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Wolves OAA Red champs heading into district finals



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March 09, 2011 - The Wolves have taken two teams out of the running for the district title.

They face off against Grand Blanc on Friday night for the final round, 7 p.m.

Tickets go on sale at Fenton High School at 5:30 p.m. so get there early.

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Cagers closed their regular season claiming the OAA Red league title after scoring two more wins in the league.

They stepped closer to it after their last home game on March 1 against West Bloomfield with a huge 66-24 win.

"Coming in here the last night for senior night you are always worried about your kids," said Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball Head Coach Dan Fife. "I am happy for the win."

Even though they had one more to go in the league he was satisfied with being 11-2 in the OAA Red.

"We dug ourselves out of a hole to be in competition to win an outright league championship," he continued. "It is pretty sweet for us and the program."

The boys came back from holiday break with an uncharacteristic record 5-5 and 2-2 in the league.

The pace changed after facing rivals Pontiac on Jan. 18 and they lost 67-51.

"Talking to them doesn't always work," said Fife, so he showed them the video of the game, letting them critique their physical and mental effort.

"I think that struck a nerve. They saw who they were and that's not who they wanted to be," said Fife. "Pontiac has never beat us as bad as they beat us. It was good experience not just for me but the kids took it for themselve. It was like it was black and white in front of them."

From there the boys never looked back, winning nine consecutive wins to bring them to the top of the OAA Red going head to head with with heavy hitters league rivals Southfield, Pontiac and West Bloomfield for the title.

Senior Marcus Hardy got the game started with a basket and assisted Nick Tatu in his field goal, putting the boys 5-0 just over a minute into the game.

Clarkston continued to accumulate points from Hardy, Tatu, Mitch Baenziger and Matt Rodgers until the quarter ended, 20-8.

They continued to rise on the scoreboard adding 13 points and keeping the Lakers only to five points.

The boost allowed players from the bench to get into the game and add points for the team.

"It was good," said senior Stacey Murray. "It gave all of the seniors a chance to play in front of our fans and our parents."

Murray closed the night with a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to go in the game.

Hardy led with 14 points and Tatu socred 12. The boys beat Southfield-Lathrup, 50-45. The Wolves came back from a 26-21 deficit from the first half.

Hardy led the boys with 14 points. Tatu added 13, including two 3-point shots.

The boys played their first game in district playoffs on Monday night and defeated Fenton, 68-42, putting their record at 16-5.

They continue on Wednesday night at Fenton High School against Holly, 8 p.m.

"We need to have a strong defense, work the ball around, not get full of ourselves and play up to our competition," said Murray.

Fife added all teams going into playoffs start back out at zero wins and losses.

"Everybody has a fresh start and anything could happen," he said. "We prepare for that and prepare mentally."

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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