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Cagers pull Chargers out of contention



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Erin Davenport battles for control of the ball. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
February 20, 2013 - Senior guard Patrice Matthews took her shot with less than three minutes to go in the third quarter.

The basketball soared into the air and through the rim for her 3-point attempt, giving the Lady Wolves a 1-point lead over Southfield-Lathrup last Thursday.

It was the boost the team needed to get back on top of the Lady Chargers after 13 minutes of play.

The Lady Wolves continued to turn the tune of the game around to their advantage to win the OAA Red league game, 50-43.

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"For us, we play better if we have a lot of energy," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball Head Coach Tim Wasilk about the second half.

The girls opened the game with two free throw shots from senior Delaney Kenny to tie the score at 2-2. It started an 8-point run for the girls before Charger Sydni Davis closed the first quarter with four points, 8-6.

Southfield-Lathrup opened the next quarter with pulling themselves into the lead before Clarkston scored with two points from senior Erin Davenport.

The first half finished with a pass from Davenport to her sister, sophomore Erika Davenport, for a basket at the buzzer, putting the score 24-18 with Lathrup in the lead.

The Lady Wolves opened the second half with six points and closed in on the Chargers' lead. Two consecutive 3-pointers from Matthews put the girls into the lead.

The quarter closed with Clarkston ahead one point and the girls came back to continue to build on it, going on a 8-2 run.

Wasilk added having four-year guards Kenny and Erin out on the floor helped going into the final quarter.

"They are never rattled," he said. "It makes a big difference and you can see it on the rest of the team. They believe they are going to win and that makes a huge difference. They have done it in the past and they are doing it this year.

It was still anyone's game with less than a minute in the game as Clarkston held the lead with four points. But the lead was shortllived as three fouls against Southfield-Lathrup sent Erika and Kenny to the line for six free throw shots. Erika scored on all four of her attempts and Kenny scored on one of her two attempts.

"The girls did a great job in the second half," said Wasilk. "We finished our shots in the second half and got a few 3-pointers. The first half we sat back on the half court on defense. We weren't getting a lot of energy we wanted so we decided to step it up and throw some press at them. We know their guards are good and it's hard to press on a group like that."

With the victory the Lady Wolves take over first place in the OAA.

"We didn't want to share the title," Wasilk added, "that was the mindset we are going to take into next week against West Bloomfield and Pontiac. We would like to have it by ourselves."

Erika led the team with 20 points. Erin added 11 points during the night.

"Erin was good," Wasilk added. "She handles the ball well. She is so low when she dribbles. She's quick and she's aggressive. She's had a great senior year for us. She gets to the basket. She goes for the finish."

The win put Clarkston at 17-1 after two wins earlier in the week when they beat Ann Arbor Huron, 49-37, and North Farmington, 60-39.

"Monday and Tuesday was a heavy double header," Wasilk added. "Our legs looked pretty good against Lathrup. I was worried about them."

Erika led the team in both games with 27 points against North Farmington and 15 points and 11 rebounds against Huron. Kenny scored 11 points and had six assists against Huron.

They host their last home game against Pontiac on Thursday. JV begins at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows. They head to Oxford for MHSAA Districts on Wednesday, 7 p.m.

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.
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