Poor shooting dooms Clare in districts

By Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

Clare and Gladwin split their meetings during the girls basketball regular season and shared the Jack Pine Conference title. The Lady Pioneers lost a painful tiebreaker with the Flying G’s at home on Wednesday, March 1, 50-44 in a class ‘B’ district semi-final game.

“It was tough, but we are very proud of our girls and what they accomplished this year,” head coach Kevin Richards said. “I think they grew up a lot and learned a ton along the way. Hats off to Gladwin, they played a great game.”

Clare’s Lexy Harton slices through the lane for two points during last week’s district semi-final loss to Gladwin.

Clare’s Lexy Harton slices through the lane for two points during last week’s district semi-final loss to Gladwin.


The Flying G’s built a 13-8 lead after the first quarter and led 24-16 at the half. The Lady Pioneers had their best period in the third, outscoring Gladwin 15-9 to pull within 33-31 entering the fourth. Gladwin managed to close out the win in the fourth however.

“We shot poorly (20-percent) in the first half and 28-percent for the game, well below season averages,” Richards said. “We were also seven-of-16 from the free throw line. You can’t have numbers like that and expect to win.”

Leading the way in the game was Natalee Kunse, she knocked down three treys and finished with 14 points, six rebounds, two assists and one block. Lexy Harton hit two threes and had 13 points, seven steals and four assists, Tori Hitchcock had five points, three rebounds and two steals, Kayla Junge added four points and three boards, Haley Miller was good for three points, three rebounds and one block, Peyton Hubel added three points and three steals and Ellie Johnson had two points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists.
Clare finishes the season 14-7 overall and tied for the conference title with Gladwin with a 12-2 JPC record.

Natalee Kunse works her way by a Gladwin defender.

Natalee Kunse works her way by a Gladwin defender.


“We lost some key players and will need people to step up, our seniors are great examples of what it means to be a student-athlete and we can’t thank them enough for their hard work and dedication,” Richards said. “It’s tough to lose the quality of our senior athletes. Starting positions are won March through November. We do a lot in June, but girls need to be working on their game more than just at practice. Kunse is an excellent example of that. We are optimistic about next year, but every team should be optimistic. We have work to do to separate ourselves from everyone else.”

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