BOYS BASKETBALL: Clarkston hammers Orchard Lake St. Mary's for 14th regional crown | North Oakland Sports

BOYS BASKETBALL: Clarkston hammers Orchard Lake St. Mary’s for 14th regional crown

| March 14, 2018 | Comments (0)

Legendary coach Dan Fife gains 700th career win



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WEST BLOOMFIELD —  For the third straight game, Clarkston hit the accelerator and went for broke.

The top-ranked Wolves simply never let up.

Clarkston captured its second straight Class A regional crown, 10th in 20 years and 14th overall dating back to 1980 with a convincing 58-35 victory over unranked Orchard Lake St. Mary’s at West Bloomfield High School.

It marked legendary Clarkston coach Dan Fife’s 700th career win over 35 seasons at Clarkston and it came in a bizarre manner. The Wolves played iron-man basketball, as Fife opted not to sub during the whole contest.

“This means a lot to our program. This is not about me,” smiled Fife regarding another milestone in his coaching career. “All I ask is that everybody play hard all the time, in every practice and game, and we saw that tonight.”

The defending state champion Wolves (23-1) built a 17-5 advantage after the first quarter and gained stellar performances from all five starters by walking into the locker room with a comfortable 38-19 lead.

Clarkston shot an impressive 66.7 percent from the floor in the fist half (16-for-24) and never allowed St. Mary’s to even poise a threat.

The Wolves finished the night with only five turnovers — three in the fourth quarter — shot the ball at a 51.2 percent clip (22-for-43), converted 8-of10 free throws (80 percent) and swished 6-of-13 three-pointers (46.2 percent) on the night.

Both teams traded off 11 points in the third quarter, with the Wolves holding a 49-30 advantage entering the fourth quarter. Clarkston closed with a 9-5 run.

Michigan State-bound Foster Loyer finished with 24 points with eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals to pace the Wolves. Senior guard C.J. Robinson added 13 points and five rebounds, 6-foot-9 senior center Taylor Currie (Wisconsin) added 10 points, five blocks and four boards, senior guard Nick Wells had four points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two swipes, and 6-5 senior forward Chase Wasilk contributed seven points for Clarkston.

“Everybody one through 15 puts in effort each day in practice, and even though a lot of guys didn’t get their usual minutes, playing hard is what Coach Fife expects of us all,” said Loyer.

Clarkston captured its third regional title in four years and is three wins shy of defending its state title.

“Making it this far is always the expectation playing at Clarkston,” added Loyer. “We’ve been here before, so we know what it’s like.”

Sophomore guard Lorne Bowman scored 18 points for OLSM, sinking 5-of-8 three-pointers, while sophomore forward Anthony Enechukwu followed with 10 points. Senior center Caden Prieskorn was held to two points and eight boards for the Eaglets, who were held to just 33 percent shooting (13-for-39).

St. Mary’s (16-8) closed to within 10-3 on a three-pointer by Enechukwu with 3:35 left in the first quarter only to see Clarkston respond with a 7-2 run to close out the quarter.

Loyer opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer and a 20-5 lead and St. Mary’s never recovered.

Clarkston advances to the state quarterfinals next Tuesday to face Flint Carman-Ainsworth, 61-38 winners over Traverse City West, at 7 p.m. at Grand Blanc High School.

The Wolves defeated Carman-Ainsworth 72-67 back on Dec. 7 during Clarkston’s second game of the season.

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Category: Clarkston, Featured Articles, High School, High School (M-Z)

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