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Cagers look foward to Southfield rematch

January 26, 2011 - Cagers gave West Bloomfield their second loss in the OAA Red last Thursday, beating the home team 60-50.

"Defensively we were pretty good," said long-time Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Dan Fife. "Offensively we still struggled a little bit.

The game was close as the Wolves held the lead going into the final quarter and six points separated the two teams.

Senior Matt Dellinger and junior Nick Tatu worked together to get Clarkston ahead on the board.

They opened up the quarter defending against West Bloomfield and moving in on the ball - stealing possession led by Tatu.

The end of the chain reaction was a basket from Dellinger. The boys continued striking on offense and went on a 16-2 point run - with points from Max Collins and 10 consecutive points from Tatu.

Tatu finished the night with 19 points, five assists and three steals.

Dellinger had 13 points for the night along with seven assists and four steals.

"Dellinger gave us a huge lift, especially in the pressbreakers," said Fife.

Senior Marcus Hardy led on the defensive end, keeping the Lakers leading player low on points.

Hardy finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

The following day the boys headed to the gym to put in one more practice before the weekend.

"It is a lot easier to come to practice with a smile on your face when you win even though you might have won ugly," said Fife. "We have lost a lot of close games. The fact we won is a little bit better. We are upbeat a bit more.They are not dealing with negative and all the thoughts of losing."

But the close match-up against West Bloomfield was still Fife's mind as the boys got ready for the upcoming tough week.

"I didn't think it was where our effort should be but you are going to have those games time to time," he said. "It takes just a little bit more to respond and mentally stay focused all the time. It is tough. They are still young varsity players and sometimes they don't realize the significance of being mentally ready to play at all times."

The Wolves played Southfleld-Lathrup on Tuesday night looking to improve their 6-5 overall record and a boost from their 4-2 in the OAA Red.

The boys continued the league play on Tuesday against Southfield-Lathrup.

"They are always good against us," said Fife before the game. "They have been good in the past. They have a good coach. I don't expect different."

They host Southfield and hope for vengence after their 63-60 loss to the Bluejays on Jan. 4.

"The games are going to be tough from now on out and they should be," said Fife. "We are going into our second time around with each team in the OAA Red and this is what you play through."

Southfield is leading the league with one loss. The Wolves still have their eyes on the league championship even if it means they tie for first.

"It will be interesting," said Fife. "The fate of us being able to tie for the league is in our hands. This is a very tough league this year - a lot of inconsistencies on all the teams."

The boys host Troy on Tuesday, Feb. 8.

JV begins at 5:30 p.m. and varsity follows for the home games at Clarkston High School.

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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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