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Growing pains in first loss

December 22, 2010 - Cagers grouped at the set of baskets on the northend of the Clarkston High School gym on Monday morning.

As practice wound down the boys took shots at the rim focusing on putting their first loss behind them.

The weather had pushed back their orginally scheduled game against Carman-Ainsworth to last Wednesday, where the boys lost 44-38.

"Maybe we were a little full of ourselves after the St. Mary's win (on Dec. 10)," said Dan Fife, long-time Wolves Boys Varsity Head Coach. "Carman switched their defenses a lot and a lot was thrown at us. We didn't adjust well."

With a few days to reflect Fife admitted it was good for the team and the loss was now out of the way.

"It exposed us," he added. "It exposed what we need to work on and how to go about our business. I hate being exposed, I hate losing but hopefully it helped us."

Fife added it helped with focusing on preparation and understanding.

"A lot of it is varsity game experience," he continued, pointing out they put a lot of emphasis on Mitch Baenziger. "We are asking him to do a lot coming off a injury and he is our point guard. We have other kids getting ready to play that haven't really played varsity last year."

Marcus Hardy led the boys, posting 12 points on the board against Carman's offense and Nick Tatu added ten, including sinking two 3-pointers. Matt Dellinger and Max Collins added six points each.

The Wolves were outscored their hosts in the second quarter by two points but remained behind for the same amount.

As the game continued in the last half, Carman-Ainsworth scored 24 points and kept Clarkston to 20.

"The kids were out of rhythm," said Fife. "I don't think I coached very well that game - I let them stay out of rhythm. Also, our mental thoughts during the game is really what won Carman the game. We were out of it mentally."

Besides getting past defense - the Wolves had to hold back Carman Ainworth's leading player, sophomore Denzel Watts, to 24 points.

"He is a good player," Fife said. "I think we let him be a little better than he is right now. He has got to be one of the top players in Flint. His scoring no question helped them."

The boys played Troy-Athens on Tuesday.

"We will see," Fife said watching the team continuing to take their free throw shots. "When we lose it takes us awhile to get over it. I am excited to see us against Athens."

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.
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