BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Senior Keegan Wasilk scored two points on the free throw line, closing the gap against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep to two points with two minutes left in Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball’s home game last Thursday.
The Eaglets scored a basket then made eight shots from the free throw line in the last minute to widen their lead.
The game closed with a 60-51 loss for the Wolves.
“We will take this loss. We will learn from it,” said Tim Wasilk, head coach. “We will get better. We will make adjustments. It’s what we do. It’s great playing games like these in non-league games to see what we are made of. It helps in league play and playoffs.”
The teams battled for the lead in the first quarter. With a pair of field goals from seniors Nathan Steinman and Keegan Wasilk, the Wolves closed the quarter with a 17-16 lead.
The Eaglets opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer and Steinman responded with his own to take the lead back, 20-19.
Eaglet Bartosz Kapustka shot a 3-pointer and two more from JaVaughn Hannah and Sharod Barnes put the score up 30-21 for the visiting team.
“St. Mary’s shot the ball extremely well in the first half,” Wasilk said. “They had eight 3s. They did a good job penetrating. (Kareem) Rozier, their point guard, did a great job of finding their shooters. So we were trying to adjust the first half. It just didn’t work out too well.
“We adjusted better the second half,” he added. “We played better defensively. Our kids battled. Our kids did good. We put ourselves in a situation where the last 2-3 minutes of the game, we were right in it and made it a 2-point game. Just had to a way to make winning plays and we didn’t.”
Steinman led with 24 points, scoring four field goals for the night. Keegan Wasilk had 21 points with three field goals, 13 rebounds and two assists. Senior Zach Austin had four assists, three rebounds and three points.
“We hit some big shots. Keegan and Steinman put up a lot of points tonight,” said Wasilk. “I liked our guys coming off the bench. Caleb (Woodbury) stepped in and had a good night as well as his first big game real action. It was a good game. St. Mary’s is a good team and we battled. We were right there.”
He added the team can take a lot from the loss.
“St. Mary’s is a pretty good team, a pretty talented team,” Wasilk said. “Just getting our guys to believe we can play with them. Not only play with them but beat them. Our kids see they are ranked No. 1 in the state. It just takes a matter of getting in there and battling with them to see ‘hey we are that good, too.’ Some shots here, some plays there and it’s a different outcome.”
The Wolves (2-1) was scheduled to host North Farmington in an OAA Red match up on Wednesday, Dec. 22. The game was cancelled and at time of publication Clarkston was looking for scrimmages for all three levels.
The Wolves host Stevenson High School in the Dan Fife Holiday Classic on Thursday, Dec. 30.
Freshman open the day with their game at 2:30 p.m. JV plays at 4 p.m. The alumni game is at 5:30 p.m. and varsity plays at 7 p.m.