ALPENA - Things must have looked promising to the Alpena Community College men's basketball team on Saturday as the Lumberjacks scored eight of the game's first 10 points against Muskegon Community College. However, that promise evaporated as the Lumberjacks dropped its second straight game, 59-43.
"As a team, they need to identify their roles. The fast guys got move the ball down the court, the shooters have got to score and the big guys have to rebound," Alpena head coach Frank McCourt said.
The Lumberjacks took control of the game early on, jumping to a 6-0 lead off of the shots of Lavario Smith and Sean Berryman.
Alpena held Muskegon scoreless for the first five minutes of the game. A field goal by Alpena's Mujahhedn Mustafaa gave Alpena an 8-2. However, the Jayhawks' Kenya Oas hit a three point shot a minute later to bring the game to 8-5.
With 8:09 left in the half, ACC had a 14-10 lead. However, the Jayhawks started to score more regularly, including hitting three three-point shots, one each from T.J. Grant, Oas and Gross.
In comparison, the Lumberjacks scored much less during this period. Alpena only scored four points over a five-minute time period. With 2:45 left, the Lumberjacks lead was 18-17.
The Jayhawks scoring continued as they outscored Alpen 14-4 down the stretch to take a 26-18 lead at the half.
Five and a half minutes into the second half an 8-2 Muskegon scoring spurt put Alpena behind 37-24 with only 11 minutes left to play in the game.
With 6:39, the Jayhawks lead had grown to 46-29.
Alpena, with the help of six points by Berryman and a three-pointer by Logan Wickert, narrowed the deficit to 58-41 with less than three minutes to play. The two teams combined for only three points over the game's final three minutes.
"They loosened up and just had fun. The pressure was off of them because they didn't feel like they were in the game any more," McCourt said. "If they can loosen up and have fun during a whole game, they'll really start scoring big."
The Lumberjacks travel to Muskegon on Friday to participate in the Pepsi Thanksgiving Challenge.
ACC (43): Lavario Smith, 3-0-0-6; Sean Berryman, 6-1-2-13; Mujahhedn "Mookie" Mustafaa, 5-0-1-10; Logan Wickert, 2-2-2-7; Kharri Dailey, 0-3-4-3; Jake Strong, 2-0-0-4.
MCC (59): Jalin Gross, 7-4-6-20; Kenya Oas, 3-1-2-9; Devaughn Cole-Rodney, 5-1-3-11; T.J. Grant, 3-2-3-10; Asa Wyers, 2-0-0-2; Jake Anderson, 1-0-0-2; Andre' Parker, 0-1-2-1.