GARNER – After an unplanned break because of winter weather, the Clear Lake boys basketball team put its unbeaten season on the line with possibly its most difficult road trip of the regular season.

A stout Garner-Hayfield-Ventura team that had posted nine wins in its past 11 games was waiting for Clear Lake, but the Lions took control in the middle part of the game and escaped with the undefeated season intact with a 63-57 victory.

“We’ve got a mentality on the road,” Lions coach Jeremy Ainley said. “We really need to bring it and take care of business.”

The Lions got off to a slow start, particularly on the defensive end, as the Cardinals torched Clear Lake for 20 first-quarter points.

James Betz was on fire early for G-H-V with 10 first-quarter points, including a one-handed slam off of a rebound.

Tate Storbeck helped keep the Lions close enough until the defense started to take over in the second quarter.

The Lions edged out to a two-point halftime advantage at 31-29 and managed to build the lead to as many as 12 in the fourth quarter.

The three-point shot was key for Clear Lake (16-0) as three Lions netted three treys apiece.

Storbeck, who finished with 17, hit a pair of big threes in the fourth quarter while freshman Carson Toebe, who also finished with 17, hit two in the second-quarter surge.

Equally as important was the contribution of Jack Barragy, a reserve guard who finished with nine points for Clear Lake, all on threes.

“Jack is starting to have confidence in his shot,” Ainley said. “It would be big if he is another scoring option off the bench.”

Betz, who became the all-time leading rebounder in G-H-V (13-6) basketball on Saturday, finished with 30.

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