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Cagers climb for victory



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Andrew Myers keeps the ball away from Southfield defense. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
February 12, 2014 - If it was up to Southfield, they would have gladly finished the game against the Wolves last Friday in the first quarter while they were up by 14 points.

But for the Wolves having three more quarters gave them the opportunity to boost themselves into the lead for a 69-52 win.

"To come back was just incredible," said Dan Fife, long-time head coach for Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball. "Defense and character won that game - to stay in it mentally and believe in the system, believe in themselves and believe in the program. It was just a great win."

Within the first few minutes of the game Southfield put seven points on the board off a basket from Khary Fanning and two field goals from Howard McInnis as Clarkston's Mike Nicholson scored one point from the free throw line.

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The Bluejays continued to hit 3-pointers to hold the lead 22-8 by the time the first quarter finished.

Southfield opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer from McInnis before Clarkston scored on a pair of baskets from Andrew Myers and Nicholson.

The scoring continued for the Wolves as they brought in Press Kampe and Andrew Swanson to help the boys out. By the time the buzzer signaled the end of the first half, Southfield's lead had cut down to 34-29.

"We grinded it out, started getting stops and making some baskets," said Fife. "Press and Andrew did a great job in the second quarter getting us back in the game. It was just incredible to go into halftime five points down. If we go into half down at 20 it is hard to come back in 16 minutes."

Myers started the second half with a basket with Southfield coming back with a 3-pointer. But Myers struck again when Southfield turned over the ball and made a steal at half court before passing it to Nicholson, who scored.

Merrick Canada kept it going as he scored next before Southfield scored one more 3-pointer to put the score 40-35.

"They made them all," Fife added about the Bluejays 3-pointers. "It was frustrating but hopefully some wouldn't work and they would get tired of shooting."

Merrick followed had two assists including one to Nicholson when he tied the score 40-40 with 3:25 left in the third quarter.

The Wolves put 13 points on the board before the quarter finished with the last three points from Merrick with four seconds remaining with cheers from Clarkston fans.

"In the second half it came back down to our starters," said Fife. "They did a pretty good job."

He added the close games are good for the team.

"It shows if you can handle it mentally," he said. "We don't need blowouts we need games we have to fight for everything we get and that's good for us. It makes us better and we learn from those."

Nicholson led with 20 points. Owens scored 18 points with four 3-pointers and Myers added 12 points.

Clarkston defeated Southfield-Lathrup, 55-52. Owens led with 19 points with two 3-pointers and Nicholson added 13 points. Myers and Throgmorton scored eight points each and Throgmorton had a 3-pointer.

"These last two games and getting beat by Carman-Ainsworth (71-53) was good for us," Fife added. "If we fight back - and we fought back the other day against Lathrup - it showed we could come back."

The Wolves host Rochester Adams on Friday before heading to North Farmington next Wednesday.

"The league is so tough and everyone is gunning for us," Fife added. "You have to be ready to play every game. We can't look past anybody."

JV begins at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.

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. Follow Clarkston sports on Twitter @CNewsWRSports.
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