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Clarinda too much for Cowboys

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Garett Phillips, Sidney

Sidney senior Garett Phillips picks up the ball after driving into the middle of the Clarinda defense Thursday, Jan. 13. Phillips scored 22 points in the loss.

SIDNEY – Drew Brown’s three triples early in the first quarter sparked the Clarinda offense in a 71-46 win at Sidney Thursday, Jan. 13.

The Cardinals scored 26 points in the first quarter and 45 in the first half, a good offensive performance for a team that has been struggling on that end most of the season.

“It’s nice to see us hit some shots when we get the open look,” Clarinda head coach Rod Eberly said. “Our offense is designed to get us some good looks and (Thursday) we capitalized on that.”

Wyatt Schmitt and Isaac Jones joined Brown in double figures for the game for Clarinda. Schmitt finished with 14 points, including six of Clarinda’s first eight coming out of halftime and he was named the game’s Standout Athlete.

“It feels good that when we’re open we can hit it,” Schmitt said about the offensive success. “We have to keep rolling though.”

Brown’s early triples came after Sidney’s Cole Jorgenson and Garett Phillips both connected from deep in the game’s first minute to put Sidney in front 6-0. Clarinda scored the next 11, however, and had the lead to double digits by the end of the first quarter. The Cowboys didn’t hit another triple until the third quarter.

Sidney head coach Kent Larsen said they had to shoot it well to be able hang with a good Clarinda team.

“Clarinda is bigger and more athletic than us and they played really well,” Larsen said. “They did a good job recognizing what defense we were in and found the open guy to take advantage of their length and athleticism. We tried three or four different defenses in that first half and couldn’t slow them down.”

Clarinda led 45-22 at halftime and Eberly said it was nice to see several of his guys pick things up offensively.

“It’s great on the road especially,” Eberly said. “For us, if we don’t hit shots early, then we have to rely on our defense. (Thursday) we scored a little more. Our defensive focus was a little down in the second half, but that’s natural. We’re working on that killer instinct to go put teams away.”

Clarinda pushed the lead to 33 late in the third quarter, but Larsen said he was pleased his team kept fighting and the Cardinals were never able to get the margin to 35, which would have started the continuous clock.

“We hung in there and we talked about it with six minutes left, when (the lead) was at 30,” Larsen said. “Sometimes you play for small goals and ours what to not let this get to running clock. We had a little spurt and made a couple shots. At that point, you’re just trying to take anything positive you can.”

Brown scored 17 points to lead the Cardinals. Jones had 10 while Cole Baumgart came off the bench to score nine points. Eberly said guys like Schmitt and Baumgart continue to improve and could be big for his team down the stretch.

“Wyatt is getting better each night out and Cole is also getting better,” Eberly said. “Cole got lost in the shuffle (Tuesday) against Atlantic and gave us some good minutes. His confidence is growing and he’s a really good athlete. For him to come on would be big for us.”

Tadyn Brown scored seven points for Clarinda and Grant Jobe put in six. Cooper Neal ended with four points and Adam Johnson and Kade Engstrand added two points each.

It was the third straight loss for the Cowboys after not losing at all prior to the holiday break.

“This has been a tough stretch and hopefully we can break out of it soon and start shooting the ball better,” Larsen said. “This game gets us ready for the conference tournament. You want to play teams who are better than what we’ll see next week. You want to play teams that play good defense, so when you play a team who isn’t as aggressive, it slows the game down a lot for you”

Phillips had a big night offensively for the Cowboys with 22 points while Jorgenson chipped in with 10.

Braedon Godfread added five points while Grant Whitehead scored three. Kyle Beam, Matthew Benedict and Nik Peters all ended with two.

Full stats for both teams will be added when available.

Sidney fell to 6-3 and travels to Nebraska City Lourdes Saturday ahead of next week’s conference tournament. Clarinda improved to 8-6.


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