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Clarkston turns to Freshman Firepower

Among Clarkston’s five first-time starters are freshman guards Keegan Wasilk and Fletcher Loyer.

Clarkston once again has a Loyer and a Wasilk in its starting lineup. But these versions, Fletcher Loyer and Keegan Wasilk, were mere middle-schoolers when their brothers Foster Loyer and Chase Wasilk were winning state titles with the Wolves. Now freshmen starters, their improvement has coincided with that of Clarkston, which began the season with five new starters and an 0-2 record now has won five straight.

Loyer, a 6-2 freshman, had 21 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Wasilk a 6-2 freshman, 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds in knocking off previously unbeaten Lake Orion. In the next game Clarkston beat a team better than its .500 record — West Bloomfield’s losses are to the Wolves, Cass Tech and River Rouge. Loyer had 18 points and seven board in that one, and Wasilk 15 points and three steals.

Wasilk hit three first-half 3s against West Bloomfield. He’s a point guard with a stockier build than his brother, and deep range. If left open, he’ll rarely miss. He leads by example at a young age, the first and sometimes only Clarkston player hitting the floor. Wasilk has active hands and is aggressive on defense, but will foul. Hustles on defense and tries to beat the pass. He sprinted back to block a shot against Lake Orion. Reminds in some ways of former Rockford/Cleveland State/WMU point guard Michael Redell.

Fletcher Loyer is taller and lankier than his elder sibling. He really takes advantage of that wingspan around the basket, unfurling to finish over traffic He has a good-looking shot off the catch. Clarkston has some shot-happy guards. Loyer is the ball-handler most likely to be patient and try to work the ball into their 7-foot junior center Matt Nicholson. While unlikely a Big Ten recruit, possibly Fletcher is to Foster Loyer as Damon is to Trevor Huffman, and D2 had a great career at Brown.

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