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The boys are back... minus the big guy

North Liberty Leader
TIFFIN– His obvious presence on the hardwood will be missed.
Drew Wagner, at 6’-5”, had the height of a basketball player, and north of 300 pounds, the weight of a football lineman– which he also played for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers. It was that combination of height and weight that also made him a dominating offensive machine for the Clippers varsity basketball team last season. Wagner led the Clippers with 14.3 points per game in a 16-7 campaign ending in a Class 3A district final against rival Williamsburg.
Wagner, who was a WaMaC First Team All-Division unanimous pick, graduated last spring.
In his wake, coach Steve Ottoson will bring back two starters and three more letter winners for the 2015-2016 cruise on the hardwood.
Seniors Jake Neubauer and Cal Miller are the returning starters for the Clippers. Both earned WaMaC honors last season. Neubauer also earned a unanimous First Team berth with 12 points per game, while Miller was a Second Team pick with 9 points per game. Neubauer, at 5‘-11”, will be a point guard this season and, Miller, also 5’-11” will be a shooting guard.
Evan Downes (6‘-5”, senior, power forward), Aaron Akers (6‘-1”, senior, wing/post) and Kahler Green (5‘-11”, senior, shooting guard) are back as well. Downes averaged 3.2 points last season, Akers made nearly 3 points per game and Green averaged 2 points.
New to the Clippers’ varsity line-up are juniors Tyler Hallet (6‘-4”, post), Tate Thomsen (6‘-2”, guard/forward) and Drake Mougin (6’ forward/guard).
Ottoson is in his 21st year with the Clippers, with 40 years overall in coaching, and sees experience being on CCA’s side this season, especially in the guard court. He describes his crew as a good outside-shooting team and very athletic.
“There’s not as much depth as last year,” he said. “(We’re) making up for the loss of big man Drew Wagner. We need to develop our inside game.”
Ottoson sees Center Point-Urbana as a division favorite along with South Tama. Both the Stormin’ Pointers and the Trojans return many players from last season.
CCA went 11-3 in the WaMaC, finishing second in the West Division behind Williamsburg, and were third overall in the conference, behind Williamsburg and Western Dubuque.
The 2015-2016 campaign starts Tuesday, Dec. 1, on the road in Dyersville at Beckman Catholic with the varsity tip-off set for 7:30 p.m. The first home contest will be on Friday, Dec. 11, as the Stormin’ Pointers cruise into the Clippers’ gym, with the varsity starting at 7:30 p.m.