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Creston slips out a win over Clarinda

Kylan Smallwood
Kylan Smallwood

CLARINDA – On the road in a four-point game late in the fourth quarter, Creston boys basketball found another way to hold off an opponent by hitting some key free throws, defeating Clarinda Thursday 51-44.

Clarinda threw a man-to-man full court press at Creston to try and force a turnover, but a successful inbounds pass put Creston on the charity stripe.

Both Colby Burg and Kylan Smallwood hit late free throws to help ice away the victory for the Panthers.

The Panthers built up a 10-point lead toward the end of the third quarter, but the Cardinals were able to slowly whittle away at Creston’s lead until the Panthers sealed the deal.

Head coach Bryce Schafer was pleased with Creston’s ability to put away the game late, especially given the admitted struggles the Panthers have had on the road this season.

“I think it looked like we were a lot more composed,” Schafer said. “I think tonight we took a step in a right direction. ... All in all I was happy about the win.”

Smallwood ended the contest with a game-high 22 points while stepping out and knocking down three triples in the win.

Cael Kralik got his as well with 13 points for Creston. No other Panther player finished with more than five points

“We sputtered a little bit against their zone,” said Schafer. “It just comes down to decision making. ... I’m just glad we didn’t have to play in another overtime game.”

Defensively, Schafer thought the Panthers did a solid job of keeping the Clarinda offense, which averages 51.6 points per game, contained.

“I think we did a lot of good things. I think anytime you can hold a team under 50 that’s a positive for your defense,” said Schafer.

UP NEXT – Creston, now 8-10, 5-4 in the Hawkeye 10, will head to Harlan Tuesday to take on head coach Mitch Osborn and the Cyclones.

Harlan bested Creston 63-55 Dec. 11 and Schafer knows the Cyclones have plenty of defensive tricks in store.

“He does a great job up there, you know Bill Belichick-ing it and taking the opposing teams best player away,” said Schafer. “He showed box-and-one the first time we played and I think we did a nice job against it.”

Creston 51, Clarinda 44

Crest (51) — 6 13 20 12

Clar (44) — 8 10 15 11

CLARINDA (FG FT PTS) — Totals — 16 10-13 44. Nathan Lindsay 5 3-4 14, Owen Smith 4 1-2 9, Alex Best 1 4-5 6, Max Herrington 2 2-2 6, Michael Shull 2 0-0 4, Kory Rogers 1 0-0 3, Connor Brown 1 0-0 2. 3-point goals — 2 (Lindsay 1, Rogers 1). Team fouls — 11. Fouled out — None.

CRESTON (FG FT PTS) — Totals — 19 7-9 51. Kylan Smallwood 8 3-3 22, Cael Kralik 5 1-1 13, Jeffrey Dillenburg 2 0-0 5, Colby Burg 1 3-5 5, Brance Baker 1 0-0 2, Payton Pryor 1 0-0 2, Devin Baker 1 0-0 2. 3-point goals — 6 (Smallwood 3, Kralik 2, Dillenburg 1). Team fouls — 11. Fouled out — Smallwood.

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