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Cagers conquer Troy's defense in OAA crossover game

Jordan Dasuqi prepares for his free throw shot. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
February 16, 2011 - The Wolves are closing in on the OAA Red league title after improving their record last week.

With their win at Oak Park last Thursday the boys are tied with foes Southfield and Pontiac for the title - all three with 6-2 records in the league. Clarkston's win over Troy on Feb. 8 gave them a boost in the league, 74-52.

"I was really happy with our win because they threw a lot of stuff at us defensively we don't always work on," said Dan Fife, Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball head coach.

The Colts began the OAA crossover game taking the lead with 3-pointers from James Young and John Stibich.

The Wolves kept shooting but couldn't get on the board until 3:50 on a basket from Max Collins off teammate Nick Tatu's rebound.

"Troy's defense was different just because they changed it up a little bit," said Marcus Hardy. "They did a lot of things we didn't see at the beginning on defense. We had to mentally get through it."

Clarkston did as Collins and Tatu narrowed the gap adding one field goal each and Tatu with a basket ending the first quarter, 10-12.

Hardy tied the score opening the next quarter and the next basket from Jordan Dasuqi brought the boys into the lead.

"We got back on our heels mentally," said Fife. "I thought it was a good win because we were able to defeat the mental issues."

The boys posted 22 points in the third quarter and only allowed seven to get through for Troy.

"They couldn't run their defense," Fife explained. "We figured out what they were doing defensively and we were able to score shots on them - easy shots. Once we did that they had to come out and guard something they are not used to, but we are used to. Troy did things to put us in the negative which they did but we made it work for us."

Tatu led the team, scoring 31 points and three field goals. Hardy put 12 on the board and Mitch Baenziger added nine points.

"Mitch and Tatu were penetrating and it helped a little bit to move the ball around," added Hardy.

"I was really happy with Marcus on the boards and Baenziger fighting through the negatives," said Fife. "Baenziger was really bothered by what they were doing and got through it. It got better going into the second half."

The boys beat Oak Park 47-34 keeping the Knights at 0-8 in the league. They were prepared for the rematch.

"They have different players because of eligibility since the last time we played them," said Fife.

Hardy scored 12 points in the game and Tatu added ten against Oak Park.

The fight for the league championship heats up this week when the Wolves host Pontiac on Friday night.

The Phoenix also take on Southfield this week before they come to Clarkston.

The boys host Southfield-Lathrup on Tuesday as they continue their league games.

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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