The Clear Springs Chargers (9-0 in district) took a two-game lead for first place in District 24-6A after defeating the Clear Lake Falcons (7-2), 55-31, on Saturday afternoon.
“It feels good, but we cannot relax and we will not relax,” said Chargers head coach Pamela Crawford on their two-game lead in district. “In this district, I feel like it is just a tossup, so we need to keep doing what we’re doing and move forward.”
The Chargers started the game on an 11-2 run, behind their trademark full-court press defense. Their press forced Falcons turnovers, which would turn into easy baskets on the other end for the Chargers.
“I think that we didn’t shoot the ball enough in the first quarter,” said Clear Lake head coach Kirby Killingsworth. “I think we were playing too tight early on.”
The Falcons’ Tara Kessner went down with an apparent ankle injury in the second quarter. She did not return to the game, and after halftime she returned to the bench with ice on her ankle.
“Our game plan was much different after that because she is a nice weapon to have in the middle of the paint, but hats off to Dominic Smauldon that came in and really worked hard in the middle,” said Killingsworth.
Once Kessner went down, the Chargers began to dominate on the boards and in the paint. Kessner is the Falcons’ lone center and tallest player.
The Chargers expanded their lead to 20 points on a 13-3 run to start the third quarter with 4:30 left. The Falcons weren’t able to recover after giving the Chargers such a big lead.
The Chargers were led by Blaise Blair, who had 15 points and dominated the paint all game. The Chargers’ Dymond Gladney added 13 points.
“Kids are starting to play their role and I’m happy to see my bigs finish,” said Crawford.
The Falcons’ Lexie Graham was their lone double-figure scorer with 13 points.