Seth Clark isn't afraid to play with reckless abandon.

Seth Clark isn't afraid to play with reckless abandon.

Olentangy High School boys basketball coach Chris Kelly isn't surprised when his junior point guard slides across the court on his stomach to grab a loose ball.

Kelly said the Braves feed off Clark's energy.

"Sometimes I have to have him back down because he can go too hard," said Kelly, whose team was 6-7 overall and 3-5 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Marysville on Jan. 24. "He's very physical and he does the dirty work that needs to be done on the floor.

"Seth has a complete game. He is strong on the ball and is probably the best ball-handler we have. He goes after a lot of loose balls and he's fast and has long arms. With him doing all of those things well, he brings a lot to the table."

Clark gained 25 pounds in the offseason and grew three inches to 6-foot-1.

"Seth was a great player as a sophomore going against some of the great guards we had in the league last year," Kelly said. "He worked hard in the offseason to get bigger and stronger. And he grew three inches in the offseason, or five if you count his (flattop) hair."

Through 13 games, Clark was averaging 13 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals.

He also provides intangibles such as hustle, leadership and toughness.

"I dive after balls because it's what's best for the team," Clark said. "That gives us another possession and gives us another opportunity to score."

Helping Clark and the Braves' perimeter game is the inside presence of 6-8 senior Stephen Walczak, who was averaging a team-high 14.9 points through 13 games.

"It really helps a lot having Stephen down low," Clark said. "We only have four kids over 6-foot, so it definitely helps against the bigger teams. You get the ball to him, he draws a double team and he knows when to go up and when to give it up and kick it back out."

Clark sees finding Walczak in the paint as only part of his duties on the court.

"I need to knock down my shots and find the big guy inside. I also need to step up and get rebounds for us," he said. "But I need to control myself going to the bucket because I have been getting called for charges in the last few games. I have to know when I need to pull up for a jump shot and when to give up the ball down low."

Kelly said Clark, a team captain, leads with his enthusiasm but must refine his game to play in college.

"Seth probably needs to work on driving to the bucket and finishing, like all kids at this level," Kelly said. "He needs to work on the consistency of his outside shot and his stand-up jumper. Those are things all players who want to play at the next level need to work on."

Clark said he just loves to play the game.

"I love basketball because it's a place to get away from everything," he said. "As my AAU coach Lamar Thornton says, 'When you're out on the court, nothing else matters.' That's why I like it so much."