BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Freshman Fletcher Loyer lined up for an outside shot with a mere seconds to go in the first round of the MHSAA Boys Basketball Division 1 District 6 playoffs against Rochester Adams on Monday night.
The ball missed its mark and the Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball team finished the season with a 38-37 loss.
“We knew they were going to be a very good team,” said Tim Wasilk, head coach, adding they have a good guard. “Their biggest kid plays inside but also step out and shoot the three. We knew we were in for a new game tonight. They played well. They deserved to win. They outplayed us. They outshot us. They did a great job defensively on us. They made big shots.”
The Wolves opened the night with a field goal from senior Jake Jensen off an assist from freshman Keegan Wasilk.
Rochester Adams was quick to tie and both teams spent the rest of the first quarter battling for the lead but ended with a tie, both at seven points.
The teams remained close in score until the Highlanders grabbed the lead before the half closed with a 3-point shot, 18-14.
“They were pretty physical with us,” Wasilk said. “They are a strong team. They are a physical team and they did a pretty good job of pressuring us and making it tough for where we wanted to go.”
Rochester Adams continued to hold the Wolves back, closing the third stanza with a 5-point lead.
Junior Matt Nicholson opened the fourth quarter with a basket and Loyer followed it with a 3-pointer at the 6:47 mark to tie the game at 28 points.
The Highlanders fought back building a 7-point lead with less than two minutes to go.
The Wolves closed the gap with 95 seconds left in the game with two points from Nicholson and two baskets by senior Desmond Mills-Bradley with an assist from Jensen and Nicholson.
Rochester Adams pulled away, scoring three points for a 4-point lead before Jensen hit a field goal with 12 seconds remaining.
“Our district is pretty tough,” Wasilk added. “It is one of the toughest districts we have had in a long time. We knew going in we were going to have to play well all three nights.”
The Wolves finished the regular season with wins over Bloomfield Hills and Oak Park last week.
They posted a 48-35 win over Bloomfield Hills last Thursday with Nicholson leading with 19 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Loyer had 13 points, five rebounds, four assists; Wasilk had seven points, five rebounds, two steals; Cole Donchez had seven points, two rebounds; and Mills-Bradley had two points, four steals and two rebounds.
The Wolves defeated Oak Park, 77-43, Feb. 19. Loyer led with 28 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Nicholson had 11 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks; Wasilk had 11 points, five rebounds, three assists; Jensen had 11 points, six assists, four rebounds; and Zach Austin had seven points.
The Wolves finished the season with a 17-3 overall record and 12-0 in the OAA Red.
“I am proud of the way we played this year,” said Wasilk. “We had a great season. We had a 17-game winning streak. Definitely proud of the kids especially with the new players and the new starters we had this year. For our kids to stick together and play so well on both ends on the floor and have great chemistry, credit to the guys. It’s been a fun year. I was proud to coach them.”