Switzerland senior closes out stellar career, looks toward college ball
Saturday, March 15, 2014 5:00 AM
Game in and game out Austin Clark knew what to expect from opposing teams. Every night he was going to face a defensive game-plan aimed solely at stopping him.
2013-14 Madison Courier Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Austin Clark in
action with the Switzerland County Pacers.
But regardless of that attention, the 6-foot-6 Clark never wavered and still averaged 22.7 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game while shooting 60 percent from the floor and leading the Pacers to a school-record 18-4 season.
It's for that reason that the Switzerland County senior has been named The Madison Courier Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the second-straight season. He took home the award for Offensive Player of the Year as well.
"Thank you, it means a lot," said Clark. "It means a lot to just be nominated, especially not even living in Madison. It means a ton to me."
Clark's ability to post up or shoot the three are what made him stand out the most. No player in the area had the kind of versatility that Clark showed this season.
With Clark carrying the load the Pacers had one of the best seasons in school history. The 18 wins tied the school record and the .818 winning percentage represented the best ever.
But Switzerland failed to win the sectional title, falling to Milan 67-62 in the semifinals. A year after winning the school's first sectional since 2006, the early exit was a bitter pill to swallow.
But Clark prefers not to dwell on the loss, instead preferring to look at the season as a whole.
"I couldn't have asked for a better year," Clark said. "I don't want to base an entire season on just one game. It was one of the better seasons in school history and I'm happy with that."
Clark began the year by officially signing with Huntington University and then proceeded to unleash an assault on the Switzerland County record books. In early February, Clark became just the fourth player in school history to score 1,000 points and his ending total of 1,193 places him second all-time.
"I knew I was close to 1,000 coming in and that was one of my goals," Clark said. "It really hasn't set in yet. When I'm in college or when I come back as an adult, I'll look forward to seeing other guys break the mark. I hope a lot of them end up doing it."
Clark's next focus will be on all-star games and getting ready for college. He, along with Madison's Landon Perry, were just named to Hoosier Basketball Magazine's Top 100 Seniors list, the jumping off point for a possible spot on the Indiana All-Star team.
In the meantime, Clark will work on his game in an effort to get even better at the next level.
"Bigger and better and stronger, that's my goal," Clark said. "It's a whole different level. Everybody's stronger and quicker. I want to work on my midrange game and make that a better part of my game."