By Ben Murphy
Clare couldn’t hang with Saginaw Nouvel in its first test of the season Tuesday night, falling to the host Lady Panthers 57-37 in non-conference girls basketball.
“We did not rebound well and had way too many turnovers to be successful against Nouvel,” Clare head coach Matt Rodenbo said. “We try to schedule them in order to help us later in the year. Time will tell but I think I have a group that will strive to get better throughout the year.”
Nouvel opened with a 10-point lead after the first quarter, leading 16-6, with Clare edging closer to 26-19 at the half.
The Panthers outscored the Lady Pioneers 16-10 in the third and 15-8 in the fourth to pull away for the win.
Lindsay Winter led Clare with 23 points and five rebounds, Morgan English had four points and Corinne Wezensky had five rebounds.
On Friday, the Lady Pioneers opened up Jack Pine Conference play, topping host Gladwin 62-40.
Clare outscored the Lady Flying G’s 13-8 in the first quarter and led 27-18 at the half. The Pioneers continued to roll in the second half, pulling away to a 41-27 lead entering the fourth.
“I thought that Kodi Humphrey gave us a nice lift in this game,” Rodenbo said. “Alex Stark also played a nice floor game for us. It was a physical game throughout and I feel we responded well to that.”
Winter led Clare with 24 points, Wezensky had 12 points and 15 rebounds and Kodi Humphrey had 12 points and six rebounds. Olivia Cooper had four points and Alex Stark put in three.
Clare (2-1 overall, 1-0 JPC) played at Houghton Lake in a league contest on Thursday night and return to action on Tuesday against Beaverton.
“I think any coach believes this early in the season that the team has several things to improve on,” Rodenbo said. “We have done a lot of good things early but still have several areas to shore up.”