Lady Indians finish season 17-4
Earn share of SCC title
The Clarke girls basketball team finished its regular season with three lopsided wins, ending with a mark of 17-4 heading into Saturday's regional opener.
The Lady Indians took control early in a 62-38 home win over Martensdale-St. Marys on Jan. 31, as they held a 17-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
All five starters scored in double figures in the win, led by Kylar McCann's 13 points. Kacey Klemesrud and Sarah Pate each scored 12 points, while Libby Bemis and Carley Robins each netted 10.
"I think that's the first time that's happened all year," head coach Eric Zoske said. "We've been moving the ball really well. When we move the ball like that, we get open shots. We have good enough shooters that when we get open shots, they're going to fall."
Devon Carson chipped in five points off the bench. Bemis pulled down a team-high six rebounds and Carson added five boards.
The Lady Indians shot 52 percent from the field in the win over the Blue Devils.
Clarke followed up that win with a 63-37 road triumph over Davis County on Feb. 1 to close out South Central Conference play.
With the win, and Eddyville-Blakesburg's loss to Chariton, the Lady Indians earned a share of the South Central Conference title, marking their third straight season with at least a share of the conference championship.
The Lady Indians held a seven-point lead at halftime, but pulled away in the second half, outscoring Davis County 33-14 in the second half.
Pate had a big game, recording a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while also finishing with four steals and three assists.
"Sarah had a monster game," Zoske said. "It was great to see her play like that. She was in 100 percent beast mode. Just 100 percent phenomenal from her that game."
Robins added 14 points, while Carson scored 10 points off the bench. Klemesrud pitched in eight points and McCann tallied seven points with seven steals.
Bemis scored just two points, but had an all-around game with six boards, six steals and four assists.
Clarke finished the game with 22 steals and 32 rebounds, while shooting 15-of-20 from the free throw line.
The Lady Indians had another hot shooting night in a 64-41 home win over Class 4A 11th-ranked Winterset Feb. 2 on senior night.
The Huskies held a 16-12 lead over Clarke after the first quarter, but Clarke controlled the rest of the game, including a 17-3 advantage in the fourth quarter.
"Winterset came out firing right away, and then they cooled off a bit," Zoske said. "We held them to one field goal in the fourth quarter. It was maybe the most fun I've ever had coaching. It's great to see when the girls work hard and we end the season with seven wins in a row. For us to come out like that, it was just a perfect end to the season."
Clarke shot 57.9 percent from the field and 10-of-15 from behind the 3-point line in the win.
Seniors Pate, McCann and Klemesrud shined in the win, each scoring in double figures as Pate led the way with 19, McCann netted 13 and Klemesrud scored 10. Klemesrud and Pate each finished with seven rebounds, while Klemesrud also added six assists.
Bemis, a junior, added 14 points with eight rebounds and Robins scored six points with five assists. Carson also pitched in two points.
Zoske encourages the community of Osceola to come out and support the team in its regional opener Saturday at 7 p.m. against Chariton.
"I want the community to know how special this group of seniors really is," Zoske said. "I want to encourage this town to come out and support us on Saturday as we take our first step toward ending this season at state, but that's not going to happen unless we get the community's support. They're really fun to watch. These seniors have done so much for the community. I hope that they come and show their appreciation for them."