Clarkston sinks first win in season opener
December 08, 2010 - Senior Max Collins grabbed the basketball off Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep's rebound and headed down the court.
He positioned himself behind the 3-point line and threw the ball towards the rim, sinking it and bringing Clarkston into the lead in the second period.
The intensity heightened and the boys held onto the lead to win their season opener, 60-57.
"It's a good win for Clarkston," said Wolves Boys Varsity Basketball Head Coach Dan Fife. "I am happy to get a win. It was a hard fought battle, too. It's a character game for both of us. St. Mary's is physical, tough and aggressive."
The boys went into the second half with a 33-29 lead and quickly fired up the board with baskets from Marcus Hardy and Max Collins.
Both were leaders on the board, Collins posting 19 points and Hardy with 14 and on the court going for rebounds and turning over the game.
Collins has waited for this moment to start for three years since he transferred to Clarkston from Waterford's Our Lady of Lakes when he was a sophomore.
Coming out with a good game to open his senior year was a part of his plan when he stepped onto the court.
"I just wanted to get in the game and show everyone I could do something," he said. "I was going into it just thinking what coach said - think defense and your offense game is going to come to you. I didn't think much of the game. I just wanted to come in and play hard."
"He has finally gotten his moment," said Fife. "He had a good game. It was big. He made some big baskets and he was really a presence inside for us."
Hardy coming out with a good game in the season opener was another pleasant perk of the game.
"Marcus had a bad ankle all fall and has only been practicing two and a half weeks," Fife pointed out. "I thought we got a good production out of him tonight - his size and his presence, taking strides, long rebounds. His length bothers people."
The boys played at Carmen Ainsworth on Tuesday and travel to Troy-Athens on Dec. 21.
"Carmen-Ainsworth is an athletic team and they play well," said Collins. "It is going to be a good match up."
He also added the win over St. Mary's will help the team as they continue to go forward in the season.
"It gives us a lot of confidence because St. Mary's is a good Catholic school," Collins added. "Catholic schools come in thinking they are the best. We played good and beat them."
The games also give the boys a chance to see where they are before they head into their first OAA league game, when they head to Southfield on Jan. 4.
"December is playing the game, making mistakes and reviewing the tape," said Fife. "I don't think we were very good offensively but we scored ugly. We have a lot to work on. There were a lot of teaching moments on that floor. It is what December is all about. Thank goodness because right now it would be tough to play in a league especially the type of league we play in."
Fife also knows by the time holiday break is over the team should be healthy and ready.
"Mitch (Baenziger) should be back to full strength," said Fife. "Southfield is a good opportunity for us to go down there and find out who we are."
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.