Michigan State-bound point guard Foster Loyer played in Clarkston’s first postseason game Wednesday night, scoring 16 in a 62-50 district semifinal win over Lake Orion on Clarkston’s home floor.
Loyer suffered a slight meniscus tear in his left knee on Feb. 27 and didn’t play in Clarkston’s regular-season finale a week ago, a 48-38 win over Hazel Park on Senior Night to clinch the OAA Red Division title outright.
Clarkston (20-1), the defending Class A state champions, received a first-round bye in the districts, and will play Oxford (8-13) for the district title Friday night.
Clarkston is 90-6 with Loyer on the court during his career. He is averaging 26 points and six assists, scoring more than 2,000 career points, and is a Mr. Basketball finalist.
Loyer practiced with Clarkston Tuesday, then told longtime head coach Dan Fife Wednesday he was ready to go.
“I didn’t know until about 1 o’clock,” Fife said. “I called him to talk about the game still being on because a lot of schools were cancelled, we were cancelled, and I asked him what his thoughts were on tonight, and he said, ‘Coach, I’m playing.’
“He came to the gym early and worked out because he hadn’t really been doing a lot for the last four days, and I asked his mother, wanted to know her thoughts, and she said, ‘We’re OK with it. He wants to play and we’re letting him go.’”
Fife said Loyer ices his knee and has other treatment in the training room.
“He was a little rusty playing, but didn’t favor it,” said Fife of Loyer. “If he favored it I would have taken him out because if you don’t do it right you end up hurting something else.
“He scored 16 and that’s with being rusty, not bad, and with our team, when he’s out there they are so much more comfortable knowing he’s there. “
Loyer said he’s ready to play for the long haul, hoping Clarkston’s run reaches the Breslin Center for the state finals in two weeks.
“I played last night, going to continue to try to play the rest of the postseason,” Loyer said in a text.