Standish too much for Clare in district finals

March 14, 2019

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

For awhile, Clare traded baskets with Standish-Sterling. The Pioneers weren’t able to keep up with the Panthers as the night wore on however, as Standish was able to pull away to claim a 54-47 win in the two’s division two district championship at Gladwin on March, 1.

“I thought our guys battled hard,” head coach Matt Alexander said of the season-ending setback. “We had a couple guys in foul trouble in the first half and Standish was able to build a little lead going into the half. We came back in the third and pulled within three points to end the quarter but in the fourth we got the stops we needed, we just couldn’t convert on the offensive end.”

An early three by Mason Clark put the Pioneers ahead 5-4 for their first lead of the night. Shane Jenkins and Nick Roe followed with baskets that gave the

Nick Roe scored 7 points with 4 rebounds during the game.

Nick Roe scored 7 points with 4 rebounds during the game.

Pioneers leads of 7-6 and 9-8 and Kaden Kelly got a bucket from close-range to fall through for a 12-11 lead after one.

The Panthers pulled ahead 16-14 until Kelly fought his way to the basket for a game-tying lay-in at 16-all. Standish surged ahead 24-18 on a three pointer and though a pair of Jenkins free throws pulled them within 24-20, Standish netted two more baskets before the half to lead 28-20 at the half.

The Panthers pulled ahead 32-21 early in the third but threes by Jenkins, Clark and Kelly helped pull the Pioneers within 38-35 entering the fourth.

Standish only had three field-goals in the final frame, but managed to go 10-of-13 from the stripe to help it finish off the win.

“A big difference in the game came from the free throw line,” Alexander said. “We shot around 50-percent and when they went to the line they converted them. They had one player that made more free throws than we did as a team.”

Leading the Pioneers on the night was Jenkins with 20 points and seven rebounds, Kelly had a well-rounded night with 12 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, Roe had seven points, four rebounds, four steals and two assists, Clark had six points, two rebounds and two assists and Jake Hawley had two points, one rebound and one assist. Brenden Sersaw added four rebounds.

Clare finishes the season 16-6 overall.

“Overall, we had a great season and I am extremely proud of these guys,” Alexander said. “The seniors have been a huge part of this program the past few years and will be missed. Our underclassmen grew a lot this year. We need to continue to put in the work in the off-season and if we do that I feel we will be competitive again next year.”

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