan. 11.