DES MOINES — One win. That’s all the Clear Lake girls basketball team wanted out of this year’s trip to the Class 3A state tournament. If the Lions got that, they could build from there.
But it was another letdown Tuesday afternoon for the Lions as their goal came up short once again in a 61-50 loss vs. Monticello.
“It hurts, but we gave it everything we had,” Clear Lake senior Jordyn Barragy said. “Us seniors out there, we knew that if went determined into the game the outcome would be ours, but it just didn’t turn out in our favor tonight. But we knew we gave it all that we had.”
What got them was Monticello’s play under the hoop.
Having to deal with 6-foot-2 sophomore center Jordan Kuper was enough of a challenge for the Lions, which are not the tallest team out there, but Barragy stood tall. Her offense and defense inside the post gave Clear Lake a shot, but the Lions just missed on too many opportunities when they were presented.
Barragy led the Lions with 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
“If you’re going to win a few games down here, you’ve got to have a big,” Clear Lake coach Bart Smith said. “I’ll tell you our big was really good – she’s only 5-9 or 5-10. She played a hell of a game, she played determined, she played with heart and she logged 31 minutes.
“To have 31 minutes and to have a double-double … we do a lot of good things and she’s going to be a hard one to replace.”
Barragy was hitting from the inside on her post moves and found her stroke outside with two 3-pointers. It’s just every time Clear Lake tried to make a run at the lead, the Panthers always had the answer.
Monticello ended the first half on a 10-4 run to take a 33-26 lead into the locker room.
The Lions kept chipping away at that lead in the third and got it down to a point, down 37-36, but a three-point play for Monticello by Lauren Ries end the run.
The lead was stretch to nine points, 51-42, with under five minutes to play, and Clear Lake came within three after back-to-back 3s by Chloe Mueller and Lexi Fasbender, but again, Ries and Monticello responded. That was as close as the Lions would get.
“We just missed some opportunities there in that third quarter with a couple missed layups and we just couldn’t pull away,” Smith said. “I thought we had the tempo we wanted and our style of play, we just couldn’t finish that.”
In addition to Barragy’s 20, Faber scored 12 and grabbed eight rebounds, and Fasbender added 10 points.
Ries led all scorers with 22 points, Kuper had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Taylor McDonald added 14 points.
With more disappointment at state, the Lions were left once again wanting more.
“It kind of makes me want it more and makes the team want it more,” Faber said. “I hope we learn from this and come back next year.”