Clear Creek Amana senior Tate ThomsenBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – The Brandon Clubb era official opened at Clear Creek Amana Tuesday night.
It didn’t begin the way that Clubb or the Clippers hoped that it would.
Western Dubuque spoiled Clubb’s Clear Creek Amana coaching debut with a 66-34 win over the Clippers in the season opener for both teams in Tiffin.
Clear Creek Amana (0-1) committed 28 turnovers and was outrebounded by 14 in its first game under Clubb who replaced Steve Ottoson who retired following last season.
“Obviously it wasn’t the outcome we were looking for but we needed to play,” Clubb said. “We needed to get that one out of the way so we could learn and know what we need to work on.” Clubb comes to Clear Creek Amana with experience.
He spent 11 seasons turning North Tama into a consistent winner, posting 12 or more wins in three of the final five seasons leading the Redhawks.
Experience isn’t something that Clubb shares with his players in his first season at Clear Creek Amana.
All five Clipper starters made their first starts in Tuesday’s season opener with only three of those players logging considerable varsity minutes last season.
“Unfortunately, that was the first time that a lot of them had played ever and played major minutes so we needed to get that one out of the way so we can work on getting better,” Clubb explained.
Clear Creek Amana looked like a team short on experience early on Tuesday.
The Clippers had 14 first-half turnovers as Western Dubuque (1-0) built a 34-20 halftime lead.
“We kind of figured that we might have some rough spots starting off but we are hoping to find our groove as more people find out what they can do on the varsity level,” Clear Creek Amana senior Drake Mougin said.
Western Dubuque had 15 offensive rebounds and attempted 30 more shots than the Clippers on Tuesday while shooting 41 percent from the floor.
The Bobcats used a 15-0 run over the final minute of the third quarter and first four minutes of the fourth to put the game away.
“Our goal is to continuously improve and get better and then ultimately be competitive in games and not let what happened tonight happen all the time,” Clubb said. “I think our kids are going to start stepping up.”
The top returning scorer for Clear Creek Amana at just three points per game, senior Tate Thomsen had a team-high 12 points on Tuesday.
Thomsen wasn’t discouraged by the early season set back in his first career start.
“We just had to get some experience out there,” Thomsen said. “We had to get the first-game jitters over and just get ready for a whole season.”
For the Clippers the season opener was about getting experience while the last two weeks have been about learning.
Learning a new coach, a new system and a new way to view the game.
“We are just trying to figure everything out with the new coaches,” Mougin said. “It’s a process but we are looking to improve every day and get better.”
For a group of players without much varsity experience the transition to Clubb has been smooth.
“It’s been good so far, I like coach and I think it’s going well,” Thomsen said. “We are just trying to get after it.”
Now the Clippers will try to turn that into wins.
Clear Creek Amana travels to West Delaware on Friday and hosts Regina on Saturday.
“For me it’s been good,” Clubb said. “I like to think that basketball is basketball and it translates regardless of where you are at.”
Clear Creek Amana 8 12 9 5 – 34
Western Dubuque 15 19 17 15 – 66
Clear Creek Amana (34) – Tate Thomsen 5-11 1-2 12, Nolan Schwarting 1-5 0-0 2, Cory Siders 2-5 3-7 7, Drake Mougin 1-3 0-2 2, Tyler Hallett 3-6 1-3 7, Jordan Smith 0-0 0-1 0, Tyler Schrepfer 1-1 0-0 2, Jordan Wolfe 0-0 2-2 2, Team 13-31 7-17 34.
Western Dubuque (66) – Sam Goodman 0-3 2-2 2, Gregory Bennett 3-8 0-0 8, Nick Lembezeder 1-4 4-5 7, Kyle Cleary 2-3 0-0 4, Dylan Gotto 4-9 2-3 12, Grant Kelchen 3-4 0-0 6, Calvin Harris 2-8 0-0 4, Andrew Welty 0-2 0-0 0, Ryan Samson 3-6 1-6 7, Alec Wulfekuhle 5-11 2-5 12, Danny Recker 2-3 0-0 4, Team 25-61 11-21 66.
3-point field goals – CCA 1-5 (Thomsen 1-2, Schwarting 0-2, Siders 0-1), WD 5-14 (Goodman 0-1, Bennett 2-4, Lembezeder 1-3, Gotto 2-3, Welty 0-1). Rebounds – CCA 26 (Thomsen 5), WD 40 (Wulfekuhle 7). Turnovers – CCA 28, WD 16. Total fouls – CCA 16, WD 20. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.