March 07, 2012 - Cagers added one more win to their record as they worked on continuing deep into the post season.
Travis Smith blocks a West Bloomfield guard. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
They opened the first round of the MHSAA District playoffs with a 72-61 against Grand Blanc on Monday night.
Before they finished the regular season last week they beat West Bloomfield, 70-33, to remain undefeated in the OAA Red league.
"It is a great effort," said Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball Head Coach Dan Fife. "It's not easy to go undefeated in our league. I was really proud of the kids. We thanked them and congratulated them - now we have a rough road to go."
The last time Fife remembered going undefeated in the league was in 1991 when his son Dugan was on the team.
The boys opened the game with two points from junior Jordan Dasuqi after he scored off senior Nick Tatu's rebound.
West Bloomfield tied the score but it would be the last time as seniors Zach Collins and Mitch Baenziger scored a combination of four points to put Clarkston back into the lead.
The Wolves went on a 10-0 run before closing the first quarter. They continued to build from there, finishing the first half 42-17.
"Over the years that has been a difficult game," Fife admitted about the boys' last home game. "Our seniors are wound up and want to have a good game. There are distractions. Our kids played good mentally."
With the lead continuing, Fife put the boys from the bench into the game - including senior Travis Smith, who has missed the entire season because he was injured.
"It was good to have him back," Fife added. "He creates a lot of things. It was his first game back and he is ready for districts even though he missed the season."
Baenziger led the team with 13 points. Dasuqi scored 12 points, making two 3-pointers; Tatu had 11 points with one 3-pointer. Senior Alan Kamieniecki and sophomore Nick Owens scored two 3-pointers.
The boys also beat Southfield-Lathrup on Feb. 28 before they wrapped the regular season, 67-57
"It was a great game," Fife smiled. "We had to play well."
The Wolves were behind, 27-34, going into the second half of the game. The Chargers took the lead after outscoring them 20-12 in second quarter
The boys held on tight and made 15 points while holding Southfield-Lathrup down to ten points. With a two point deficit the Wolves went into the fourth quarter with a mission.
"We finally caught up to them and got a little lead," Fife said about the final quarter. "Then we just went ahead in the last three minutes. It was a tough place to play and it was an early game. We arrived a little late because of exams."
Baenziger led the team with 29 points, scoring three 3-pointers. Dasuqi scored 16 points and Chance Huth added ten points and shot two 3-pointers.
The boys head into the second round on Wednesday and will take on Holly, 7 p.m.
"It is a tough district," said Fife. "People want to beat Clarkston."
The winner moves on to the district championship set for Friday at 7 p.m. Both games are at Swartz Creek High School, 1 Dragon Drive in Swartz Creek.
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.