A quick start and a blistering third quarter pace showed the Clarke Indians boys basketball team it could score with the likes of a now 12-2 Martensdale-St. Marys squad, but the Blue Devils had an offensive showing of their own in a 93-59 win Monday.
The Indians rushed out to a 9-4 lead behind seven points from Sam Cooley from all over the floor. Cooley hit an inside basket, then a 3-pointer and followed that by going two-for-two at the free throw line.
Martensdale-St. Marys answered and did so authoritatively with a 20-3 run to close to quarter, ending the initial eight minute period up 24-12.
Conner Deutsch and Taylor Henry tried to jumpstart the Indian offense early in the second period with two 3-pointers, keeping the game at 14 points, but the Blue Devils transition offense pushed the pace and got some easy looks at the basket on the other end.
The Blue Devils built their lead to 27, 47-20, at the end of the first half.
It was an offensive slugfest out of the break as Clarke posted 27 points in the third quarter, more than doubling its production in the first half.
Deutsch opened the half with the first seven points off an assist from Cooley, a triple and a basket in the paint.
Deutsch then hit Emanuel Mosley for a bucket before Dalton Stubbe came flying down the court in transition for a layup.
Mosley finished the contest with a team-high 16 points for Clarke while Deutsch had 13 and Stubbe ended with 12, all of which coming in the second half.
“It didn’t feel like we were running, but we were able to find open shot after open shot,” said Dingeman. “I didn’t realize we scored 27 in the third quarter. That’s kind of the way our offense is capable of being.”
Once again the Blue Devils responded to the Indians 9-2 run as Trey Baker found Troy Holt for an interior basket before sinking a mid-range jumper for two of his game-high 25 points.
For Clarke, battling against the length and athleticism of a quality Martensdale-St. Marys foe was a challenge in and of itself.
“We we’re trying to pick a few guys we could help off of a little bit,” said Dingeman. “We we’re trying to work the ball and try to find the best possible shots. We knew this was going to be a real tough game and they’re very good.”
Clarke was also without leading scorer Lenny Peavy, who was out for Monday’s contest with an illness.
For Dingeman, making sure things are cleaned up over the final stretch of the season is the most important thing for the Indians.
“Defensive rebounding has been a big issue for us recently. We’re trying to point that out and get better at that,” said Dingeman. “I’m looking forward to finally getting a practice in after two weeks without getting a practice.”