Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive the latest news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, sports, opinion, community and more!

Rematch set for semifinal

Creston cruises past Clarke setting up rematch with Des Moines Christian

It didn’t make much difference who had the ball Saturday night as the Creston girls basketball team opened Class 3A Region 8 play with a convincing 66-37 all-around win over Clarke.

The win puts the Panthers into the regional semifinals where they will take on Class 3A No. 5 Des Moines Christian in Urbandale Wednesday.

Creston and Des Moines Christian met just a few days ago Feb. 5 in Creston where the Lions pulled out a 48-41 win.

Keeping the post presence will be crucial for the Panthers against DMC, the one main takeaway from the Clarke contest in which both Kelsey Fields and Sam Dunphy fouled out early in the fourth quarter.

The loss didn’t hurt the Panthers Saturday, who had already built a comfortable lead, but it’s a luxury that will quickly dissipate against one of the state’s best teams.

“Des Moines Christian is different. They’re tall,” said Creston head coach Tony Neubauer. “So we have to play that a little different.”

Opening quick

A quick 10-0 lead was steadily built on by half as Creston was up 34-11 at the intermission.

Defensively, the Panthers only let one Clarke player do any damage all night as Deseree Stubbe scored 20 points for the Indians.

Creston was all over the floor with 16 steals while also pulling down 54 total rebounds.

The Panthers sat in a man-to-man zone all night and were consistently swatting balls out of passing lanes and getting out on the fastbreak.

“Making them match our intensity. I thought we did a really good job,” said Neubauer. “To give up 11 points in a half, that’s the biggest difference right there.”

Creston’s ability to get production from everywhere allowed it to keep the Clarke 2-3 zone guessing.

Brielle Baker put up 18 points and 14 rebounds for a double double, while adding four steals, four blocks and two assists.

Bree Ross came off the bench and dialed up 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Panthers in their opening round win.

Dunphy and Fields finished with nine and eight points, respectively.

Guards Sydney Hartsock and Braelyn Baker also had solid nights as Hartsock put together nine points and Baker added eight.

Even when the Panthers missed the occasional easy layup it didn’t come back to bite them as the defense continued to buckle down.

The Panthers also grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, allowing for a number of second chance looks at the hoop.

Saturday’s win did a lot more than clinch a spot in the next round of the postseason. It also solidified the Panthers’ fourth winning season in school history and its third playoff win in the last 12 years.

“We’re trying to build something,” said Neubauer. “In the future we don’t want that to be a big deal, but for now it’s a good step for us.”

Creston 66, Clarke 37

Clarke (37) — 6 5 12 14

Crest (66) — 17 17 16 16

CLARKE (FG FT PTS) — Totals — 10 14-20 37. Deseree Stubbe 5 9-13 20, Megan Linskens 3 0-0 8, Ashlynn Oehlert 1 2-2 4, Kiaya Dunbar 1 1-3 3, Sarah Davis 0 2-2 2. 3-point goals — 3 (Linskens 2, Stubbe 1). Team fouls — 21. Fouled out — Tori White, Dunbar.

CRESTON (FG FT PTS) — Totals — 23 16-27 66. Brielle Baker 7 1-5 18, Bree Ross 3 4-4 10, Sydney Hartsock 3 2-4 9, Sam Dunphy 2 5-6 9, Braelyn Baker 3 2-3 8, Kelsey Fields 4 0-2 8, Brianna Fields 0 2-2 2, Morgan Driskell 1 0-1 2. 3-point goals — 4 (Brielle Baker 3, Hartsock 1). Rebounds – 54 (Brielle Baker 14, Kelsey Fields 14, Dunphy 7, Ross 6, Braelyn Baker 5, Hartsock 4, Kara Kinsella 2, Saige Rice 1, Taylor Buxton 1). Assists – 14 (Ross 4, Hartsock 3, Brielle Baker 2, Braelyn Baker 2, Rice 1, Rylie Driskell 1). Steals – 16 (Brielle Baker 4, Braelyn Baker 4, Ross 2, K. Fields 2, Hartsock 1, Dunphy 1, Kesia Stewart 1, B. Fields 1). Blocks – 12 (Brielle Baker 4, K. Fields 4, Braelyn Baker 2, Dunphy 2). Team fouls — 16. Fouled out — K. Fields, Dunphy.

Loading more