Editor's note: This story was updated to change the spelling of Chelsey Holck.
Sara Faber has enjoyed an outstanding career for the Clear Lake basketball team.
The senior wing has scored 1,115 points in her first three seasons and is coming off a year that saw her garner first-team Class 3A all-state honors after leading the Lions in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.
Still, for Faber and fellow seniors Julia Merfeld and Lexi Fasbender, something is missing from a varsity career that includes a 60-12 overall record and two state tournament appearances.
In the two state tournament trips, the Lions could not get past the quarterfinal round, and last year ended one game short of a third appearance with a one-point loss in regional final play.
“That lit a fire under us,” Merfeld said.
Veteran head coach Bart Smith not only has the motivation garnered from last season, he has a deep and talented lineup that is going to pose problems for other teams.
Faber will again be the centerpiece.
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The 5-foot-8 senior averaged 18.2 points per game and shot 52.1 percent from the floor a season ago, but she was probably just as valuable on the defensive end where she collected nearly four steals a game.
“We have to play our best every game,” Faber said. “They’re all important.”
While every team on the Clear Lake schedule knows about Faber, Merffeld and Fasbender can be just as lethal.
Fasbender, who averaged nearly 10 points per game, is a dangerous outside shooter who set a school record last season with eight threes in one game.
Merfeld is the floor general from her point guard spot and is also a deep threat.
One of the differences that Smith expects this season is a more consistent inside presence from Chelsey Holck, Zoe Fasbender and Kaitlyn Vanderploeg.
All were sophomores a season ago and picked up valuable experience in a season that saw them combine to average 17.5 points per game.
Experienced depth in the guard court gives Smith the hope that Faber, Merfeld and Fasbender can push the tempo on both sides of the ball.
“We are a lot farther along at this point of the season,” Smith said. “We need to utilize our depth to show that we can win the big games.”