No one can ever accuse Clear Creek of keeping things dull.
After Clear Springs took the action to the Wildcats and bumped and banged to a 22-17 halftime lead, Clear Creek resurrected just enough focus and offense and pulled away in the final minutes for a 43-35 boys victory on Friday night.
With the win, the Wildcats kept pace with Dickinson in the District 24-6A race by improving to 4-0, 19-5 overall, extending their win streak to six games. Clear Creek has won 10 of its last 11 games.
Wes Bryan, the Wildcats’ head coach, knows the grind is real.
“Where we are right now, it’s a little bit surprising,” Bryan said. “Our kids are used to playing those type of possession games. We’ve really had one game where it was a really big blowout. We pretty much win by five or six points or lose by five or six.
“We continue to compete and play tough.”
Of Clear Creek’s 24 games, 14 have been decided by eight points or less. Clear Springs led nearly the entire first half by knocking down four 3-pointers and hitting the hosts with pesky full-court pressure as the Wildcats hit only 6 of 26 field goals.
Clear Creek, though, flipped its focus, holding the Chargers to only three second-half buckets and 13 points. Calen Anderson’s 3 from the wing gave the Wildcats their first lead since the opening basket of the game midway into the third quarter.
Late into the fourth period, Garrett Rooker’s corner trey tied the game at 35-35 for Clear Springs, but the Chargers went scoreless the last three minutes of the game.
Baskets by Jordan Herd and Maurice Pinnock stretched Clear Creek’s lead to 40-35. Anderson dropped in a free throw and Hunter Smith added an inside bucket to punctuate a 26-13 second-half edge.
“We were way off-base to start the game,” Bryan said. “I felt our guys weren’t doing what I was asking of them in practice. We figured (Clear Springs) would do their little zone and we had worked on some things to combat that and we struggled to get in that. The second half, we didn’t.”
Pinnock and Anderson, who grabbed nine rebounds, led Clear Creek with 10 points apiece, while Herd finished with eight. Terrence Woodson topped Springs (11-16, 1-4) with nine points, while Rooker added eight.
“Better execution,” said Chris Hairfield, the Chargers’ head coach. “We have the right plays, we have the right people. They got to set their screens, be in the right spots and finish it. We had some good looks, too … we just missed shots. The second half, we didn’t do so well.”