BY DAN STICKRADT
AUBURN HILLS — Clarkston did not play its best game of the season Friday night. The Wolves proved that they could win a subpar effort.
Clarkston opened up the second half with a 10-2 run and maintained at least a five-point lead for the rest of the game before posting a 55-43 OAA Red Division girls basketball win over host Auburn Hills Avondale.
“This wasn’t out best game and it wasn’t our worst. We still found a way to win even when this wasn’t our best shooting night,” offered Clarkston coach Tim Wasilk. “I like the way we came out in the third quarter. We made a little run and we were able to hold onto the lead. Avondale is getting better. They are an improving team. They were much better than the first time we played them in December.”
Clarkston, ranked eighth in class A, has only suffered a loss to seventh-ranked Macomb Dakota. The Wolves, winners of two straight district titles and the OAA Red Division champion last season, maintained its stranglehold on the league this season with the win.
“We do have some goals. Right now, we just want to take it one day at a time and try to win the league again,” said Clarkston senior guard Delaney Kenny. “We have a long ways to go. We have some tough games coming up. That’s our main focus.”
Kenny finished with nine points and six assists in the win. Sophomore center Erika Davenport, one of the state’s rising stars, continued to dominate in the paint with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds. She helped Clarkston (11-1, 7-0) grab a 15-10 lead after the first quarter and a 23-22 edge at the half.
“I think Erika’s (development) this season has really helped us out a ton,” said Wasilk. “She has stepped in and become a dominant player inside for us. Teams concentrate on stopping her and that opens it up for other players.”
The Wolves began to widen the gap with a 10-2 run to open the third stanza and outscored the Yellowjackets 15-4 in the frame for a 38-26 advantage.
Avondale (7-5, 4-4) closed to within 47-42 inside two minutes left in the contest before Clarkston used free throws to further distance themselves in the end.
“We are getting better. But we are still a little inconsistent at times,” offered Avondale coach Darius Whiteside. “We play well for a quarter, then we don’t play well in the second quarter. Then we play well in the third quarter. It’s been like that like that most of the season. We had a game in December that we finally played a complete game. If we can have more of those types of games, we will win some more games. We’re hoping to see that more later in the season.”
Daja Whiteside cored 12 to pace Avondale. Quinnece Garrison added 10 points and Carolyn Gracey chipped in with six points.
Erin Davenport added 12 points and Carly Giroux scored seven for Clarkston.
CLARKSTON 55, AUBURN HILLS AVONDALE 43
CLARKSTON (55): Patrice Matthews (1) 3; Erika Davenport 8 7-8 23; Carly Giroux 2 (1) 7; Erin Davenport 5 2-2 12; Kacy Robinson 1-2 1; Delaney Kenny 2 5-8 9; Totals: 17 (2) 15-20.
AVONDALE(43): Quinnece Garrison 1 (1) 5-6 10; Daja Whiteside 4 4-5 12; Sabrina Douglas (1) 0-2 3; Carolyn Gracey 3 6; Hannah Susick 3-4 3; Candace Johnson 1 2; Damariya Hamilton 1 1-2 3; Teqwa’Zha Terry 1 2; Totals: 11 (2) 13-19.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
C 15 7 15 18 — 55
A 10 11 4 18 — 43
RECORDS: Clarkston 11-1, 7-0 OAA-Red; Avondale 7-5, 4-4.
JV — Avondale def. Clarkston
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