WINTERSET — It’s been a recurring theme for the Clarke boys basketball team this year, and it struck the Indians again here Saturday in a 62-47 loss to Winterset.
Clarke dug itself an early hole and couldn’t climb out of it, falling behind 25-12 at the end of the first quarter.
“We’re trying to address that issue, but it seems to be a problem we keep having,” head coach James Larson said. “We’re a great second half team, I think. But that first, initial step hurts us. We always dig ourselves a hole and battle back. We do a good job of battling back, but it would be nice to start a game well.”
Clarke fought back and cut the lead to five on two different occasions, once in the first half and once in the second half. But, that early Winterset cushion proved to be too much to overcome.
Several times in the second half, Clarke seemed to have gained momentum, only to be derailed again by a Winterset 3-pointer.
Winterset’s first five baskets of the second half were 3-pointers, with the first 2-point basket coming just inside of 5:00 left to play.
“We like to try to play man-to-man as much as possible,” Larson said. “We made an adjustment in going zone. We’ve got to find the shooter who is hot. They just kept getting threes. They did a good job of swinging the ball around.”
Larson said his team did a good job early of going inside, but then shyed away from getting the ball inside.
He also noted that his team left several points on the floor in the first half, missing nine free throws in the half, several of which were the front ends of one-and-ones.
Brin Evins led the Indians with 14 points in the loss, while Colin Morris added 12. Carlos Tamayo scored five, while Troy Morgan and Jared Jamison both netted four points. Grant Wishon scored two points.
The loss on Saturday came less than 24 hours after a tough road loss to Davis County, in which the Indians were shorthanded, but fell short by just seven points.
“We were missing Matt (Blanchard) and Brin on Friday night when we went down to Davis County,” Larson said. “Guys gave a great effort. They hurt us inside. Colin Morris had a great game. We’re trying to get him inside and post him up. I think if we had Brin or even Matt, it makes it a little harder for those big guys, could have been a little different.”
The Indians finish the regular season with a pair of road games. They travel to Interstate 35 today and then travel to Centerville for the season finale.
Larson said even though the season hasn’t gone the way he had hoped, he still wants his team to know it’s a decent team.
“Our guys are getting frustrated with this season and how it’s going,” he said. “I keep telling them we’re a decent team. The radio announcer from Davis County came up to me and told me, ‘you’re the best two-win team in the state.’ We’ve lost so many games where we’ve been right there. We just have to figure out how to win.”