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Two more foes down



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Mitch Baenziger jumps past North Farmington. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
March 02, 2011 - Coming off of a slow second quarter and North Farmington's stalling techniques the Wolves fought back to win their eighth consecutive win.

Clarkston continued to climb on the boards adding 18 more points until the final buzzer ended the game with a win 37-22.

"It was a good win," said Dan Fife, long-time Wolves boys varsity basketball coach. "That game challenges your mental toughness. It challenges your focus. It challenges your concentration."

The boys were led by six points with two minutes left in the first quarter.

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Nick Tatu shot a 3-pointer with 1:46 left on the clock. After defending against North Farmington the boys brought the ball back down the court where Tatu scored on a basket 29 seconds later.

Mitch Baenziger added two more points before the quarter closed, 17-5.

The next quarter was scoreless for the Wolves as North Farmington stalling the ball movement from getting out of their offensive zone. With every movement on offense, Clarkston reacted on defense moving in.

"It was one of those plays we had to keep our patience on defense," said Baenziger. "We had to keep everything in front of us and not let them get past us. We did a good job on posts. They ended up not scoring on us."

"Every game you haven't seen something is good for you," Fife added. "It prepares you for more. There hasn't been a game we haven't seen something new. We can work on those things."

North Farmington only scored two points, adding on to their previous five points.

The Raiders opened up the second half gaining seven points and Clarkston struck back, scoring to build on the momentum of Tatu's 3-pointer.

Baenziger added seven points and Rodgers added a 3-pointer before the fourth quarter closed.

"Our movement was good and our ball movement was good," said Fife. "We had plenty of opportunities for our kids. We were moving with our head."

Baenziger led the team with 12 points. Tatu added eight and Max Collins had seven.

"Mitch was outstanding," Fife said. "The best he could play. He controlled our team like a point guard should."

The boys played West Bloomfield on Tuesday night and head to Southfield-Lathrup on Friday night for their last game of the regular season.

"Lathrup has always been a good place for us to play," said Fife.

The boys beat Southfield-Lathrup recently and won 82-53 on Feb. 22.

The Chargers were two points behind halfway through the third quarter, 36-34 but the distance quickly grew when Tatu scored two field goals to finish the quarter. Rodgers scored on two more opening the final quarter.

The drive continued as the Wolves scored a total of 34 points against the visiting Chargers in the final eight minutes.

Tatu led with 28 points and scored six 3-pointers.

They break for the weekend before facing Fenton in the first round of MHSAA District playoffs at Fenton High School, 8 p.m.

"North Farmington gave us something else to look at," said Baenziger looking ahead to finals. "In districts some guys might try to pounce us. It gives us good practice against good teams like that."

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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