February 01, 2012 - Fans in blue and gold erupted with cheers during the fourth quarter as the Wolves posted more points on the board against visiting Southfield-Lathrup.
Matt Dellinger blocks Southfield-Lathrup from getting close to the net. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
Clarkston ended the OAA Red battle with their tenth win in the season with a 71-53 victory.
"It was a combination of desire and execution," said senior Tatu.
The Chargers took control of the board to open the game and held on as Clarkston attempted to match point for point.
Southfield-Lathrup gained the lead at the end of the first quarter with a a five point play. They opened the second quarter with another two points, putting the them at 18-13.
"We weren't very good in the first half," admitted Dan Fife, Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball head coach. "But we hung in there. It was a ping pong game. Our kids have to work for it more. I know what our kids have to be to be successful.It was just a hard fought game."
Senior Mark Tynan closed the gap with a three point shot and the Chargers fought back posting five more points to the board.
Going into the last four minutes of the quarter Zach Collins, Matt Dellinger and Mitch Baenziger fought to keep the Wolves caught up to Southfield-Lathrup.
Tatu and Dylan Hancook changed the pace before the buzzer signaled the end of the first half.
Tatu sank a two-pointer with 29 seconds left in the half and scored on his one shot at the free throw line.
Hancook made the next play after catching teammate Mitch Baenziger's rebound and put it through the rim, sending the Wolves to half time with a 30-29 lead.
"It got us a lot of momentum," said Tatu. "We expected them to play hard and get up on our shooters because that is what we do - we shoot."
The energy sizzled in the beginning of the third quarter as Jordan Dasuqi scored nine points on the Chargers as they posted six.
Tatu followed it up with two 3-points shots to continue putting more pressure on Southfield-Lathrup.
"During the second half Dasuqi came alive and was on Jonathan Williams and letting him get tired," said Fife. "As we got tired we shot better. Sometimes you have a lot of nervous energy. It builds up and have to get rid of it. But when you are tired - you just play. "
It worked as the boys ended the third quarter with a 10-point lead, 47-37.
"We didn't expect it to be that fast," said Tatu. "They play really fast for us. We adjusted the second half and did a lot better."
Tatu led the team with 24 points with four 3-pointers. Dasuqi added 20 points to the score and had one field goal. Baenziger had 12 points during the game.
Tatu added the win helps as they go into the next week of games.
"Lathrup was tied number one with us," he said. "It is a good statement to win. Plus, to be undefeated in the league helps a lot."
The Wolves opened the week against West Bloomfield on Tuesday. The boys host Farmington Hills on Friday before they head to Troy next Tuesday.
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.