TIFFIN– Following a solid 52-34 win over West Delaware Tuesday night at home, Clear Creek Amana (CCA) coach Matt Haas was more introspective than celebratory.
“We’ve done some good things these first two games, obviously there’s some things we need to capitalize on and work on,” Haas said. The win moved the Clippers to a 2-0 start to the season, an improvement over the squad’s 1-1 record at this time last season.
The Clippers pounded the Hawks 16-4 in the first period and never looked back. Haas said his girls “came out and made a statement as they threw the first punch.” The Hawks counter-punched in the second, outscoring the Clippers 12-10, but still trailing CCA 26-17 at the half.
“We gotta withstand (the counterpunches) and keep battling, and we gotta keep throwing punches and knock ‘em out. That’s the name of the game: just keep fighting, and keep dominating as much as you can, and you’re putting a hurt on the kids (on the scoreboard).”
The third quarter saw the home team take a 39-13 lead. In the fourth period, the Clippers slowed the tempo down. “We were up so we were stretching the game a little bit. The clock was our friend, so we were winding it down,” the coach said. Haas was able to put everybody in for valuable minutes of experience, noting they’ll be relied on later in the season.
“One of the hardest things, we (the coaching staff) thought, was ‘how do you learn how to win?’ I thought tonight the girls did a good job of trying to close this game out. And, not having been in that situation a lot, I thought they did a good job. They didn’t let them back in the game.” The coach said his team was getting tired in the fourth, but it comes down to focusing and doing their jobs. “Each kid doing their job when they’re out on the court, each kid on the bench doing their job, and each coach doing their job. That’s what it comes down to. If everybody’s on the same page, it can be fun to watch… you saw that in the first quarter.”
While Haas looks for continued improvement in the team in this, his second season with the squad, he also looks for improvement in the coaching ranks as well. “We need to do a better job coaching the kids and putting them in different situations,” he said. Ultimately, “they need to get after them and make a statement, ‘we’re here, we’re here to dominate, and we’re here to play hard.’”
Maliah Fligg led with 16 points, Mallory Neubauer had 14 including a trio of 3-pointers, Tara Walls scored 8 points, Kelsey Hall had 4 and Molly Villhauer put in the final 2 points at the free throw line with less than a minute remaining in the game.
The Clippers will try to avoid their own personal Pearl Harbor when the Stormin’ Pointers of Center Point-Urbana come to visit on Friday, Dec. 7. The Frosh/Soph game starts at 4:30 p.m. with the JV up around 6 p.m., and the varsity taking the floor sometime around 7:30 p.m.