Prep Basketball

Clear Creek Amana shocks No. 2 Marion in girls' basketball regional finals

Clippers nail down their first state-tournament appearance, 66-49

MARION — Heck, why not them?

Buried by 29 points in a December regular-season meeting, 15th-ranked Clear Creek Amana flipped everything and shocked No. 2 Marion, 66-49, in a Class 4A girls’ basketball regional final Tuesday night at Marion High School.

“I’m just in shock,” sophomore Calia Clubb said. “This is something I’ve never been part of, and I’m so grateful.”

Karsyn Stratton scored 24 points, three other Clippers reached double figures, and Clear Creek Amana (19-4) held Marion (21-2) to 25-percent shooting from the floor.

The reward is the first state-tournament berth in school history. The Clippers will face No. 1 North Scott (23-0) in a first-round game at 11:45 a.m. next Tuesday at Wells Fargo Arena.

“It doesn’t seem real,” Stratton said. “We’re playing basketball for another week. We’re not done yet.

“Our motto tonight was, ‘Why Not Us?’”

The Clippers spotted Marion an early 11-5 lead, and it appeared the Indians might cruise to their fifth consecutive state berth. But CCA scored the final seven points of the first quarter for a 14-13 lead, then gradually extended the margin the rest of the way.

Forget the rankings and records. Clear Creek Amana was the better team Tuesday, by a substantial margin.

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“Marion is a tremendous program,” CCA Coach P.J. Sweeney said. “We have the utmost respect for what they have done the past five or six years. But to come here and knock them off on their home court, I couldn’t be more proud.”

CCA closed the first half with the final six points and took a 30-22 lead into intermission. Still, you figured a Marion run would come sooner or later.

It didn’t.

“I didn’t have us ready to play, and that’s my job,” Marion Coach Josh Claypool said. “But (CCA has) improved a lot through the course of the season. They’re playing with a lot of confidence, and for whatever reason, we didn’t.

“They were the more aggressive team.”

Down 46-34 entering the fourth quarter, Marion got within 47-38 on Ella Van Weelden’s bucket with 6:01 to go, but the Clippers never wavered, and pulled away by hitting 18 of 26 free throws in the fourth quarter.

“We came in with a little game plan; we were going to mix it up between a 1-3-1 and a 3-2, but they hit some early shots,” Sweeney said. “We went to a matchup, just to see what that might look like.”

Looked pretty good. The Indians made just 15 of 59 shots, 8 of 31 from 3-point range.

In addition to Stratton’s 24 points, CCA got 16 from Meagan Harvey and 11 each from Clubb and Whitney Traetow. Clubb grabbed 17 rebounds to lead CCA to a 43-31 advantage on the boards.

Van Weelden and Kayba Laube scored 13 apiece for Marion, and Riley Wright added 11. But the Indians’ “big three” shot just 11 of 43.

A UNI signee, Laube concluded a brilliant career with 1,630 points.

CLEAR CREEK AMANA 66, MARION 49

4A Regional Final, at Marion

CLEAR CREEK AMANA (66): Whitney Traetow 3-9 4-6 11, Calia Clubb 4-7 3-5 11, Karsyn Stratton 6-13 12-15 24, Meagan Harvey 4-5 5-8 16, Emily Sly 0-1 1-2 1, Allison Rummelhart 0-2 0-0 0, Morgan Etscheidt 0-1 1-2 1, Gracie Downes 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-39 26-38 66.

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MARION (49): Sadie Struchen 3-5 0-0 8, Riley Wright 3-15 4-4 11, Kayba Laube 4-17 3-4 13, Ella Van Weelden 4-11 4-5 13, Ella Bockenstedt 1-5 0-0 3, Jo Hartke 0-0 0-0 0, Regan Rice 0-3 1-2 1, Grace Stephenson 0-3 0-0 0, Madison Prier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-59 12-15 49.

Halftime: CCA 30, Marion 22. 3-point goals: CCA 4-11 (Traetow 1-5, Stratton 0-1, Harvey 3-4, Rummelhart 0-1), Marion 7-31 (Struchen 2-4, Wright 1-9, Laube 2-9, Van Weelden 1-4, Bockenstedt 1-2, Rice 0-1, Stephenson 0-2). Team fouls: CCA 13, Marion 22. Fouled out: Clubb, Wright, Van Weelden. Rebounds: CCA 43 (Clubb 17), Marion 31 (Van Weelden 7). Assists: CCA 8 (Harvey 3, Marion 7 (Wright, Laube 3). Steals: CCA 1 (Traetow), Marion 6 (Wright, Van Weelden 2). Turnovers: CCA 9, Marion 5.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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