ALPENA - Early-season games are a way for teams to improve before the conference season, and the Alpena Community College women's basketball team showed marked improvement betweent its first as second game. The Lumberjacks lost to Muskegon Community College, 73-60, during the second day of the East West Classic on Saturday, but head coach Bobby Allen saw some promise in his team.
"They started to play really well at the end. That kind of play is something we can take advantage of and build on in the future," he said.
Nearly every time Muskegon built a lead, Alpena answered.
Jazymne Good had a big night for Muskeson driving the ball to the basket frequently, leading the Jayhawks with 27 points.
Sheri Smith hit four three-pointers in four minutes for Alpena to give the Lumberjacks a 16-15 lead.
Two quick field goals by Kassondra Kurnat and Good helped Muskegon take the lead 19-16 seven minutes into the game. ACC's Katherine Wollan then nailed three out of four free throws to tie the game.
A free throw by T'Keyia Collins of Muskegon with 8:30 left in the half helped break the tie. The Jayhawks then went on a seven point run, including a three-point shot by Lindsey Burnside to extended their lead 27-19 with 3:45 left to play in the half.
The Lumberjacks then fought back during the rest of the half and outscored the Jayhawks in about two minutes, including two free throws by Ashleigh Monticello that narrowed the Muskegon lead to 29-26 but the Jayhawks hit three out of five free throws to extend their lead 32-26.
Muskegon outscored the Lumberjacks 10-3 to start the second half and push its lead to 42-29.
Many of Alpena's points during the second half come from free throws. in a four minute span the Lumberjacks nailed 10 out of 14 free throws that helped offset Muskegon's lead, narrowing it to 50-48 with 7:22 left in the game. The Lumberjacks were helped out by a six-minute Jayhawk scoring drought.
Good, Kurnat and Sabri-Carter Latin helped Muskegon push the lead again, as Alpena struggled to mount a successful offensive drive beyond consistently hitting free throws.
A three-pointer by Whitney Frazier with 2:46 left in the game helped narrow the Jayhawks lead to 62-55 but the Jayhawks were able to keep and extend their lead to end the game 73-60.
"We didn't really attack like we should have been. They knew that and took advantage of it," Allen said."Our strong moments of play are something we're going to be building on in upcoming practices."
ACC travels to Muskegon Friday to take part in the Pepsi Thanksgiving Classic at 5 p.m.
ACC (60): Sherri Smith, 5-1-2-15; Amy Nowak, 3-4-4-10; Katherine Wollan, 0-7-8-7; Lauren Seibert, 1-3-4-4; Emily Nowak, 1-0-2-2; Ashleigh Monticello 0-3-4-3; Allison Burley, 1-4-6-6; Whitney Fraizer, 3-4-4-12; Alleigh Sexton, 0-1-4-1.
MCC (73): Jazmyne Good, 12-3-4-27; Sabri-Carter Latin, 4-2-4-10; Nicole Walsworth, 1-1-2-3; Kassondra Kurnat, 6-0-0-14; T'Keyia Collins, 0-1-2-1; Lindsey Burnside, 3-0-1-7; Alexandria Torres, 5-0-2-10; Teareya Hill, 0-0-1-0; Molly Christophersen, 0-2-2-2.