March 07, 2012 - Excitement filled the air as the buzzer sounded the end of the MHSAA District finals game between the Lady Wolves and Grand Blanc.
Breanca Cantrell creates a path around defenders. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
Clarkston finished the game with a 48-25 win - claiming their second consecutive district title.
"I was happy for them," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Tim Wasilk. "They put in a lot of work in the off season and really stuck together this year. They battled through injuries. Hopefully we can pull together for more."
Before the Lady Wolves took on Grand Blanc for the title, they battled Fenton to get past the second round.
The girls led during for the first quarter but Fenton caught up in the next quarter. Clarkston held onto the lead with one point going into the second half, 15-14.
A foul opening the third quarter sent Lady Tiger Sarah Collier to the line for two. She scored on one of her attempts to tie the score.
Each side battled for control and each attempt fell unsuccessful as the other team claimed possession of the ball.
With 2:52 left in the third quarter, freshman Erika Davenport's attempt was successful and Clarkston claimed the lead again. It was short lived as Collier scored only seconds later.
A boost came from senior Tori Trimmer. She scored two free throw shots from the line with 2:23 left in the quarter. It gave the girls a 2-point cushion going into the last final quarter.
"I told them it was going to be a close game," Wasilk said," and just to stay in their comfort zone and do what we have been doing all year."
Senior Christina Jokisch put a 3-pointer through the rim to put the Lady Wolves more ahead. Fenton kept up with them scoring two points on the line.
Senior Breanca Cantrell faced off with defense and faked a pass before she ran under the net. She threw the ball out to senior Anna Manilla, who passed it onto Jokisch. She lined up with the basket and scored two more points.
"I thought if I pass or move, I could get one of my teammates open for a shot or a layup," Cantrell said. "We needed it because it was a tense game. They moved the ball really fast so we stepped it up."
Cantrell scored the next two baskets and the Lady Wolves continued to build from there to hold onto the lead, winning 41-27.
"My mind set was for me it could be my last game," Cantrell added. "It could be my last game with the team."
Cantrell and Jokisch both scored 11 points. Cantrell had one 3-pointer and Jokisch had two for the game. Trimmer scored eight points and Davenport added six points.
"The big thing tonight was the girls stuck with our game plan," said Wasilk. "They didn't give up on what we were trying to do offensively or defensively."
Junior Delaney Kenny led the Lady Wolves against Grand Blanc, posting 15 points to the board. Davenport had nine points, Jokisch scored nine points and one 3-pointer as Trimmer added six points and Erin Davenport added five points.
The Lady Wolves played Saginaw Arthur Hill on Tuesday.
"Saginaw Arthur Hill will be our toughest test yet this year," said Wasilk. "They are very competitive. They have a good mix of guard plays and post. They are going to be fast and play good defense."
"We need to work and push harder," Cantrell added.
The winner advances to Thursday night to take on the Midland/Davison winner at 7 p.m. at Bay City Central High School.
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.