BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
With 22.6 seconds left in the game, freshman Taylor Heaton stood on the arc to the left of the basket for a 3-point shot.
She threw the basketball.
“Why did I shoot that,” she admitted after last Thursday’s game. “There’s 22 seconds left.”
The attempt hit the backboard’s glass and went through the rim for a field goal. Fans cheered in the stands as it put the Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball team in the lead for the first time against North Farmington, 49-47.
“I smiled and went ‘wait, Taylor. You have to get back in the game,’” she reacted.
A foul against the Lady Raiders in their territory sent Heaton to the line for two points with six seconds remaining. She scored on one to end the game with a 50-47 win for the Wolves.
“I am going to cry. It’s exciting,” she said.
She scored seven of her ten points in the last minute to help boost the Lady Wolves out of the deficit they had faced throughout the entire game.
“She was fearless out there,” said Christine Rogers, head coach. “She is a bulldog. She fights hard every day in practice. She’s gotten a few starts for us so she’s experienced. She knows what to do on the floor and she finally had her opportunity to step up and take over. Thankfully she took over for us.”
The Lady Raiders closed the second and third quarter with a 10-point lead.
The Lady Wolves opened the final quarter closing the gap to four points with four points from junior Maddie Beck and two from junior Kayla Luchenbach. They continued to work on closing they gap as they outscored their visitors 21-9.
“It wasn’t a good game, but we really stepped it up at the end,” said Heaton.
“We talked in huddle about finding a way to win,” said Rogers. “Good teams find a way to win.”
For the Lady Wolves they found a way past a deficit, senior Kristen Page going out with a knee injury during the game and Beck going to the bench with five fouls.
“They did find a way,” Rogers smiled. “We had our bench come in and play the best defense of the season. They did everything we asked them to do. They were very coachable and listened. They committed to doing it for their team.”
Beck led with 19 points, scoring one 3-pointer and Luchenbach had 15 points.
“I think the team needed this win,” said Rogers. “We lost at Martin Luther King. The guards handled the ball well, but tother things just weren’t working. We missed a day of practice because of the ice day. It didn’t give us a day to get the loss out of our system. It was an off week and when we came out in the first half it looked like it.”
The Lady Wolves (11-2, 3-1 OAA Red) host Farmington Hills Harrison on Friday at 7 p.m. before they head to Southfield Arts & Technology next Thursday.
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE