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Cagers ready for new season

The boys use time between games to look at plays. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
November 28, 2012 - Soon fans will again fill Clarkston High School gym as the basketball teams hit the court.

The Lady Wolves host their home opener on Friday night against Davison, beginning with the JV team at 5:30 p.m.

The varsity team starts at 7 p.m. and they are ready to pick up from the success from last year even after losing six seniors.

The team has eight returners and five new players to this year's roster.

"As we continue to grow over the next few weeks and even through Christmas we will get a better idea of where we are this year," said Tim Wasilk, head coach for the Lady Wolves varsity basketball team.

"Our eight returners have an extra year under their belts," he added. "They understand the system and became leaders for the newcomers. They get things going at practice and they understand the games."

From the first few weeks of practice, Wasilk can already tell going into the first game this week the team is going to work hard. He noted the team chemistry the Lady Wolves already have established will help as well.

"We have good team chemisty and that makes a big difference," he added.

The Clarkston Boys Basketball teams start their season on Tuesday against Waterford Mott.

"Mott had a great season last year," said Dan Fife, long-time head coach for the Wolves Varsity Basketball team. "They have a young coach. Hopefully it will be a good game because we have a lot of young kids playing in their first varsity game."

He noted Mott is in the same position as Clarkston and other basketball teams across Michigan - they are trying to mix, match and find their team. As he begins his 30th season at the healm, Fife has already found this year different - he starts with four players injured.

"I am excited to see how our kids respond," Fife added. "They are Clarkston kids. It is a great opportunity for them and a great experience."

Some of the players are new to the varsity team while some haven't had playing time on the varsity level, he said.

"When you come in with any experienced players, you know the year end will be better than the year start," he added.

The team has had three days of scrimmages against other teams.

"In scrimmages you are just finding out what they do individually and their strengths and weaknesses and putting it all in for a team," said Fife. "It really tells you the team. You take the individual stuff and individual characteristics both offensively and defensively, mentally and physically and coordinate them using our team. The ones not quite ready we let them learn as the season goes on."

At press time, the starting line up had not been established.

"Usually I know by now but because we have so many new kids and there is not a lot of separation between our players," Fife added saying it will be a surprise for fans. "It will be a surprise for me sometimes."

He added Clarkston basketball fans will be excited to see what goes on this season and it begins against Mott.

For more about the outlook from players and coaches for this season, look for the Winter Sports Preview in The Clarkston News.

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