February 22, 2012 - Cagers were preparing for another round of games while their classmates were out on Monday for mid-winter break.
Mitch Baenziger goes for the net during the first half of Clarkston's game against Pontiac. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
It had been at least a week since they played their last game, a quick-paced, thrilling win over Pontiac to tie for the OAA Red league title.
"It was an old-fashioned game between Clarkston and Pontiac," said long-time Wolves Boys Basketball Head Coach Dan Fife after the 58-52 victory. "That's how they're supposed to be played. The kids played hard on both sides. They kept their composure. It was a good ball game."
The score was close throughout the game and the Wolves' finished the third quarter with a 42-41 lead.
Junior Jordan Dasuqi opened the last quarter with a basket with an assist from senior Zach Collins. It started the Wolves 11-2 run with baskets from senior Mitch Baenziger, Chance Huth and Dasuqi.
"We got as good as a game out of Baenziger - taking care of the ball, making plays and making good decisions," said Fife. "I really thought he played well - handling the ball and just keeping us in the game and not turning it over."
Pontiac began starting more momentum with 2:40 to go in the game, starting with one point at the free throuw line. They added five more points.
Huth scored with 1:20 to go to widen the gap to a 6-point lead. With two 3-point misses by Pontiac kept Clarkston fans at ease as the the Wolves went into the final minute of play.
Baenziger scored three more points from the free-point line, as did Pontiac to end the game 58-52.
Dasuqi and Baenziger led the team with 23 points each. Dasuqi scored three 3-pointers and Baenziger scored one. Huth scored six points during the game.
"Dasuqi and Baenziger got a lot of easy looks because of Nick Tatu," said Fife, about Tatu not scoring during the game. "It is tough on Tatu but good for our team not to look to Nick to score all the time. Troy they weren't going to let Tatu beat them but the other kids came up. He played with us and didn't think of himself."
The Wolves played Rochester Adams on Tuesday.
"They are always tough," said Fife.
They are back home on Friday with a rematch against Southfield, 7 p.m. to continue their reign in the league.
"It is a good challenge for us," he said about the league games. "It is a good challenge mentally not to get into that stuff."
The boys head to Southfield-Lathrup, currently holding second place in the league, next Tuesday for an early game at 4 p.m.
They started the week with a 14-2 overall record and 9-0 in the league and look to improve as they head into the last two weeks of the regular season.
"Our kids have been a little bit Jekyll and Hyde in a couple of games and effort in times," said Fife. "Right now at the end of the year you want to play and compete hard like you should be."
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.