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BOYS BASKETBALL: Well-oiled machine Clarkston rolls over Troy

| March 12, 2018 | Comments (0)

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

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WEST BLOOMFIELD —  Troy’s biggest fears were realized Monday night.

Playing top-ranked Clarkston a third time this season, the Colts could not solve the Wolves in any phase of the game. Clarkston dominated the glass and cruised past Troy, 71-46, in a Class A regional semifinal Monday at West Bloomfield High School.

The defending state champion Wolves pounded Troy on the glass with a 34-16 rebounding edge, shot 54 percent from the floor (29-for-54) and never allowed the Colts to even pose a threat.

“We talked about that we needed to do a better job rebounding the basketball on the defensive end and limit them to one shot and we weren’t able to do that,” admitted veteran Troy coach Gary Fralick. “We expected a better effort tonight. Hats off to Clarkston because you know what they were going to do and they do it well. They dominated on the boards and that was a major difference.”

Clarkston’s five senior starters scored all of the Wolves’ points.

Senior guard CJ Robinson poured in a game-high 24 points to lead the Wolves. Senior Mr. Basketball candidate Foster Loyer (Michigan State) added 23 points and eight assists, 6-foot-9 senior center Taylor Currie (Wisconsin) recorded a double-double with 16 points, 16 rebounds and two blocked shots, while senior guard Nick Wells scored four with nine rebounds and five assists for the Wolves, who played a six-man rotation until the final minute.

“Our starting five was playing so well together that it was hard to take them off,” said Clarkston coach Dan Fife. “They were moving the basketball, making shots, dominating with rebounds. We talked about (subbing) but the way the game was going, it was really difficult to take them off.” 

Clarkston (22-1) came out like gangbusters, turning an early 3-2 deficit into a 23-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Wolves knocked down five three-pointers in the first quarter, where they finished 9-for-17 shooting.

By halftime, Clarkston was still cooking over an open flame by shooting 19-for-35 from the floor in the first half and held its biggest lead of 43-17 at the break.

Troy (17-6) used a 17-9 run in the third quarter to claw to within 52-33. But it was much too late for a comeback.

Clarkston finished 8-for-8 from the foul line in the final 1:41 and closed with a 19-13 spurt in the fourth quarter.

The Wolves also sank 7-of-2 three-pointers (54.8 percent) in the contest with Robinson canning four and Lower three in the rout.

“We all know our roles,” said Wells. “I don’t mind having Foster and Taylor and CJ doing the scoring. We all have our parts and I don’t mind doing the dirty work, getting rebounds, assists, whatever it takes. We play well together and we just want to win. We know that every game could be our last and we’re not ready to be done yet.”

Senior guard Leon Ayers III scored 19 for Troy. Danny Sully, a 6-7 senior center, added eight points and nine rebounds for the Colts, who shot 18-for-45 from the floor (40 percent).

“We had another great season,” said Fralick. “We won 21 games last year and 17 this year. We’ve had a good run with this group of seniors. We’re sad that it ended this way. But we lost to a very talented team and we’ve had a lot of positives with this group the past couple of years.”

Clarkston will face Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (16-7) in the regional finals Wednesday at West Bloomfield.

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

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

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