The Alpena Community College women's basketball team had a chance to halt a four-game losing streak on Wednesday by beating Schoolcraft.
In spite of taking an 11-point lead in the first half and hitting six three pointers, ACC extended its losing streak to five with 70-60 defeat against the Ocelots at Park Arena.
The game started strong for Schoolcraft when it took a 4-0 lead in the first 50 seconds of the game.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Alpena Community College’s Amy Nowak (32) battles for a rebound with Schoolcraft’s Ajai Meeks during a women’s basketball game on Wednesday at Park Arena.
Strong offensive play by Whitney Frazier and Allison Burley as well as big shots from Sherri Smith brought ACC back and eventually pushed the Lumberjacks into the lead. Frazier hit a three and a field goal while Ashleigh Monticello also hit a three. Midway through the half, ACC led Ocelots 23-12.
ACC scored again four minutes later off a Lauren Seibert field goal. This pulled them ahead 25-23.
Schoolcraft had staged a comeback off the hands of Courtney Dyer and Ajai Meeks. Dyer hit two field goals and one free throw while Meeks hit a field goal and two free throws.
A big part of Schoolcraft's comeback came off its rebounding as the ACC girls continually struggled to get into the position to snatch up missed shots.
The ACC women were also hampered by a hit-or-miss defense that performed very well one minute and then struggled the next. Amy and Emily Nowak were especially effective defensively, using their height to snatch up several rebounds for the Lumberjacks that helped them stay in the game.
The Lumberjacks offense opened up in the last three minutes of the half thanks to a push by Smith that included a trey, two of three free throws and a field goal with five seconds left. This helped the Lumberjacks keep a slim 32-30 lead.
The second half started out like a three point contest as the first four scores of the half were triples. Dyer hit her first three of the night 10 seconds into the half. Smith hit two and Burley hit one for ACC to take it a 41-37 lead.
The game became a quick back-and-forth scoring session for the next several minutes. Schoolcraft fought to a 41-41 tie off Dyer and Toi Brown field goals while Seibert hit a tricky behind the back shot put ACC up 43-41. Dyer hit her second of three triples on night to pull the Ocelots ahead 46-43.
This was the last time the lead changed.
The see-saw scoring of the last few minutes continued until there were seven and a half minutes left when when ACC trailed 55-53.
It was at this point that ACC seemed to slow down offensively and defensively. Schoolcraft began hitting nearly every shot and grabbing nearly ever rebound. It also began to steal regularly from ACC.
The next time ACC scored two minutes later, the Lumberjacks were behind 61-55.
"We were in the game all the way up to the last six or seven minutes of the game and then we just seemed to collapse," ACC head coach Bobby Allen said.
Although ACC did continue to shoot, the shots wouldn't fall. Smith missed a few three pointers and the rebounds fell into the hands of the Ocelots.
"We ran the offense well at the beginning. The girls played together really well for most of the game but then I called out the wrong offensive at a crucial time and it threw off the whole game," Allen said.
ACC is now 4-11 overall 0-6 in the Eastern Conference. The Lumberjacks play again on Saturday at Henry Ford Community College.
Schoolcraft (70): T. Brown 5-1-3-11: B. Hamlin 5-0-0-10: C. Dyer 10-1-1-25: B. Longhini 2-2-2-6: A. meeks 5-2-2-12: T. Gessler 1-0-0-2: T. Bunyak 2-0-0-4.
Alpena (60): A. Burley 4-0-0-9: W. Frazier 3-0-0-7: L. Seibert 4-0-0-8: K. Hipkins 1-0-0-3: A. Monticello 3-0-2-7: K. Wollan 1-1-2-3: S. Smith 6-2-3-18: A. Nowak 1-0-0-2: E. Nowak 1-1-2-3.