By Michael Buhler
The Clearwater Indians girls basketball team fell behind early against Andale and never could quite get over the hump in a 47-39 loss to its Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division IV rival last Friday.
Andale scored the game’s first 10 points to take a 16-9 lead after the opening period. Clearwater trailed 25-18 at the intermission before Andale extended its lead to 34-24 by the start of the fourth quarter. Andale also outrebounded the Indians 36-29 and also scored 15 points off of 21 Clearwater turnovers.
“It was the same story as the past five games,” Clearwater coach Casey Carlson said. “We spot them early and can’t make up the gap. We missed three layups to start the game and they scored 10 to go up 10-0 to start. It’s extremely frustrating because we are a much better team than we showed last Friday.”
Elizabeth Tjaden led the Indians with 20 points, while Brooke Berlin added 10. Andale held junior standout Carli Carlson to just three points on 1-of-13 shooting.
“Carli wasn’t her normal self on Friday,” Coach Carlson said. “She just tried way too hard to try and win the game. She has to understand that when shots aren’t falling that she has to get others involved. Brooke got into some early foul trouble, picking up three in the first half. When she isn’t on the floor, our inside game really struggles.
“Elizabeth Tjaden played extremely well on both sides of the floor. She did everything she could to try and will us to win. She guarded their best perimeter player and held Kelli Wegerer to three points.”
Clearwater: Tjaden 20, Berlin 10, Camryn Clevenger 5, Carli Carlson 3, Taylee Hatton 1.
The Indians played much better last Tuesday against AVCTL IV rival Wichita Collegiate, racing out to a 16-point lead after the opening period and rolling to a 54-25 win over the short-handed Spartans.
Clearwater held Collegiate to just 18 percent shooting from the field (8-for-45), outrebounded the Spartans 41-25 and outscored them 32-8 in the paint.
“Our defense once again was solid, holding them to 17.8 percent shooting from the field,” Coach Carlson said. “We got up 21-5 at the end of the first quarter and I was concerned that we would lose some focus; however, we were able to keep playing at a high level.
“The game scout was to hold their best player, Elle Munds, to under 10 points for the game and we held her to 9 points on 3-of-18 shooting. I thought Elizabeth Tjaden and Carli Carlson did a great job of forcing her into tough shots.”
Clearwater: Berlin 16, Carli Carlson 15, Tjaden 13, Clevenger 5, Channing Riggins 2, Hatton 2, Hampton 1