Friday's game at Park Arena was a truly international affair: visiting Sault College is from Canada and as 'Oh Canada' played, the Couagrs swelled with visible pride. However, the Alpena Community College women's team swung their arms during the last stanza of the national anthem in a display that illustrated their national pride.
ACC struck hard against the visiting Cougars, defeating them 58-22 to earn its first win of the 2012-13 season.
Lauren Seibert, who scored six points for her team, was pleased to help her team earn its first victory.
"It feels really good," she said. "Tonight we played the strongest as a team that we've played all year."
The Lumberjacks (1-4) struck early in the half with a basket by Emily Nowak with only 30 seconds ticked off the clock. 20 seconds later, Seibert nailed a three pointer to take the Lumberjacks to a quick 5-0 lead.
It was a lead they kept the whole half as the Cougars struggled on offense. The Cougars did score next off the free throws of Keisha Giroux and off the shooting of Danielle White. White was particularly solid as she later hit another three and two free throws to lead her team with eight points.
Nowak continued her strong offensive push as did Whitney Frazier. Frazier scored seven points in the half including a well-timed three pointer at the end of the half.
The Cougars stepped up their defense but seemed to have trouble handling the ball effective. There were a lot of dropped passes, overthrows and poorly dribbled runs down the court. The Cougars simply couldn't stop the lady Lumberjacks from outscoring them 26-12 at the half.
Particularly effective were the hands of ACC's Katherine Wollan, who continually stole the ball from the Cougars at key points and set up scoring opportunities for her team.
The second half saw a continuation of the Lumberjacks' domination. The Cougars scored only eight points in the second half, four of which were scored by White. Hailey Bomhof finally scored a free throw after missing six straight while Giroux also contributed a basket.
The second half was dominated by the skillful shots of Sherri Smith. Smith hit four three pointers throughout the half as well as a field goal to lead her team in the half with 14 points. Alison Burley also scored two three pointers and a field goal.
The Lumberjacks kept on the offensive pressure as the Cougars tried to get a solid run started. Their defense began to crumble against a more offensive ACC stance. The Lumberjacks began taking shots as will while the Cougars continued to struggle with the ball.
In the end, the Lumberjacks could be proud of their first win, a fact which pleased head coach Bobby Allen. However, he still saw room for improvement.
"They're pretty happy about winning," Allen said, "But they know they have to work on some defensive and offensive stuff. Boxing out and rebounding especially."
The lady Lumberjacks play today against the Cougars at 1 p.m.
Alpena (58): E. Nowak 3-1-2-8; L. Seibert 1-3-3-6; W. Frazier 2-3-3-8; A. Burley 3-0-0-8; A. Nowak 1-0-0-2; K. Wollan 1-4-6-6; K. Hipkins 1-0-0-2; S. Smith 5-0-0-14; A. Monticello 2-0-0-4.
Sault (22): D. White 4-2-2-12; K. Giroux 2-3-4-7; H. Bomhof 1-1-8-3.