MARION — There’s no real secret to Clear Fork’s early success.
“The energy, the effort they’re giving, the focus,” Colts head coach Steven Bechtel said after his squad dispatched Harding here Friday night 57-35 in an MOAC contest.
“We’re really looking to push the basketball and we’re sharing the basketball,” Bechtel said.
Proof of that was points off turnovers that kept Harding on its heels most of the night, along with balanced scoring.
“Any time you’re on the road, or even at home, you want to get off to a good start.”
Clear Fork built a 23-7 lead after one quarter and took a 35-16 lead at halftime.
Brennan South led the way with 18 points. AJ Blubaugh added 9, Jay Swainhart 8 off the bench and 7 each from Gannon Seifert and Brady Tedrow.
Jared Schaefer added 6 before exiting the game in the third quarter with a right ankle injury.
Clear Fork (10-2, 7-0) had 19 assists on 23 field goals, which also pleased Bechtel.
“That’s been the recipe for success so far.”
Bechtel said his four seniors “have all led in different ways.”
“We get a lot of leadership in practice from them. They’re like coaches on the floor and in huddles or even in timeouts.”
The success from football has certainly carried over to the hardwood.
“I think even the success from football last year. I think it carries over in every school. Those kids play basketball and they bring that success. They carry it on into the winter,” he said.
The Colts got cold in the final quarter, not scoring until Swainhart nailed a 3 with 1:25 left in the game.
“We wanted to finish strong. We weren’t able to do that as well, but it was a good overall effort,” Bechtel said.
Harding (4-7, 4-3) was led by Zhamir Anderson with 10 points. Jacob Malone and Mitch Myers split a dozen.
The Colts return to action at Shelby Thursday night and then host Buckeye Valley on Saturday.
“Shelby is a very good basketball team. We’ll just try to continue the success we’ve had. It’ll be a huge challenge for us,” Bechtel said.