Indians win boys’ season opener


By Michael Buhler

The Clearwater Indians boys basketball team played solid defense and made a double-digit halftime lead stand up on the way to a 41-26 win over the Belle Plaine Dragons in last Friday’s season opener at Clearwater.
“The first game is always one of the most nerve-wracking games of the season,” Clearwater coach Dustin Clevenger said. “Belle Plaine graduated a bunch of great players and had a new coach, so we were really unsure what we would see. I was really happy with the effort our kids played with throughout the night. It was as good defensively as I could have asked for after a couple issues early.”
Clearwater (1-0) held the Dragons to just 21.3 percent shooting (10-for-47) from the field and limited Belle Plaine to just five points in the middle two periods.
“We held Belle Plaine scoreless in the second quarter and through most of the third,” Clevenger said. “We missed several opportunities to stretch our lead out and overall turned the ball over way too much. That’s the area we will focus on improving before our next game.”
Brett Gibbs led Clearwater with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Mason Seiter added eight points, while Trent Hastings had six, Ty Cash and Tyler Fugarino each had two and Jake Klausmeyer added a free throw.
“We knew they would not be able to match up with Brett inside and made a deliberate effort to get him the ball early in the game,” Clevenger said. “Brett has been a crucial piece of our team over the last three seasons and we are expecting a great finish to his high school career.”
Clearwater heads to Winfield Friday and hosts Wichita Collegiate Tuesday.