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Clipper boys look to improve on the hardwood

North Liberty Leader
TIFFIN– Clear Creek Amana (CCA) coach Steve Ottoson sees experience and depth on the Clippers’ side this season in boy’s varsity basketball. Last season, the Clippers posted a 6-15 record overall and were 6-12 in the WaMaC. Ottoson, with 20 years at CCA and a 170-237 career record, looks for a better showing in the 2014-15 season.
Leading the Clippers are five returning starters: seniors Nile Rourke, Drew Wagner, Keyan McAreavy and Mitch Stopko, along with junior Jake Neubauer.
Rourke, a 6’2” wing earned Second Team All-Conference honors last year by averaging 11.4 points per game, with nearly seven rebounds to match. Wagner, a 6’5” post, averaged just over seven points per game with six rebounds while McAreavy, a 6’ guard, averaged four points. Stopko, a 5’10” guard, averaged 4.5 points per game with 2.5 assists while Neubauer, a 5’11” guard, also averaged 4.5 points with nearly two assists per game.
Also back in the Clipper line up are juniors Cal Miller and Aaron Akers. Miller is a 5’11” guard who put up nine points per game while 6-footer Akers was not assigned a position as of this writing.
New to the varsity squad are juniors Evan Downes and Kahler Green. Downes, at 6’5” will likely alternate between wing and post while Green at 5’11” is marked up as a guard.
“Obviously experience is big for us and we’ve got good depth at all positions,” Ottoson said. “We must improve on the defensive end and be more consistent from three-point range.”
Last year the team only made about 34 percent of its three-point shots, while free throws were at nearly 66 percent and field goals were made 41 percent of the time.
Looking at the WaMaC West Division (Benton Community, Center Point-Urbana, CCA, Independence, Marion, Vinton-Shellsburg and Williamsburg), Ottoson puts the Raiders of Williamsburg as the favorite based on the strength of their returning players.
The season starts Tuesday, Dec. 2, as West Delaware visits.