By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Clarkston Girls Basketball program starts a new tradition this season – Teacher Appreciation Night this Thursday when the girls host Stoney Creek.
“We have some great teachers in the district,” said Aaron Goodnough, head coach for the Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball team. “We just want them to know we appreciate them. We thought this would be a nice way to go about it.”
The players invite the teachers to the game where they will be honored. Leading up to the game, photos players took with their teacher are posted on social media like the Clarkston Girls Basketball Twitter account, @ClarkstonGBB.
The varsity team goes into the game with wins over Southfield Arts & Technology and Rochester.
The Wolves finished the week on Friday with a 64-47 win at Southfield.
“They came out just the way we pretty much thought they would,” Goodnough said. “We knew they were very athletic. We knew they would want to transition on us. Honestly the first half, they didn’t miss much of anything. It kept us alert in the game which was good. We came out the second half and we pretty much did what we wanted to do at that point. We wanted to start running our offense and we turned up the defense a little bit, too. The second half they probably scored ten points which is where we were looking to guide them. They are a good team. They are in a transition point where they are really young and coming up. They are going to be a fun team in a couple years. I think they are just battling.
Elliana Robak led with 19 points. Keira Tolmie scored 16 points. Elia Morgner and Emily Valencia each scored nine points.
“We have been trying to get Elli back into the swing of things. To me it felt like it was the first game she really was playing like herself,” Goodnough said. “Keira played great. She had a couple of turnovers in the first half which she gave me that pat to say ‘my bad’ and turned it around in the second half and played very well. She’s always someone we can depend on when the game goes down the stretch.”
He added the team was without Ava Hernandez, who injured her thumb going into the Oxford game, Jan. 8.
“It worked out we could win that game pulling away and we wanted to have Ava take that extra time off,” Goodnough said.
The Wolves opened the week with a 49-34 win over Rochester. Ava Hernandez led with 16 points. Robak scored 14 points and Tolmie had seven points.
“That’s how I want to play,” Goodnough said about the win. “That’s it. It’s the easiest way I can say it. Our defense was good. Our game plan going in we executed exactly the way we wanted to. Elia was just awesome. She just battled. She did exactly what we needed her to do, exactly how we needed her to do. She was just amazing. We made shots. We ran our offense. Primarily it was our defense. It was the first game this year – that’s how I want to play. That’s what we want to do.
The Wolves host Stoney Creek on Thursday at the Dan Fife Fieldhouse. Freshman play at 4 p.m. and JV plays at 5:30 p.m..
Varsity plays at 7 p.m. and goes in 7-5 overall and 2-1 OAA Red.
“Stoney will be a very physical game. They do a trapping style,” Goodnough said. “We know exactly what they are all about. They have a couple of really good scorers. I want to focus on Stoney, but at the same time I am to the point with our team I want to focus on us.
“I want to repeat the Rochester performance on defense as much as humanly possible. I want to repeat the second half against Southfield as much as humanly possible. I think things will work out in the end if we just focus on us.”
The varsity team host Detroit Country Day on Friday at the Dan Fife Fieldhouse, 5:30 p.m.
“DCD is a good tough team, too,” Goodnough said. “They play a very competitive schedule. They have a lot of good players as well. It will be a fun game. That is a game I have been scheduling since I was a varsity coach. I will keep them on the schedule as long as they want to be on the schedule. They always have good players. I know a couple of players through travel ball.”
They head to Troy on Tuesday, January 24. JV plays at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.
By Wendi Reardon Price