Loyer, Wasilk show early promise as team leaders

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Cagers remained undefeated in the league as they knocked down Lake Orion and Bloomfield Hills.
The Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball team showed their strength in 3-point shots, scoring on 11 successful attempts in the 64-38 win over Lake Orion on Friday.
“We continued to have opportunities on the three-point line,” said Tim Wasilk, head coach, adding seven of the shots were in the first half.
The Dragons held their own as they had a 1-point lead as the first quarter ended, 13-12.
“We struggled at times defensively,” Wasilk admitted. “Lake Orion did a pretty good job executing. We struggled sometimes with communication. Offensively, we did some nice things.”
The Wolves took the lead with less than three minutes left in the second quarter as they began an 18-point run which continued into the third quarter.

Freshman Keegan Wasilk grabs the ball from Bloomfield Hills, Jan. 22. Photo by Larry Wright

Freshman Keegan Wasilk led with 19 points with ten assists, five rebounds and four steals. Freshman Fletcher Loyer had 13 points and five rebounds. Junior Matt Nicholson had nine points, ten rebounds and four blocks. Junior Cole Donchez had nine points and two rebounds. Senior Desmond Mills-Bradley had eight points, six rebounds and three assists. Senior Jake Jensen had six points, five assists and two steals.
“We have a lot of guys scoring which was good,” Wasilk said. “It makes them tougher to guard. Nicholson got into some foul trouble, and we had some guys step up in the parameter and make some shots which was nice to see. It was a nice week for us.”
He added they could see Lake Orion for a third time this season depending on how the district tournament pans out, beginning Feb. 25.
“Lake Orion is a good team and is well coached,” Wasilk said. “It’s nice to grind out a win against them.”
The Wolves opened the week with a 73-42 win over Bloomfield Hills, Jan. 22.
“We were really good defensively and offensively,” Wasilk said, adding they made a lot of big 3-pointers during that game as well. “We shot the ball pretty well. I was really happy with our scoring as far as it was well distributed. We had four guys in the double digits. It was really good as far as a balanced, offensive game which was nice. It was good to take care of the ball.”
Their top three players continued to dominate the court as Loyer led with 16 points, four assists and two rebounds. Wasilk had 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and Nicholson had 13 points, 11 rebounds, seven blocks and six assists.
“Fletcher and Keegan have shown good leadership for freshman,” Wasilk said. “They have shown good poise. Their basketball IQ is really high. They have played a lot of travel basketball throughout their lives. They’ve been ready for this moment. They have seen their brothers play. They have watched them. They have really embraced taking the leadership role on this team. The ball is in their hands a lot of the time when we are on offense due to the nature of them both being guards.”
Jensen scored 12 points and had three assists and two rebounds; Donchez had six points, two assists and one rebound; and Mills-Bradley had four points, two rebounds and two assists.
“We have had multiple guys to step in and help out with the leadership role as well, Wasilk added. “They complement each other. It’s been really good. We haven’t worried about what grade or year kids are in whether they are freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. Just playing together. It’s been nice for kids – getting along and understanding their roles.”
The Wolves (12-2, 7-0 OAA Red) have six games remaining of the regular season. They host West Bloomfield this Friday.
“Hopefully we can get a few practices in depending on school cancellations,” Wasilk said on Monday when classes and after school activities were cancelled because of snow. “They were pretty tough last time. They have a talented point guard.”
Clarkston hosts North Farmington on Tuesday. JV begins at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.