The Lake Fenton varsity boys basketball team was never out of the game against the Clio Mustangs.

 However, down the stretch the Blue Devils were never able to get the deficit to the point where they could tie or take the lead.

 The Blue Devils gave the Mustangs a tough contest on Clio’s home court on Wednesday, but lost a 60-56 verdict.

 “It was competitive the whole time, but we got off to a slow start,” Lake Fenton varsity boys basketball coach Tyler Szczepanski said. “We were down 8-0 when Francis (Senter) hit our first three approximately three minutes left in the quarter.

 “We were timid in the first half, but we came out with a lot more aggressive in the second half. But each time we’d cut the lead to three to four points, Clio quickly stretched it back to seven or eight points again.”

 Lake Fenton may have gotten off to a slow start, but the Blue Devils remained in the game. Lake Fenton’s second bucket of the game was late in the first quarter when Jake Helms hit a trey, cutting Clio’s lead 10-6 entering the second quarter.

 One player that hurt Lake Fenton all night was Logan McNiel. After holding him to just two first-quarter points, McNiel scored 13 second-quarter points and never cooled off, finishing the game with 33 points. Still, the Blue Devils stayed within a reasonable distance of Clio. Helms had five second-quarter points and Carter Foerster and Senter had four each as the Blue Devils trailed 26-19 at halftime.

 The Blue Devils’ best quarter was the third with Senter leading the way. Senter scored 13 of his team-high 23 points during the third period as Lake Fenton scored 18 points during the stanza. Still, the Blue Devils trailed only 44-37 entering the final quarter.

 “Our guys played awesome in the third quarter,” Szczepanski said. “We were able to get steals, get in transition and get some easy ones that way. When our defense is working for us it makes the game a lot easier.”

 Lake Fenton never had the ball with a chance to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but never trailed by a lot at any given time either. McNiel helped Clio ice the victory with eight fourth-quarter points, including a three-pointer early in the fourth. Helms had eight fourth-quarter points for the Blue Devils with six coming on two treys. Collin Schramm also had a trey as did Foerster in the final quarter. However, the Blue Devils made just 1-of-8 free throws in the final quarter.

 After Senter’s 23 points, Helms had 16 poitns. Foerster netted nine points while Schramm had eight points. McNiel was the only player with double-digits for Clio with his 33 points. Cole Howard had nine points.

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