Clare boys fall to Mustangs but top Reed City, 47-44

February 7, 2019

By Aaron Michell
Correspondent

Facing a top opponent without much practice time proved to be too much to overcome on Friday, as the host Pioneers fell to Sanford Meridian, 55-39.

Clare kept the score close early, trailing 11-10 after one.

The Pioneers were held to 5 points in the second, however, as Meridian built their lead to 24-15.

“The second quarter was tough for us,” said Clare coach Matt Alexander. “We couldn’t recover from it.”

Clare trailed 43-31 after three quarters, and just couldn’t muster enough offense against a tough Meridian squad.

Alexander, however, put the loss in perspective.

“I was proud of the guys and how they competed with their backs against the wall,” said Alexander. “We went into one of our toughest games of the year with them, after not being able to practice for a week with all of the snow days.”

Jacob Recker led the way in defeat, scoring 11 points, with Nick Roe adding 10.

On Tuesday, Clare put the Meridian loss behind them, earning a hard-fought victory over the visiting Reed City Coyotes, 47-44.

Shane Jenkins led the Pioneers with 15 points, while Kaden Kelly added 12.

A tight game throughout, Clare relied on their defense to quiet the Coyotes.

“It was a very physical game,” Alexander said. “[On] a night that we didn’t shoot the ball well and our defense had to step up and get the job done for us, the guys were dialed in on defense and got the job done.”

Poor shooting early on left the Pioneers trailing 7-6 after one quarter.  Clare led 18-16 at the half, and 37-35 after three.

“They hit some big shots in the third,” Alexander said.  “But we just kept after them and were able to battle it out and get the win.”

Clare [11-4 overall] will look to continue their winning ways when they travel to Harrison for a Jack Pine showdown on Friday.

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