March 13, 2013 - Senior Delaney Kenny passed the basketball to sophomore Erika Davenport with 17 seconds left to go in the MHSAA Girls Basketball Regional finals last Thursday.
Kacy Robinson battles Marian for a clear shot. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
Davenport shot the ball through the hoop and tied the score against Birmingham Marian, 37-37, receiving loud cheers from Clarkston fans.
She attempted one more basket with 5.5 seconds left to break the tie but missed sending the game into overtime.
Within 50 seconds of the new period, Marian's Kara Holinski scored on a 3-pointer, putting the score 40-37.
The Lady Wolves played to get control of the scoreboard again but time ran out.
"We had some opportunities and we just didn't convert or make the plays we needed to make," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Tim Wasilk. "They hit a three and we just couldn't find a way to get it in the basket in overtime. Credit to their defense. They were well-coached and very disciplined. We knew that's how it was going to be."
It was a back and forth battle during the first quarter of the game until Davenport and Kacy Robinson scored a pair of baskets near the end, capturing the lead 10-7.
They built off of it, scoring 11 points in before the half closed, putting the score 21-16 at halftime.
Marian closed in on the score during the third quarter and took control of the game with four completed free throw attempts in the last 45 seconds in the quarter, 29-27.
"They had good length and good depth," Wasilk said. "We knew it was going to be a challenge. Credit to our kids with the way they battled tonight."
Davenport led the team with 17 points and Kenny added nine points.
The Lady Wolves finished the season with a 22-2 overall record and were undefeated in the OAA Red. They won 20 consecutive games before losing to Marian.
"It was a great season," said Wasilk. "Our girls far exceeded expectation I had for them and they probably had for themselves. The team chemistry was great. It was a great team to coach. I couldn't be happier for these kids."
The ending may have been heartbreaking but being in the final round of regionals will help boost next year's team, Wasilk noted.
"When you get to a game and situation like this it gives you confidence," he added. "You have been here before and you belong here. It's not new to them. It gives them more comfort."
The team has nine returners coming back next year as they said goodbye to their three seniors - Kenny, Erin Davenport and Patrice Matthews.
"Our seniors did a heck of a job," Wasilk added. "What those girls have meant to our program is beyond words. We wouldn't be even in this game if we didn't have those three on the floor and in the program. They are great kids. I am excited for their future."
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.