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Clarkston opens season with 66-35 win over St. Mary's behind 24 points from Loyer

Basketball   | Jeff Dullack

State Champs! Sports Network

Orchard Lake – After advancing to the Class A quarterfinals a season ago, Clarkston opened its season on Tuesday night and from the looks of it, the Wolves are picking up right where they left off.

Clarkston sprinted out to a 15-point halftime lead and rolled its way to a convincing 66-35 win over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in the season opener for both teams.

Clarkston coach Dan Fife said that more than anything from Monday night’s game, he was pleased with his team’s effort from the start of the game.

“I thought our effort was pretty good,” he said. “Physically, those kids are really strong, Orchard Lake always plays hard, their always going to be tough, so it was a good game for us. It was a good opening game to come into somebody else’s gym and play tough kids, so it was good, I was happy with our effort.”

After trailing early on in the first quarter, the Wolves used a 12-0 run, highlighted by two 3-pointers from sophomore point guard Foster Loyer, to take a 14-6 lead after the first quarter

Clarkston then used a 19-point second quarter, aided by a pair of John Chrenka 3-pointers and another triple from Loyer to take a commanding 33-18 lead into halftime.

Loyer finished with a game-high 24 points to lead the way for Clarkston on Tuesday.

“We just tried to find the open man and make the open shot and do what I can,” Loyer said of the success that he and his teammates had. “Never looking to force things, just take what they give you and we got to the foul line a lot tonight and we were very successful there.”

Another key contributor in Tuesday’s win for Clarkston was junior transfer Dylan Alderson, who finished with 14 points on the night.

Fife said that Alderson is still working his way into the mix for his team, but can tell the junior is going to be a key to Clarkston’s success this season.

“He’s finding his way, but Dylan is going to be a player for us,” he said. “We just have to get him in different positions and he’s learning to play without the ball and I think that’s going to be good for him long term. He’s young in our program, which isn’t easy to come into our program and start from the beginning, but I was pleased with him.

Clarkston watched its lead grow to as large as 26 in the third quarter, before St. Mary’s would start chipping away at the lead thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Jalon Bailey, but the Wolves would carry a 25-point lead into the fourth quarter after making 9-of-11 free throw attempts in the third quarter.

St. Mary’s was led by C.J. Wilson, who poured in a team-high 16 points, while Bailey added in 12.

Tuesday’s game had a different feel for St. Mary’s as Tuesday served as the first game for head coach Todd Covert, who took over for George Porritt, who retired after 20 years on the bench for the Eaglets.

Covert, who has served as an assistant for St. Mary’s since 1999, and is a graduate of the school, said that Tuesday was a day he had been waiting a long time for and added he was pleased with his team’s effort as well throughout the game.

“It was a dream come true,” he said. “I pulled in that driveway thousands of times, and I got a little chill today and it was great to have my family here today, my girls, my wife. I’ve been here since I was probably six years old and it was a special time. Our kids competed, I was happy with our effort, we didn’t execute and that’s a lot of Clarkston, that’s what they do to you.”

Clarkston next faces Macomb Dakota at home next Tuesday, while St. Mary’s will face Oxford on Saturday.