January 18, 2012 - Senior Nick Tatu eased the minds of Clarkston fans within the first three minutes in the last quarter against Pontiac last Thursday.
Mark Tynan blocks a player from making a shot. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
He finished three consecutive 3-point shots to boost the Wolves to a 50-32 lead in the OAA Red rivalry.
"Tatu kept shooting," said teammate junior Jordan Dasuqi. "When we came out of the third quarter I told him to keep shooting the ball and they are going to go in. He kept shooting."
The Phoenix were able to put eight more points on the board before the game ended but it wasn't enough and Clarkston won, 56-40.
"Pontiac is a tough place to play," said Fife. "We did a good job. They threw a lot of different stuff at us. We had the noise, lack of ability to communicate but it was a good atmosphere for high school basketball."
Dasuqi agreed adding, "we weren't in sync after their zone. We weren't running like we were the first half."
Dasuqi opened the game with 13 points in the first quarter to get the boys going. Eight more points at the end of the quarter put them at 21-14.
The momentum continued as they finished the first half of the game leading 32-24.
Pontiac closed in on the Wolves in the third quarter as they made it within four points to their visitors with three minutes remaining.
Clarkston pulled away adding eight points to the board before the quarter closed. With Tatu's field goals boost in the opening of the fourth quarter, the Wolves scored 15 points to put the game away.
"We kept great composure," said Dasuqi. "It is going to carry us a long way."
"They played how they were suppose to play," Fife added. "They took care of the ball, made some good decisions and made some baskets. It seemed if they shot a three we came back and responded with a three. Eventually we wore them down."
Tatu led the boys with a game high of 25 points, scoring seven 3-pointers and going 2-2 at the free throw line.
"Tatu was good offensively," Fife added. "Especially in the second half. Offensively he held us together in the second half. Zach Collins and Matt Dellinger are still leading defense - that is how we are winning these ball games."
Dasuqi added 17 points to the board with one field goal. Dellinger contributed eight points to the game.
The boys opened the week on Tuesday against Detroit Community, looking to improve on their 8-0 record.
"They are a great team," said Fife. "This should be a good test for us. I am anxious to see how we do. They have talented kids being recruited to Division 1 colleges. It will be more of a challenge."
They play at Southfield High School for an OAA Red match up on Friday night.
Varsity opens at 4:30 p.m.
"It is an earlier game," said Fife. "It will be a whole new scenario for us."
The freshman and JV teams both at 6 p.m., 24675 Lahser Road in Southfield.
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.