GIRLS BASKETBALL: Clarkston rolls over Pontiac in district opener | North Oakland Sports

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Clarkston rolls over Pontiac in district opener

| February 28, 2017 | Comments (0)



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LAKE ORION — After suffering a first-round exit a year ago, Clarkston made sure it would live beyond the tournament opening day in the Class A girls basketball state tournament this season.

Clarkston’s twin towers of juniors Kayla Luchenbach and Molly Nicholson dominated in the post and the Wolves’ backcourt frustrated Pontiac into 25 turnovers in a 54-27 victory in a Class A pre-district at Lake Orion High School.

Clarkston (16-5) advanced to Wednesday’s district semifinals and will meet Oxford at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“Last year we went home after the first night,” recalled Clarkston coach Christine Rogers. “We were close with (Waterford) Kettering, but we let that game get away from us. We did not want to go home again. We want to take it one game at a time, but I think the girls would like to play Kettering again. Now we only have to worry about Oxford, then we’ll worry bout whose left on the other side if we get there.”

Luchenbach finished with a game-high 18 points and cleaned up on the glass with 16 rebounds and a trio of blocks in the lopsided win. Nicholson added 14 points and eight rebounds and junior guard Maddie Beck twined nine points for the Wolves.

“It’s nice to be able to count on them. When our 6-2 girls are playing tough, we play well. There’s not a lot of teams that can match up with us (inside),” said Rogers. “It’s nice to be able to count on them. Our guards also played well. We only had two turnovers in the second half. We have really come a long way this season with (our backcourt play). I think in the first half our guards weren’t looking to get the ball inside as much. In the second half we did a much better job at that.”

Clarkston never trailed, building a 15-5 lead after the first quarter and a comfortable 27-12 lead at the half.

The Wolves continued to dominate in the second half, outscoring the Phoenix 13-11 in the third stanza and 14-4 in the final frame to pull away.

“Our bench was able to get a ton of minutes, which is nice,” said Rogers. “We’ve had some injuries and that has allowed some other girls to get some minutes. Now we have everybody back and we have some depth.”

Pontiac, which had only eight available players, finished with a 6-15 record. Senior guard Aniya Erkins scored 12 points and freshman guard Braia Benton added nine points for the Phoenix.

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