By Ben Murphy
After struggling in a lopsided loss in an early season test against a ranked Saginaw Nouvel team, the Clare girls’ basketball team picked up a convincing win over class ‘D’ sixth ranked Sacred Heart on Tuesday. The Pioneers topped the visiting Lady Irish 47-38 in a non-conference game.
“It does not show up in the stat sheet but Olivia Cooper was a big reason we won this game,” Clare head coach Matt Rodenbo said. “She matched up against S-H’s Sarah Hanson and held her down all night. Corrine Wezensky, Kodi Humphrey and Alex Stark controlled the boards all night which was also a big key for us.”
Clare outscored S-H 14-10 in the first quarter and 11-8 in the second to lead 25-18 at the half. The Pioneers took control of the game with a 14-7 scoring edge in the third to lead 39-25 entering the fourth. The Lady Irish had its best offensive quarter in the fourth, outscoring Clare 13-8 in the frame to account for the 47-38 final.
Wezensky led Clare with 17 points and 16 rebounds, Lindsay Winter had 16 points, five rebounds and four assists, Codi Humphrey and Alex Stark both had five points with Humphrey grabbing 13 rebounds and Stark adding eight boards. Cooper and Morgan English both added two points apiece.
Clare 64, Farwell 43
On Thursday, Jan. 9 Clare won a Jack Pine Conference game in Farwell, 64-43.
“I thought Farwell really shot the ball well, in fact they shot 43 percent to our 33,” Rodenbo said. “The difference is that they got 41 shots at the basket and we got 78.”
Clare used a big first quarter to take a 21-10 lead after one and pushed that lead to 38-19 at the half. The Pioneers continued to pad the lead with a 19-11 in the third to make it 57-30 entering the fourth. Farwell netted 13 points to Clare’s seven in the final stanza.
Winter led Clare with 33 points, eight rebounds, five steals and four assists, Stark had 10 points, Codi Humphrey had eight points, six rebounds and five steals, Wezensky had four points and seven boards and Haley Pulcifer had four points.
Caron White led Farwell with 15 points, Selena Deleon had 10 points, Bri Colosky and Kate Saupe both had five points and Alysha Luster had four.
Clare (8-1 overall, 6-0 JPC) played at Roscommon on Thursday and hosts Gladwin on Tuesday. Both contests are JPC games.
Farwell also hosted Vestaburg in a non-league game on Monday, losing 43-38.
“We came out and played pretty well but our inexperience really showed,” Farwell head coach Tom Kleinhardt said. “The flu and injury bug has kind of hit us right now.”
Farwell led 11-3 after the first quarter but saw that lead all but shrink as they led 22-20 at the half. Vestaburg pulled ahead 32-26 entering the fourth and both teams traded leads from there.
“They knocked down a couple threes right before half and that momentum carried over for them,” Kleinhardt said. “We came out flat in the third and we kind of went back and forth in the fourth. We got behind late and had to foul and they made their free throws at the end.”
Luster led Farwell with 11 points, Saupe had nine points and seven boards and White had eight points and seven rebounds.
Farwell (4-4, 3-3) hosted Meridian on Thursday and plays at Roscommon on Monday.