The Alpena Community College men's basketball team ran into a brick wall against No. 2 Mott on Wednesday, struggling to maintain consistent offense in an 82-48 loss at Park Arena.
"We got beat by a better basketball team," ACC coach Frank McCourt said.
The Bears (19-1, 9-0 MCCAA Eastern) got started early with a 6-0 lead in the first two minutes. ACC players like Shane Hentkowski and Kharri Dailey tried their best defensively, but the Bears held quite a sizable height advantage and proved hard to defend.
News Photo by James Andersen
Alpena’s Shane Hentkowski, left, puts up a shot during a men’s basketball game on Wednesday at Park Arena.
Lavario Smith helped the Lumberjacks out a lot offensively, hitting a field goal and two free throws to narrow the lead to 6-4.
This was the closest ACC got to taking the lead from Mott.
ACC (5-14, 2-7 MCCAA Eastern) was heavily hampered by missed shots and a struggling offense that went minutes at a time without a score. Mott consistently hit shots, especially Kory Billups who went on an eight-point run to put the Bears up 20-8 eight minutes into the half.
Billups led Mott with 20 points and Fred Mattison added 17.
Logan Wickert helped ACC out by hitting a three while William Gates Jr. also hit a trey, but it wasn't enough against the offensive strength of Mott players like Mattison and Trevon Banks.
Sean Berryman was also an offensive strength for ACC, but the half ended with Mott up 48-18.
Mott started the second half with a 10-0 run that included baskets from Coreontae DeBerry and one by Malik Albert. A dramatic dunk by Mattison ended a streak that saw Alpena struggling on both ends of the floor.
Three minutes into the half, ACC picked up its game offensively and defensively. Smith and Berryman were defensive assets, snatching a lot of rebounds off of missed shots.
Smith hit a field goal as did Hentkowski and Dailey. Dailey also hit three free throws to take the Lumberjacks to a 62-27 spread with 14:47 to go.
Smith and Dailey led ACC with 13 points each.
The Lumberjacks defense increased its aggression and was effective in stopping a lot of Mott drives, but also gave the Bears a lot of free throw opportunities. Mott was 15-of-22 for free throws on the night.
ACC was able to keep Mott from pulling further ahead, but struggled to make up the difference. Continued strong play from Dailey, Hentkowski and Wickert showed the Lumberjacks weren't giving up, but neither did Mott. ACC went scoreless in the last three minutes of the game.
McCourt didn't want to let the fact that Mott was highly ranked serve as an excuse for the loss.
"We just need to play basketball. What's wrong with us will be taken care of tomorrow," he said.
Mott (82): M. Albert 2-1-2-5: C. Mattison 1-0-0-2: C. DeBerry 4-2-6-10: F. Mattison 5-7-8-17: K. Billups 10-0-0-20: K. Ross 1-2-2-4: D. Foster 3-0-0-6: S. Smith 1-0-0-2: M. Busby 1-3-4-6: C. McFadden 1-0-0-2: T. Banks 4-0-0-8.
Alpena (48): K. Dailey 4-5-5-13: W. Gates 2-0-0-5: S. Berryman 2-0-0-4: L. Smith 5-3-5-13: S. Hentkowski 1-1-2-3: L. Wickert 2-0-0-5: C. Lamp 1-1-3-3: J. MacGregor 1-0-0-2.