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BOYS BASKETBALL: Clarkston wins 22nd district in 25 years with whirlwind rout of Pontiac

| March 11, 2016 | Comments (0)

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

WATERFORD — Tornadoes are often unexpected. So is the damage that they can cause in a flash in time.

Clarkston’s performance Friday night in a Class A district final at Waterford Mott was much like a devastating tornado.

It was swift.

It was damaging.

And it was somewhat unexpected.

The result was Clarkston rolling over out-matched Pontiac in the form of an 59-22 blowout victory, helping the Wolves claim their 22nd district in a 25-year span.

Clarkston (19-2) shot an impressive 64.9 percent from the floor (24-for-37), sank 5-of-7 free throws and converted 6-of-13 shots from beyond the three-point arc (46.2 percent).

“I really didn’t expect that,“ admitted veteran Clarkston coach Dan Fife. “We played awfully well and I think experience was the difference. We have a couple of players that have played in big games like this. Pontiac has some young players that have never been in a situation like this. But I really thought it would be a whole lot closer.”

A total of 18 of Clarkston’s 24 made field goals featured assists, as the Wolves shared the sugar throughout and eventually set off the running clock in the final five minutes with a 40-point cushion. Clarkston out-rebounded Pontiac 22-19 and forced 11 Phoenix turnovers.

The Wolves were even more impressive defensively, holding Pontiac (16-6) to a mere 19.4 shooting from the floor (7-for-36) and just 1-for-11 from downtown (9.1 percent).

“Our defense was very good,” added Fife. “And I think offensively each time down the court someone else was contributing. We were very balanced.”

Clarkston raced out to a 16-3 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. By halftime, the Wolves were in complete control with a 33-6 advantage.

A 15-8 edge in the third stanza gave Clarkston a 48-14 lead and the Wolves substituted freely in the fourth frame as the running clock wound down quickly.

Sophomore guard Foster Loyer led a balanced offensive onslaught for Clarkston, scoring a game-high 16 points to go along with five assists and five rebounds.

Sophomore guard C.J. Robinson added 11 points and four assists, 6-foot-5 senior center Mitch Heaton finished 6-for-7 from the floor for 12 points, 6-4 junior forward Dylan Alderson twined eight points with eight rebounds and five assists, while 6-4 senior forward Tabin Throgmorton added eight points for the Wolves.

Pontiac, which won the OAA White Division this season and have won 32 games the past two years under legendary coach Ben Kelso, could never get untracked against Clarkston, the OAA Red Division champions.

“We have never been in big game like this and Clarkston is a very good basketball team,” said Kelso. “Coach Fife has them playing some very good basketball at both ends of the floor. One thing I’ve noticed about Clarkston this year is that after their (two) losses, they  responded with some very big wins. They lost to North Farmington a couple of weeks ago and since then they have won big. They beat Oxford by nearly 40 the other night. That’s coaching and that’s experience.

“We took another step up this season, but we have a ways to go,” added Kelso. “We were second in our league last year and we won (a share) this year.”

Clarkston will face Macomb Dakota (23-0) at 7 p.m. Monday in the regional semifinals at Dakota. Rochester Adams and Ortonville Brandon will face off in the other regional semifinal.

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Category: Basketball, Clarkston, Featured Articles, High School, High School (M-Z), Most Recently Updated Stories, Pontiac, Prep Wraps, Sport, Top Stories, Uncategorized

About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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