Cagers steps up to Warriors

Clarkston News Sports Writer
There was a moment of pause in the Clarkston High School gym last Friday as senior Maddie Beck’s three point attempt traveled through the air with 1:52 left on the clock.
The Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball team had a 1-point lead on visitors Southfield Arts & Technology and the basket would be a boost.
The crowd roared with cheers as the ball hit its mark and the Wolves took a four point lead, 48-44.
Both teams were sent to the free throw line for a combination of seven trips in the last 42 seconds. Clarkston held onto their lead going 7-for-8 on the line, finishing the game with a 55-50 win.
“We did a lot of things right,” said Christine Rogers, head coach. “We came out ready to play.”
She added both teams got into foul trouble which included senior Molly Nicholson, who scored ten points during the night.
“Molly usually doesn’t get into foul trouble. Whenever we get into foul trouble it changes how we play. Throughout the season sometimes it’s Maddie or Kayla (Luchenbach), tonight it was Molly. It shows the team basketball my team plays. If one person is in foul trouble, everyone else steps up. I thought everyone stepped up.”
The Wolves finished the first quarter with a 13-8 lead after Nicholson scored with 18 seconds left off a rebound.
Southfield opened the next quarter with two points to close the gap. Clarkston responded with a 16-2 point run which included a pair of 3-pointers from Beck and sophomore Taylor Heaton. The half close with Clarkston in the lead 29-18.
Both teams were evenly matched for the third quarter with Clarkston in a 10-point lead with 43 seconds remaining. Southfield Arts & Technology scored five points in the last 26 seconds to close the gap.

Molly Nicholson plays through the pressure from Southfield Arts & Technology defense. Photo by Larry Wright

The Warriors opened the final quarter with Shawna Manning and D’Layna Holliman each scoring a basket in the first minute. Luchenbach scored one point on the free throw line, keeping the Wolves in the lead 40-39.
“When we lost our composure instead of panicking and losing it. They stepped up and got it back together,” said Rogers. “They handled the pressure at the end and I am very proud of how they played. We are stepping up. We are tough. We are gritty.”
Luchenbach led with 17 points and had four assists. Beck had 16 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists. Heaton scored nine points off three field goals.
The Wolves opened the week with a 48-43 win at Stoney Creek, Dec. 19. Beck led the team with 17 points and six steals. Nicholson scored 13 points.
They play in the Round Ball tournament this week with Chandler Park on Wednesday, 4 p.m., and Detroit Mumford on Thursday, 9 p.m., both at Detroit Collegiate Preparatory Academy.
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The Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball team were also successful as they defeated Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep last Thursday, 56-43. Foster Loyer led with 19 points. Demond Mills-Bradley and Taylor Currie both scored nine points and Nick Wells had eight points. The Wolves head to North Farmington on Thursday as they play Detroit East English, 8:30 p.m.