Prep Basketball

Sergeant Bluff-Luton sizes up and sizes out Clear Creek Amana in boys' state basketball semifinals

Lengthy defense slows down Clippers in 55-46 loss

Clear Creek-Amana players walk off the court as the fourth quarter ends with them trailing by nine points in their Class
Clear Creek-Amana players walk off the court as the fourth quarter ends with them trailing by nine points in their Class 3A state semifinal game at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Thursday, March 12, 2020. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — The way they played offense Thursday afternoon was kind of confounding.

Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s boys’ basketball team has a starting lineup that includes two guys who are 6-foot-7 and one who's 6-8. Despite that proverbial significant size advantage, 33 of the Warriors’ 49 shots taken in their Class 3A state tournament semifinal were from behind the 3-point line.

Yet SBL used its length just perfectly on the defensive side of things. That left Clear Creek Amana confounded itself.

“That length got to us,” CCA Coach Brandon Clubb said, after his team’s 55-46 loss at Wells Fargo Arena. “It finally got into our head. We thought we had to adjust shots and do it quick and throw something up. We did better than I thought, it went longer than what I thought. But it finally got to us.”

Clear Creek Amana (20-6) went almost seven minutes without a field goal and three minutes without a point in the telltale fourth quarter, one that sent the Clippers to Saturday morning’s consolation game against Ballard.

The teams were tied at 37 after three.

“Our calling card has been our defense all year,” said Sergeant Bluff-Luton Coach Adam Vander Schaaf. “For awhile, we couldn’t score very well, so we were still losing some games. Our offense has picked up some, so that’s been good. We’ve been guarding well, and, obviously, our length has something to do with it. We can kind of contest some shots that some other teams can’t, and that makes a big difference. Plus, our guys hustle.”

SBL (16-10) seeks its first state title Friday night against top-ranked Norwalk. The Warriors’ record doesn’t look overly impressive but keep in mind they play in the majority 4A Missouri River Conference.

“This is what we have been wanting,” said SBL’s Majok Majouk, one of the 6-7 dudes. “It has been awhile. Hopefully for the first time we can go win it.”

Majouk hit a trey early in the fourth to put his club on top for good, 42-39. He finished with 10 points, as did fellow 6-7er Jake Layman.

The 6-8 guy is Daniel Wright, and the Wisconsin football recruit led his team with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Christian Withrow led CCA with 17 points, with Tyler Schrepfer adding 13. The Clippers were looking to extend an impressive postseason run that saw them oust third-ranked Davenport Assumption in a substate final and second-ranked Mount Vernon in this tournament’s quarterfinals.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing,” Withrow said. “You can’t win them all. The game of basketball happens. Going into the season, as long as we could go in there and prepare, do our thing, then I’m fine with whatever outcome.”

“There are people who go their whole life without being able to play any games on this court, and we get to play three,” Clubb said. “Keep our heads high, flush this one, and get ready to go back out there tomorrow and get back after it.”

Sergeant Bluff-Luton 55, Clear Creek Amana 46

AT WELLS FARGO ARENA

CLEAR CREEK AMANA (46): Nick O’Connor 1-3 0-0 3, Tyler Schrepfer 5-10 2-2 13, Christian Withrow 6-17 5-8 17, Mike Potter 0-5 3-4 3, T.J. Bollers 2-5 1-2 5, Ryan Navara 1-1 0-0 3, Brock Reade 1-3 0-0 2, Ben Swails 0-0 0-0 0, Kyle Schrepfer 0-1 0-0 0, Tanner Webb 0-0 0-0 0, Riley Wolfe 0-0 0-0 0, Mason Slaymaker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-45 11-16 46.

SERGEANT BLUFF-LUTON (55): Majok Majouk 3-8 1-2 10, Nick Muller 3-8 0-0 9, Jake Layman 4-8 1-3 10, Deric Fitzgerald 2-4 2-3 6, Daniel Wright 3-1 5-7 13, Ashton Verdoorn 0-0 0-0 0, Vince Lally 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Imming 2-6 0-0 5, Kaden Helt 0-0 0-0 0, Brady Schaap 0-3 0-0 0, Austin Freiberg 1-1 0-0 2, Nick Karras 0-0 0-0 0, Carson Gaul 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-49 9-15 55.

Halftime — Clear Creek Amana 30, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 27. 3-point goals — Clear Creek Amana 3-13 (O’Connor 1-2, T. Schrepfer 1-6, Withrow 0-1, Potter 0-1, Navara 1-1, Reade 0-1, K. Schrepfer 0-1), Sergeant Bluff-Luton 10-33 (Majouk 3-8, Muller 3-8, Layman 1-4, Fitzgerald 0-1, Wright 2-9, Imming 1-2, Schaap 0-1). Rebounds — Clear Creek Amana 32 (Withrow, Potter 7), Sergeant Bluff-Luton 35 (Wright 10). Total fouls — Clear Creek Amana 15, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 11. Fouled out — None. Assists — Clear Creek Amana 3 (T. Schrepfer, Withrow, Potter 1), Sergeant Bluff-Luton 13 (Wright 5). Turnovers — Clear Creek Amana 7, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 2.

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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