No bigger matchup for Clear Creek
By L. Scott Hainline
District wise, it's as big as it gets for defending 24-5A and Region III champion Clear Creek.
The Clear Lake rivalry is something that will never die," Clear Creek coach Scott Simonds said. Our kids always get fired up for this match, and (Clear Lake) will be, too. I'm sure there will be plenty of Beat Lake' and Beat Creek' shirts on display."
Simonds' Lady Wildcats host first-place Clear Lake at 4:30 p.m. on Friday to wrap up the first round of league play, and they visit Clear Brook at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Clear Brook beat Clear Creek in a five-game district opener on Sept. 11.
We're definitely looking forward to playing Clear Brook again as well," Simonds said, but we need to just take this one match at a time and focus on us."
That's exactly what the Lady Wildcats did after losing at home to Clear Brook.
It was definitely a wake-up call," senior middle blocker Maddie Gaffney said. After that we knew we had to buckle down so we can win district, and we started to work harder and longer in practice."
Clear Creek responded with consecutive sweeps of Ball, Dickinson, Clear Springs and Brazoswood.
It definitely did wake us up a little bit," Simonds said. After doing well in non-district play over the first three weeks of the season, we seemed to hit a wall in the last two non-district matches against Pearland and Katy. We lost to Pearland in five and played horrible, and we beat Katy barely in five, but had a 2-0 lead and couldn't seem to finish. We simply didn't play very well in those two matches, or the district opener against Brook.
Since then we've played great and our intensity in practice has been much better, and our goal is to win out and be district champions."
Freshman Ashley Smith was Clear Creek's kill leader against Brazoswood with 12.
Smith has really been a pleasant surprise this season," Simonds said. Having seen her play in the eighth grade at League City Intermediate, I knew she was a very talented player, but I didn't know if she'd be ready to play at the varsity level this quickly. She's been playing particularly well in district."
The 5-11 rookie took advantage of a summer league where she teamed up with the veteran Lady Cats.
I was a little nervous at first, but it got more comfortable the more I played with the returning players," Smith said. It was a big jump from eighth grade to varsity, but I love it, and I'm honored to be playing for Clear Creek.
Everybody gets pumped, especially when we play a great team like Clear Lake, and I'm real excited to be a part of it."
Clear Lake, Clear Creek, Clear Brook and Alvin have somewhat separated themselves from Clear Springs, Dickinson, Ball and Brazoswood in the 24-5A standings, but with the entire second round to go, anything is possible.
In my opinion, 24-5A is the best district in the Houston area," Simonds said, and our goal was to win it, and that defintely hasn't changed.
I think the kids have their confidence back and hopefully we can get another district title for Creek."
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