Cagers battle in playoff loss

Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves gave it all they had in their loss to Marian in the regional semifinals last week, 63-50.
“It was tough, but I was so proud of them,” said Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball Head Coach John Weyer. “We had a game plan and went in hoping we could hang with them. I think they did. We knew it was going to be an uphill battle. We were able to give them the best game we could with who we had.”
Clarkston was down players going into the game with two with injuries, two due to COVID-19 precautions and five went on spring break.

Maddy Skorupski looks to pass in Clarkston’s district final game against Rochester Adams, March 26. File photo by Wendi Reardon Price

“That was nine players we were without,” said Weyer. “I brought up some more from JV. We gave it the best battle we could, and I was very proud of them. They played their hearts out.”
The Wolves had a 12-7 lead early in the game. As the first quarter wrapped both teams were tied at 15 points. Marian took over the lead in the second quarter and by halftime, led by 16 points.
“Every player on the court was shorter than the girl they were guarding every second of the game,” Weyer said. “They were all older. We didn’t have any of our seniors. Marian was experienced. It was a battle and our girls gave everything they had.”
He added at one point as freshman Claire Walker was surrounded by three Marian players trying to take the ball
“She was not letting that ball go,” Weyer said of Walker who was brought up from JV. “Just determination and grit.”
Junior Maddy Skorupski led with a game-high 27 points with seven rebounds and three steals. Junior Izzy Hadley had 11 points in the game.
The Wolves finished the season with a 15-4 overall record in their short season which started in February due to the COVID pandemic.
“That’s a grind,” Weyer said about fitting 18 games into a regular six week season. “Three games a week was really wearing on them and you could tell especially the girls doing most of the workload for us. They were just worn out. It’s quite a bit more kids are used to. That’s a pro schedule three times a week, not a typical high school schedule.”
He added the players learned a lot during the season due to the pandemic and everything going on.
“The kids learned a lot about a the agility, about psychological agility, about having to adapt,” Weyer said. “Its a huge life lesson and expensive to learn during the basketball season and when you are 14-to17-years-old. Some of us not that age still haven’t learned adapting to change. They learned to do that at ayoung age. There is a positive to be taken in this year is that – these kids are learning just because your path is blocked, you don’t stop moving.”
Clarkston finished in second place in the OAA Red. West Bloomfield finished in first place.
“They were very good,” said Weyer. “It would have us been us playing out if they had not gone out because of COVID. They would have won that district instead of Marian. They probably would have won the state.”

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