GIRLS BASKETBALL: Clarkston maintains OAA-Red lead with win over Stoney Creek | North Oakland Sports

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Clarkston maintains OAA-Red lead with win over Stoney Creek

| January 26, 2018 | Comments (0)

Wolves’ Luchenbach reach 1,000 summit in win




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CLARKSTON — Halfway through the OAA Red Division league season and Clarkston controls its own destiny.

The first-place Wolves held onto sole possession of first place Friday with a 40-20 triumph over visiting Rochester Stoney Creek to move to 6-0 in the seven-school league and 11-2 overall.

Senior forward Kayla Luchenbach reached the 1000th-point barrier — believed to be just the third in school history to hit that mark — in the win. The Oakland University-signee swished pair of free throws with 7:10 left in the third quarter to put her over the hump.

The 6-foot-2 Luchenbach finished the night with 13 points, four blocked shots, four rebounds, two steals and two assists to lead the Wolves.

“Kayla’s a special player,” said Clarkston coach Christine Rogers. “For her to get her 1000th point really reflects what she has meant to this program over the past couple of years.”

Senior guard Maddie Beck canned a trio of three-pointers and finished with a co-game-high 13 points, while fellow 6-2 senior center Molly Nicholson had 10 points, five rebounds and two blocks for the Wolves.

“We’re still in the lead, but have some big games coming up,” said Rogers. “We have a make-up game Tuesday and we’ve already played Stoney Creek twice. But we’ll begin our second part of the league season next week and we have a long ways to go.”

Clarkston only had four players reach the scoring column, with sophomore Lexi Linton scoring four points with four rebounds during the final 6:59 after the aforementioned trio left the game.

The Wolves finished the night 13-for-37 from the floor (35.2 percent) and 9-for-12 from the charity stripe. Clarkston never trailed, leading 7-2 at the end of the first quarter and 20-6 at the half — allowing Stoney Creek to convert just 2-of-17 field goal attempts in the first half.

The Wolves led by as many as 27 points (36-9) late in the third quarter.

“Stoney Creek is a very scrappy team. Even though we beat them by (20), they still kept the pressure on us,” lamented Rogers. “This was good game for us to work on our ball-handling because we had a lot of girls out there which will make up part of our team next year. Handling that type of pressure will help us down the road.

“We have some great length, some rebounders and shot blockers that cause problems for teams,” continued Rogers. “And our perimeter defense was really strong tonight, too.”

Defensively, Clarkston held Stoney Creek (4-10, 2-6) to a 6-for-30 shooting night (20 percent) from the floor. The Cougars didn’t help their own cause by not hitting a single three-pointer (0-for-6) in the contest, finishing just 8-for-17 from the foul line (47.1 percent) all while committing 13 turnovers.

Freshman Erin Benitez and senior Izzy Ubaydi both had four points, while junior Marina St. Louis pulled down five rebounds for the Cougars, which actually held a 24-21 edge on the boards against the taller Wolves.

It was the continued tale of Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Hyde for Stoney Creek, which had little varsity experience at the beginning of the season and has been plagued by inconsistency all season.

“The last time we played them we kept it somewhat close,” offered Stoney Creek coach Kellen James. “I don’t want to use it as an excuse, but we are still inconsistent due to our age. At one time we had four players out there at the same time that we’re (15-and-under). But all of this will make us better in the future. Defensively, we’re fine. But offensively, we struggle at times. We saw that again tonight. In our last game we only scored 26 points.”

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