Clear Lake stops Humboldt one step shy of state
ALGONA — The Humboldt boys came up just short in their bid to reach the state basketball tournament field for the first time in eight years here on Tuesday.
North Central Conference champion Clear Lake took the rubber match from the Wildcats when it mattered most, securing the Substate 2 title and a berth in the Class 3A state quarterfinals with a 64-48 victory.
Carson Toebe scored 28 points for the ninth-ranked Lions (22-2 overall), with Andrew Fromanek adding 13 points and 10 rebounds. Clear Lake took control early, building a double-digit lead in the first quarter at 19-8 that Humboldt (15-8) ended up chasing all evening long.
Toebe had 11 in the opening frame alone.
Sophomore Will Orness finished with 17 points for Humboldt, which was trying to get back to Wells Fargo Arena for the first time since 2014. Junior Caden Matson added 14, with 10 coming in the first half.
Lion reserve Joe Faber drained four three-point baskets off the bench in the first half, as Clear Lake’s lead reached 39-23 by the break.
The NCC rivals split their regular-season series. The Wildcats won 54-46 at home, and the Lions prevailed in Clear Lake, 69-49. In the final conference standings, the Lions were 12-2 to clinch the conference crown.
Humboldt was 9-4 and took third.
The Wildcats reached the substate final with victories over fellow NCC members Webster City (78-45) and Algona (71-69).
This was the final game in a Wildcat uniform for seniors Gabe Gidel, Sam Fischer, Aiden Christensen, Troy Gerjets and Jake Lenning. Humboldt has gone 28-17 combined over the last two seasons.
Clear Lake will face top-seeded Ballard (23-1) in a 3A state quarterfinal on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in Des Moines.
CLEAR LAKE 64, HUMBOLDT 48
Clear Lake – Carson Toebe 28, Andrew Formanek 13, Joe Faber 12, Eric Ritter 9, Travaughn Luyobya 2.
Humboldt – Will Orness 17, Caden Matson 14, Trevor Jacobson 7, Sam Fischer 4, Ben Kuehnast 4, Jacob Heier 2.
Quarter scores: Clear Lake led 19-8, 39-23, 50-37.