By Andrew Gogerty
ANKENY, Iowa—The number 13 is considered an unlucky number by most people, but not Chase Clark. The 6'3 junior from Reinbeck, Iowa (Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School), chose the number for a reason, and that reason is a big part of why he's excelling on the basketball court this season.
"The number 13 was my dad's lucky number, and also my older brother's," said Chase. "I have eight siblings, so I'm used to playing a lot of basketball and getting banged around a lot."
Banging around the basket is what Clark has done best this season for the Faith Eagles. With his 20 points and 26 rebounds effort in Tuesday's 80-67 loss to Emmaus, Clark is now averaging a double-double for the season with 11.3 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
His 26 rebounds came close to tying the school record of 30 held by Tyler Betz and Tom Thompson, and Clark now has five double-doubles this season.
The Eagles played their hearts out in the loss to Emmaus, trailing by just a point at halftime and by just five points with 12 minutes remaining in the game. A 17-5 run by Emmaus over a five-minute stretch created a deficit that was too much for Faith to overcome. The Eagles had four players in double-figures, led by Clark's 20 points, 13 from Micah Stinson, and 11 each for Kalab Sidlinger and Cole Glanzer.
The wins have been hard to come by this season for the Eagles, who have lost four straight and six of their last seven. Late-season injuries to Tanner Van Beek and Sam Pedersen puts an even larger load on the broad shoulders of Clark for the rest of the year, but it's a challenge that Chase, the gentle giant, is up for.
"We work well together as a team and I just do my part," said Clark. "I hustle around and do what I do best and get those offensive rebounds. I think that's been a big part in helping me out in my performance."
For Clark, basketball has always been a family affair. All of the pickup games with his siblings, getting banged around the basket, and a spirit of competitiveness has made Chase one of the bright stories of the Eagles' 2018-19 season.
Faith has two games remaining before the conference tournaments next week in Belton, Missouri. You can catch Clark and the Eagles in action this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at home against Central Christian College of the Bible and on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. for the home finale against Kansas Christian.