Lady Pioneers Dominate Shepherd, Struggle Against Pinconning

February 10, 2020

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

The bad news is they lost the game. The good news is they still lead the Jack Pine Conference. The Clare girls basketball team missed out on a chance of extending their first place lead on visiting Pinconning Tuesday night, coming up short 46-35.

“They are a well-coached team, they have some length at certain positions that seem to give us some trouble,” head coach Dave Maxwell said. “Add in a scorer like Lauren Laures and they are going to win some games.”

The Pioneers only losses this season have come at the hands of the Spartans. Thankfully, Clare controls their own fate in the bid for their first JPC title since the 2016-17 season as Pinconning still trails by one game.

“We’ve had two of our toughest shooting nights against them and knockdown down a couple more shots would’ve had us right in it,” Maxwell said. “We just have to go back to work and win a game Thursday at Beaverton to stay in the lead for a conference title.”

Clare only trailed 10-8 after the first quarter, but the Spartans were able to pull away to a 21-13 lead at the half and 35-25 entering the fourth.

Bailey Taylor had two threes and finished with 12 points, five rebounds and four steals, Emmah Coker added eight points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, Raegen Louch, Ava Crowder and Ashlyn Miller had four points apiece, with Louch adding six rebounds and Miller swiping two steals. Payton Pace had two points and Brooklyn Tocco had one point, three rebounds and two steals. Sofiah Coker also had five rebounds.

On Thursday, Jan. 30 Clare was able to pick up a lopsided road JPC win at Shepherd, 66-24.

“We were able to gain control of the game with our pressure and shot it well all night, making nine threes,” Maxwell said. “A good road win against an up-and-coming program. When we commit to defense and rebounding, we will be hard to deal with.”

The Pioneers led this one the entire way, holding margins of 16-7 after one, 41-14 at the half and 51-20 entering the fourth.

Megan Gross led the way with four threes, finishing with 14 points, three rebounds and two steals, Louch was able to can three treys and tallied 11 points, three assists and three steals, Taylor also had a three and 11 points, to go along with five rebounds and two steals. Pace, Crowder, Monica McPhall, S. Coker and E. Coker all had six points apiece with E. Coker adding eight rebounds, S. Coker tracked down six boards, Pace had four rebounds and three steals, Crowder had three rebounds, three steals and two assists and McPhall was able to add five rebounds.

Clare (12-2 overall, 8-2 JPC) played at Beaverton on Thursday, hosts Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart on Monday and makes the trip to Meridian on Thursday, Feb. 13.

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