BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves closed the season in a 54-47 loss to Walled Lake Western in the MHSAA Division 1 Girls Basketball Regional Semifinal, March 10.
“It was such a great game,” said John Weyer, head coach for Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball.
The Wolves opened the night with a 7-point run before Western went on their own 7-point run and ended the first quarter with a 13-12 lead.
“We started up on them and then they came back,” said Weyer. “Then, we came back. It was a battle all the way to the end. Their girls made the free throws shots when they needed to win the game for them. They are a well-coached, hard working team. I think we matched up well. It was a good game, just wish we would have been on the other side of it.”
Senior Taylor Heaton led with 13 points, sophomore Izzy Hadley scored 11 points and and junior Morgan Hunter had eight points.
The Wolves finished the season with an overall record of 19-5 and as district champions. Heaton and sophomore Maddy Skorupski received All-League honors.
“They took a huge step from where we were last year,” said Weyer. “But last year we didn’t have any seniors. It’s harder to compete especially when we are up in the OAA Red. When you don’t have that senior leadership, it’s really hard.”
He added the girls battled back from only winning 10 games last year and also avenged some losses from the previous season.
“It started with Walled Lake Western and ended with Walled Lake Western,” said Weyer. “Southfield, we were able to beat them. Royal Oak, we were able to beat them twice. Just some hard work from the kids. It’s a lot of fun to be a part of those things.”
The team graduates six seniors – Heaton, Jessi Buscher, Lexi Linton, Riley Schneider, Jen Starnes and Sierra Waitkus. They also had senior Neele Tiemann on the team, an exchange student who served as team manager.
“It starts with Taylor,” said Weyer. “She set the tone on how we work as a program. It’s going to be hard to replace that leadership she showed throughout the year. She not only leads by example, but she’s a vocal leader as well. She was just great for us and great for the program for four years on the varsity team. She is such a hard worker and a great kid.”
He added another great leader was Linton.
“Even though she wasn’t able to get on the court except the one moment we were able to give her in, she still led for us,” Weyer said.
“She was there for every team function, every game, being part of that leadership. Our other seniors, Jessi, Sierra, Jen and Riley, who are hard working kids at practice, they didn’t see the court as much, but they certainly worked really hard and were definitely a part of our program – keeping us positive and energized. They made us work in practice so we could perform during the games. Right now, I hope we have a banquet even if it’s late. The seniors deserve it.”