Clear Lake girls roll past FB Austin to advance in playoffs
PEARLAND – Nearly one year after reaching the regional semifinals, the Clear Lake girls basketball team took its first step in repeating history.
Sparked by senior guard Libby Moreno’s 16 second-half points, the Falcons (21-9) cruised past Fort Bend Austin (24-11) 45-62 Tuesday night to advance to the area round to take on North Shore.
“Libby was on fire,” Clear Lake coach Kirby Killingsworth said. “The kid has a motor, I mean, I don’t know what she eats. She definitely has been eating her Wheaties before the game because she was getting after it.”
But Moreno’s greatest contribution came on the defensive end. Entering the game, she was assigned to stop Bulldogs junior guard Nicole Blaskowsky, an Iowa State commit who was averaging 19.9 points.
And Moreno executed Killingsworth’s instructions to the tee, forcing Blaskowsky to take ill-timed shots en route to holding her scoreless for the first half. In the meantime, the Falcons capitalized with an early lead.
“Our main goal was to shut down [Blaskowsky] and not let her shoot,” Moreno said. “It feels great, but I’m sure anybody could hold her down with good defense.”
Blaskowsky, though, was visibly frustrated by Moreno’s stingy defense. Although she managed to finish with 11 points, Blaskowsky still committed uncharacteristic blunders that hindered the Bulldogs’ comeback aspirations.
With the blowout, Clear Lake gave Killingsworth – a first-year head coach for the team – her first playoff win and prevented Fort Bend Austin from claiming a victory in its first postseason appearance in program history.
“The kids really bought into the gameplan,” Killingsworth said. “It’s a huge win and in my first year here, it’s great to get the first playoff win out of the way.”
In other action
Elkins 75, Clear Creek 65 – Despite leading by as many as 20 points, the Knights (18-15) allowed the Wildcats (18-16) to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, trimming the Knights’ deficit to as little as six points.
But Elkins ultimately withstood the charge to advance and play Pasadena Dobie in the area round. “It’d have been nice to have had a 25-point victory, but in the long run when you look back, this might be the type of game we need for later on,” Elkins coach Willie Yarber said. “We’re going to have close games in the playoffs and kids got to be able to play under pressure.”
Local Advertising by PaperG