The Clarke girls basketball team played what head coach Eric Zoske called its "best four quarters of defense we've played this year" in a 44-30 win over Albia here on Friday.
The Lady Indians came up with 13 steals as a team in the game, while holding Albia to single digits in each of the four quarters.
"We are always talking about SDQ, which is single digit quarters, and for the first time this year, we got four single digit quarters," Zoske said. "It shows we're learning our roles defensively, which is really what I'm trying to get these girls to do."
Zoske said his team employed a half-court man-to-man defense and mixed in a 2-3 zone, which is different from what the team played prior to Kacey Klemesrud's injury.
"We've actually changed things up a little bit," Zoske said. "Right now we just don't have the firepower to (press) with Kacey out. We're being effective in both of those defenses."
Clarke received big games from Kylar McCann and Libby Bemis, who both scored in double figures with 15 and 13 points, respectively, along with Sarah Pate who drew the challenge of stopping three Albia players who were 6-0 or taller.
"It was probably Sarah Pate's best game she's played all year," Zoske said. "She shot 50 percent from the field. Albia, they have three girls that are 6-0 or taller. Sarah needed to play physical, and she did a tremendous job holding off those tall girls. She did great defensively. She was a big disruption to what those Albia girls wanted to do. Defensively, she was the anchor in our half-court defense on Friday night."
Pate added nine points and four rebounds. McCann finished with a team-high nine rebounds and five steals, while Bemis grabbed five boards. Devon Carson finished with four steals and dished out a team-high four assists. Maddi Heath finished with three assists in the win.
Clarke improved to 6-2 for the season with the win. The Lady Indians travel to Centerville on Thursday. Clarke defeated Centerville 68-49 on Nov. 29.