Clippers notch key district victory over South Border
The Strasburg-Zeeland Clippers improved to 6-0 in District 6 with a 54-45 victory over South Border in Zeeland on Jan. 15.
The Clippers, who are ranked in the State Class B Poll for the first time since 2002, improved to 11-0 overall, and came in ranked 9th in the Class B Poll. South Border, meanwhile, suffered a huge blow to its chances to earn the top seed in District 6, as the Mustangs dropped to 3-3 in district play, and 4-7 overall.
Both teams got off to a slow start, and a low-scoring first quarter ended with Strasburg-Zeeland holding an 8-7 edge. However, Strasburg-Zeeland used a strong defensive effort and balanced scoring in the second period to open up a lead they would never surrender. Brody (8), Cole (6) and Kyle (5) Nieuwsma combined for 19 points in the first half, and Strasburg-Zeeland took a 24-16 advantage to the intermission.
Strasburg-Zeeland maintained a steady lead throughout the second half, and even though the Clippers couldn’t add much onto their advantage, South Border was unable to put together any kind of a run to threaten the lead. Strasburg-Zeeland took a 36-27 lead into the final period. Three-pointers by Brody Nieuwsma and Scotti Scherr to start the fourth quarter quelled a potential rally by South Border, and Nieuwsma sank 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch to help seal up the victory. The Clippers attempted just two free throws over the first three quarters, before sinking 6 of 9 shots from the line in the final period.
Strasburg-Zeeland finished 21 of 44 (48%) from thefield,includinga5of14 (36%) showing from behind the arc. South Border hit 9 of 11 free throws, and held a 31-24 advantage in rebounds, including a 15-4 margin in offensive rebounds, but the Mustangs shot a dismal, 28 percent (16 of 57) from the floor, including just 19 percent (4 of 21) on three-point attempts.
Brody Nieuwsma scored 8 points in the final period and finished with a game-high 19 points, to go along with 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Scherr (3 three-pointers, 3 assists) and Cole Nieuwsma scored 9 points apiece, Nic Kramer tallied 8 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, and Kyle Nieuwsma chipped in 7 points for the Clippers. Adam Jacobson led South Border with 13 points, and Hunter Pinke, who fouled out in the fourth quarter, added 11 points for the Mustangs.
South Border: Adam Jacobson 13, Hunter Pinke 11, Ross Knoll 9, Michael Jacobson 7, Adam Wishek 3, Matt Kretschmar 2.
Strasburg-Zeeland: Brody Nieuwsma 19, Scotti Scherr 9, Cole Nieuwsma 9, Nic Kramer 8, Kyle Nieuwsma 7, Mason Kramer 2.
3-Pointers: South Border (4- 21): Knoll 2, M. Jacobson 1, A. Jacobson 1, Strasburg-Zeeland (5-14): Scherr 3, B. Nieuwsma 2. Fouled Out: Pinke.