Truckers improve to 2-0 this season
By Erik Buchinger
Clintonville survived a late rally from Waupaca to win 36-27 in the Truckers’ home opener on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
The Truckers improved to 2-0 on the season, but head coach Nick Yaeger said the team could have played better.
“It’s always nice to win, but it was a very sloppy game,” Yaeger said. “Our youth was definitely showing, but it’s always nice to get the win. We’ve got to play a whole lot better than that, and the girls know that.”
The Truckers began the game with a full-court press after made baskets, and Clintonville was able to force 15 turnovers.
“We’re much shorter and we’re quick, so we’ve got to try and use that to our advantage,” Yaeger said. “We really take pride on working hard, being conditioned. Playing defense in the full court, it’s not necessarily getting steals, but wearing teams down.”
Clintonville jumped out to a 12-3 lead and went into halftime ahead 19-11.
The Truckers never trailed in the game, but Waupaca took advantage of a Clintonville scoring drought and went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 28-27 with 2:21 remaining.
Yaeger said Clintonville did not protect the ball late in the game with a lead. The Truckers finished the game with 25 turnovers.
“Going back to last year, we’re not used to being in situations like that, and they’ll have to learn how to protect the ball better,” Yaeger said. “I thought protecting the ball didn’t go well tonight. We had too many turnovers.”
Clintonville’s Elly Arndt ended the scoring drought with a put-back layup to give the Truckers a three-point lead.
“Elly came up pretty big for us,” Yaeger said. “I think Waupaca got within a point, and she hit that two and made a couple of key threes in the first half.”
Arndt led the Truckers with a game-high 15 points and had six rebounds.
“[The game] went well, but it could have been a lot better,” Arndt said.
Lindsy Carpenter knocked down two free throws to extend the lead to five, and Clintonville had a pair of fast-break layups to pull away for a nine-point victory.
Carpenter finished one point away from a double-double with nine points and 14 rebounds. Erin Viergutz grabbed 10 rebounds for the Truckers and added two points.
After winning just one game last season, Arndt said a big reason for the early-season success comes from hard work leading up to the start of regular season games.
“We did a lot of conditioning, and it really helped,” Arndt said. “We don’t have a lot of height, so we need speed.”
Yaeger agreed the 2-0 start comes from offseason workouts.
“I think it goes back to the summer,” Yaeger said. “We’ve already tried to create chemistry with the girls on the team. We worked hard in the summer and started to create that identity then. It’s starting to show, and most of it is hard work.”