December 28, 2011 - Going into the holiday break with five wins Dan Fife, long-time head coach for Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball knew the team still had a long way to go once they returned to the court.
Jordan Dasuqi adds another basket to the Wolves' lead in the first half against Troy Athens. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
"We can't get too happy or overconfident," he said. "There's 20 games and it's a long season."
The Wolves most recently defeated Troy-Athens last Thursday night, 81-40, avenging their loss by one point in 2010.
Senior Mitch Baenziger opened the game with a two-point basket and junior Jordan Dasuqi added his first 3-point shot less than 30 seconds later.
The Red Hawks took the lead a few minutes later after scoring off a pair of baskets and a field goal but after Dasuqi scored again on a 2-pointer with two minutes left in the first quarter putting the Wolves ahead 15-13 it would be the last time Athens would be in the lead again.
The Wolves closed the first quarter with a 21-17 score and opened the next quarter with a 3-point shot from senior Nick Tatu. The motion started Clarkston's 16-2 run.
With 52 seconds left in the first half, Dasuqi scored one more time to inch the Wolves more ahead for 44-22.
"I was really proud of our kids effort on defense tonight," said Fife. "Our conditioning and our presence made it tough for them to score."
The Wolves' offense and defense continued to play in sync for the next 16 minutes as they continued to widen the gap on the scoredboard.
Dasuqi led with 20 points, adding three field goals to the score. Tatu scored four 3-pointers to his 16 total points. Senior Matt Dellinger added 12 points and Baenziger had 11 points.
"We have a lot of kids that can shoot the ball," said Fife, adding the gap on the scoreboard allowed him to put 11 of the 14 players on the roster in from off the bench. "They gave us some good minutes. The kids understand and know what they are doing in that kind of atmosphere."
Caleb McIntosh led Troy Athens with 13 points during the game. Wolves' defense kept Red Hawks' leading scorer Marcarius Coakley to only four points for the entire game.
The boys opened the week with a win at Flint Northern on Dec. 20, 75-59.
"We didn't play very well," Fife admitted. "We pulled ahead in the last quarter. They had a hard time pressing."
He noted the difference between the Flint Northern and Troy Athens game was the execution and the boys were mentally and physically better against the Red Hawks.
The boys spend the remainder of their break playing against Wolves alumni in a scrimmage battle and practicing to get better for the bulk of the remaining season.
"I told them I congratulated them for 2011, now 2012 kicks off," Fife said.
The boys return from break to host Lake Orion on Jan. 3 and North Farmington on Jan. 9. For both games 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.