by Ben Murphy
The Clare boys basketball team moved another step closer to clinching the Jack Pine Conference and beat an inner-county rival in the process on Friday. The Pioneers, playing host to Harrison, overtook the Hornets to the tune of a 79-42 victory.
“Great team win, the guys really shared the ball and everyone contributed,” Clare head coach Matt Alexander said. “Once again, our defense was really good and led to some easy buckets.”
Jacob Recker, who finished with a game-high 19 points, netted seven in the first quarter as the Pioneers jumped to a 19-9 lead after the first quarter.
In the second, Dawson John hit the nets for seven points, Recker poured in six more and Al Warner and Lane Ingram had a three pointer each as Clare swung its lead to 46-20 at the half. In the third, Harrison had threes by Haydin Sims, Dalton Noble and Logan Ashcroft, but it was still a commanding 60-33 Clare lead entering the fourth.
To go along with Recker’s 19 points, John finished with 14, Ingram scored 11, Miles Haggart scored 10, Warner chipped in with eight, Karson Tocco put in five, Clayton Phillips was good for four, Caden Dunn and Ritchie Montgomery added three points apiece and Evan Lake added two.
For the Hornets, Ashcroft hit three treys and finished with 15 points, Noble and Sims scored 10 points each, Chris Benoit scored five and Zahn Tuckey chipped in with two.
Harrison (4-11 overall, 3-7 JPC) hosts Pinconning today (Friday) and heads to Coleman on Wednesday.
Clare also won a non-league game at Ogemaw Heights on Tuesday, 60-53, though details were not reported.
Clare (13-2 overall, 11-0 JPC) heads to Beaverton today (Friday) with a chance to clinch a share of the JPC title and hosts Evart on Monday.