LINCOLN The Alcona girls basketball team (12-2, 3-0 Huron Shores Conference) has had a high octane season this year, beating most of its opponents relatively easily. A tight game against Hillman a few weeks ago tested the limits of the Tigers' skill but they were able to hold on and win.
They hope to do the same against Huron Shores rival Oscoda tonight at 6 p.m., a team they have already beaten in the past.
"Oscoda has been playing a lot better lately. They're going to come out aggressive and we're going to have to have an effective defensive attack to hold them off," Alcona coach Brad Cole said.
There is an even more important impetus for winning beyond records: tonight is the Alcona girls homecoming.
"We wanna make sure to beat a rival like Oscoda during our homecoming," Cole said.
Oscoda ran into trouble early in the season and has lost some tough games. However, the Owls have built up a solid offensive and defensive attack centered around the strengths of Tori Lapointe.
"Last time we played Oscoda, we did a good job containing the Lapointe girl. That helped us come away with the win," Cole said.
The Owls also have solid players like Carley Brown and Emily Toppi who have turned into key players for Oscoda's offensive and defensive push. If Alcona wants to control the game, the going to have to watch out for these two.
Alcona is blessed with a rather deep 13 girl bench. Seniors like Nikki Smith have been linchpins for the team while junior Karina Cole and sophomore Kendra Cole have been the scoring juggernauts for Alcona. This is especially true of Karina who nearly tops the area scoring average while Kendra hovers near the top for rebounds.
Rock solid players like junior Megan Quick could also give Oscoda some problems. Quick is an effective floor general who patiently gets her teammates into position to score. She is also an effective perimeter shooter that sometimes seems to hit threes at will. Freshman Sydney Pierce also seems to have the offensive energy and speed to blossom into a vital player.
Oscoda has a slight height advantage over Alcona, but Cole is looking to minimize that problem.
"My youngest daughter (Kendra) is really good against the big. Brown is their big and if Kendra can keep her off the board, we shouldn't have too many problems," Cole said.
Cole also emphasized his team's speed advantage over Oscoda.
"We've got a lot more speed than Oscoda. If we can play fast, past often and get in the right position the shots should fall. Nicole Walen has really been coming into her own lately and Kendra has been doing great lately. It should be an interesting game. We're not taking anything for granted," he said.
Alcona's boys basketball team will also host Oscoda tonight at 7:30 p.m.