Pioneers Bounce Back, Shred Hornets, 71-45

January 20, 2020

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

In its first game back after a disappointing loss to Meridian, the Clare boys basketball team bounced back with a big win Tuesday night, taking care of visiting Jack Pine Conference foe Harrison, 71-45.

“We really played a nice complete game,” Clare head coach Matt Alexander said. “I felt like it was the first time we came out and executed the game plan from start to finish on both ends of the floor. Our defense created a lot of turnovers that led to easy baskets and we moved the ball the best we have offensively all season and got our best shot selection.”

In the first quarter, Clare received a three pointer and seven points total, giving it a 14-6 lead after one. The Hornets could only get a three apiece by Cam and Logan Ashcroft in the opening stanza. Jenkins added six more points in the second and the Pioneers had five points each by Al Warner and Jacob Recker. Lucas Cooper did net a pair of threes and added a pair of free throws in the second, but the Pioneers rushed to a 37-20 lead by the half.

The Pioneers received six points by Todd Lake, including one three in the third, as they pulled to a 59-26 lead entering the fourth.

Clare had Jenkins finish with a game-high 19 points, Lake netted 15, Hunter Woolston had eight, Recker, Lane Ingram and Warner each netted seven, Mason Clark was good for six and Mason Poet chipped in with two.

For the Hornets, Cooper and C. Ashcroft each finished with 15, Ethan VanAntwerp netted nine, Hunter Davis and L. Ashcroft were good for six apiece, Andrew Erskin had three and with two was Colin Dunn.

On Thursday, Jan. 9 the Pioneers came up short at Meridian, 50-37.

“Meridian shot the ball extremely well, they hit nine three pointers on the night,” Alexander said. “We didn’t help ourselves either with our play on either end of the floor. I felt their shooting forced our guys to press too much and just took us out of our game plan.”

The Mustangs were able to take a 20-8 lead after the first quarter and also led 30-23 at the half and 47-30 entering the fourth.

The Pioneers had 13 points from Woolston, Ingram chipped in with nine, Jenkins was good for six, Lake netted four, Recker scored three and Clark had two.

Clare (5-2 overall, 3-2 JPC) hosted Farwell on Thursday, hosts Beal City on Wednesday and heads to Gladwin on Friday, Jan. 24.

The Hornets also played in a JPC game on Jan. 9, when they dropped a battle with Shepherd, 55-32.

“Fast and tall, nice combo along with good outside shooting,” Harrison head coach Kelly Cook said of Shepherd. “They are going to be tough to beat.”

The BlueJays took control early with a 26-3 lead after the first quarter and led 35-13 at the half and 46-18 entering the fourth.

The Hornets were led by Lucas Gillespie with eight points, Cooper netted six, Dunn, C. Ashcroft and Logan Yost added four points each, VanAntwerp had three and Davis and L. Ashcroft added one apiece.

Harrison (3-5, 2-4) played down at Meridian on Thursday and returns home to play Pinconning on Friday, Jan. 24.

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