March 05, 2014 - A surge in the second quarter on Monday night boosted the Wolves into the MHSAA Boys Basketball District Semifinals for this Wednesday.
Andrew Myers adds two points in the first half against Rochester Adams. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
"We were good," said Dan Fife, long-time head coach for Clarkston after the Wolves defeated Rochester Adams 72-59 in the first round of district playoffs.
"The kids who came off the bench did a good job," he added. "The second quarter is the key. It is hard to come up in the second half if you are swimming up the river for the rest of the night."
The boys held the Highlanders to seven points as they scored 22 points in the second quarter. Fife contributed it to defense and subs - Andrew Swanson, Dayton Wallis and Press Kampe.
"Wallis has probably had the best week of practice," Fife smiled. "He usually doesn't get to play. He has always been a good player but he is nervous and unsure of himself. He is starting to gain confidence. He came in and he played well. He is strong, he is a good shooter, he is a good defender and he plays lower than our other defenders. Then, Swanson came in and made a big three."
The Highlanders opened the game with the lead and Clarkston tied it twice with shots from Mike Nicholson. After the second shot Adams pulled away with five points. But Nicholson closed the gap to three scoring off a rebound.
The Wolves took the lead with two minutes left in the first quarter after Nick Owens sank two field goals off passes from Nicholson and Kampe.
"Them being able to pass out works for Owens. All he has to do is get a couple of easy shots and down them," Fife added.
Nicholson scored his own basket off Owens' rebound to end the quarter, 16-13.
The Wolves went on an 11-point run in the first four minutes of the second quarter, capped off with a field goal from Andrew Myers, putting the score 27-13.
"We didn't let them take a lot of shots," Fife added.
"It seemed like we got a lot of loose ball. We did a good job. We come every day and we play. Our team has been Jekyll and Hyde sometimes. You can never tell who is going to show up and how they are going to react to things. It just seems like it is the nature of this team when they are going good, they are good."
Owens led the team with 23 points while Nicholson had 14 points and Myers had 10 points.
The Wolves finished the regular season as OAA Red champs after a 59-35 win over Rochester last Thursday with a 12-2 record in the league.
Owens led the team with 19 points and had three 3-pointers while Tabin Throgmorton contributed 13 points and Nicholson ten points.
The Wolves play Lake Orion in the semifinals on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Fife added despite the win earlier in the season against the Dragons, 64-27, the boys will have to be ready to play and the key continues to be defense.
"Clarkston basketball has always been built on defense - that is who we are," said Fife. "Offense is going to be up and down, but you have to always have a good night on defense. That's who we need to be."
The winner from Wednesday's game will move on to the championship game on Friday against the Stoney Creek/Oxford winner, 7 p.m. All games are played at Lake Orion 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. Follow Clarkston sports on Twitter @CNewsWRSports.