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Putting on a clinic

Depth, defensive pressure lead to big home win for Clawson boys’ hoops

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Royal Oak Review | Published January 11, 2012

 Clawson High senior guard Deshawn Gilbert (2) puts down a layup during the Trojans' 60-39 home win Jan. 11 over Marine City.

Clawson High senior guard Deshawn Gilbert (2) puts down a layup during the Trojans' 60-39 home win Jan. 11 over Marine City.

Photo by Andrew Potter


CLAWSON — Clawson High School senior guard Tywaun Watkins and his teammates held Marine City High scoreless for the first 5:29 of a Macomb Area Conference Silver Division matchup Jan. 11 on their way to a convincing 60-39 home win.

“We know the importance of locking down on defense,” said Watkins, who recorded five steals for the Trojans and led the team with 18 points. “We’re just patient (on defense) and we read things right and try and translate that into offense.”

Clawson, which played all 14 of its players against the Mariners, jumped out to an early 11-0 lead by turning that defense into offense. The Trojans netted four layups during the run. Clawson never trailed in the contest and led by as much as 27.

Nine of the Trojans’ 14 players scored in the game. Senior forward Spencer Verhelle led Marine City with 13 points.

Clawson’s fast start caused the Mariners to take a timeout 1:09 into the game. The Trojans (6-1 overall, 2-0 MAC Silver) held Marine City (2-4 overall, 0-2 division) to five points in each of the first two quarters.

“It was all defense tonight,” Clawson coach Billy Shellenbarger said of his team’s efforts. “We were able to use our length to do some different things on that end and it worked out well for us tonight. They had a couple guys who made All-Conference last season and we made them work for everything they got tonight.”

Clawson sophomore guard Marquian Johnson, who pulled down eight rebounds to go along with his 13 points, further hammered home the importance of defense, saying his team’s main goal is always to pressure opponents into turnovers and bad shots.

The Trojans’ fullcourt trapping, pressing defense forced the Mariners into several errors.

“We’re lucky to have the depth we have. We won the league last year and I think we’re even better now,” Shellenbarger said. “A game like this one is good, too, to get some floor time for some guys working their tails off in practice.”

Clawson’s next game is slated for 7 p.m. Jan. 13 at home against St. Clair Shores South Lake High School.