CJH freshmen celebrate undefeated season

By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
— The Clarkston Boys Freshman Basketball accomplished an amazing feat as they closed the season against Bloomfield Hills, Feb. 22.
The Wolves ended their game against the Blackhawks, 52-28, to put the team 22-0 overall for the season and 12-0 in the OAA Red League.
“It is certainly a very unique and special accomplishment for these boys to have a season like this,” said Jack Cunningham, head coach. “The season moving from seventh and eighth grade becomes quite a bit longer moving to their freshman year. For these young men to come both mentally, and physically, prepared to play every game and every day in practice to prepare and play 22 games over the past few months is a real testament to them.”
He shared what he will remember most from the season, which started in November.
“What I’ll remember most, and what I’m most proud of, is how much this group of boys loved to compete against each other in practice every day and grew together to always put the team first,” he said. “As individuals they each grew so much by learning to play for each other.”
Cunningham added it helps they have grown up playing together and developed their skills and abilities through McGrath League, Fife Camp and seventh and eighth grade Clarkston Basketball.
“What really stands out about this particular group was how they all embraced their roles and set aside any personal agendas for the betterment and success of the entire team,” Cunningham said. “They always supported each other and they loved to compete in practice to make themselves and their teammates better.”
He added a lot of other things had to fall into place as well like staying healthy and avoiding injuries, which he shared the players were able to do.
“We had to win a couple games in overtime during the season as well, but the boys stuck together and battled through each of those games with their mental toughness to come out on top,” he said.
The boys first overtime win was in their fourth game of the season against Brighton in the OAA/KLAA Challenge, Dec. 12. The Wolves won the game 45-41.
The second overtime win was the boys second time facing Birmingham Groves and on home court at Clarkston Junior High School. In the OAA Red match up, the Wolves won, 31-28, Feb. 6.
“As the season wore on, and some of our opponents knew we hadn’t lost a game, they really came with a mindset to give us our first loss, but this team was always up for that challenge,” Cunningham shared.
Players on the 2023-2024 Clarkston Boys Freshman Basketball team were: Jayden Ashley, Miles Bordine, Wendell Childs, Paul Frezza, Will Gifford, Waylon Hunter, Kayne Langs, Jacob Lonteen, Mick Mahaffy, Aiden Pierce, Jacob Phloyngam, Malachi Switzer, Garrett Thompson and Chris Quayle. Coaches are Cunningham and Dylan Erskine, assistant coach.

The Clarkston Boys Freshman Basketball team finished the season undefeated, Feb. 22. Photo: Larry Wright

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