LINCOLN-The Posen girls basketball team has had lots of success in the regular season the past couple of years, but has always been tripped up by a team or two along the way.
Not so this year.
Korynn Hincka scored 31 points and the Vikings topped Alcona 66-45 on Saturday at Alcona High School to finish the regular season with a perfect 20-0 mark.
In a rematch of the season opener for both teams, Posen (20-0) never slowed down and the Tigers ran into foul trouble and eventually couldn't keep pace with the Vikings down the stretch.
"It's a great feeling. For a league that's taken its share of lumps, this is great for the North Star League and I'm really happy about that," Posen coach Karl Momrik said. "Alcona's a real good team, that's the thing you have to remember. This team's 14-3, they're in Class C and they play some of the same teams we play during the year. We knew they'd be tough and they were just as tough as we thought and even tougher."
For Alcona (14-4), the loss overshadowed a major milestone by junior guard Karina Cole, who entered the game with 999 career points and scored the game's first basket to top 1,000 for her career. Cole is now seventh on the girls all-time scoring list at Alcona and Momrik called a timeout immediately after the score so that both teams could acknowledge Cole's achievement.
"The biggest thing about it is it's with three different teams. It came with a pretty good win-loss record, so she was playing on some decent teams," Alcona coach Brad Cole said. "She's the first to tell you it's not about being an individual, it's about being a team. She's happy to have that number, but she would've rather have a win."
Hincka got going early for Posen, scoring 10 points in the first quarter to guide the Vikings to a 14-5 lead. Posen kept on the offensive in the second quarter, building a 22-9 lead in the first few minutes as the majority of Alcona's lineup struggled to hit shots.
Cole led Alcona with 22 points and scored eight in the second quarter, but the Tigers' other starters struggled to knock down their open looks. Alcona also ran into foul trouble in the second quarter as four starters collected at least two fouls before halftime.
"Posen's a great team, they're not 19-0 for nothing," Cole said. "We knew we had to play flawless and we got a lot of good looks, the baskets weren't going in."
The Vikings entered halftime with a 32-24 lead.
Hincka and Cole put on a show in the third quarter, combining for 19 points. Cole scored 10 points in the period including two triples, which helped the Tigers pull to within four, 36-32, with five minutes to play in the quarter.
Toward the end of the third quarter, Posen went to a box-and-one on Cole and limited her touches the rest of the way thanks to the defensive efforts of Austin Sharpe and Jenna Hincka who stuck to Cole like glue.
Posen held a 49-36 after three quarters and effectively iced the game with a late 7-0 run which gave the Vikings a 60-41 lead with 3:17 left. Down the stretch Alcona just had one too many offensive lulls and had no answer for Korynn, who gave the Tigers fits in the season-opener, scoring a career-high 36 points.
Anna Couture added eight points for Posen and Bev Bednarski added six as the Vikings got scoring contributions from the majority of its roster.
Megan Quick added nine points for Alcona and Kendra Cole had six points and eight rebounds.
Momrik was thrilled for his team to reach such a milestone, but knows that the Vikings have some bigger goals ahead, namely a fourth straight district championship.
"We're going to be real happy and celebrate this for about a day, then it's back to work next week and picking up where we left off, going to work every day and getting ready for districts," Momrik said.
Both teams begin district play on Wednesday. Alcona will on the road against tonight's Mancelona/Oscoda winner and Posen will play Hillman in Onaway.
Alcona's JV team defeated Posen 49-18. Sam Schopher paced the Tigers with 16 points and Tori Harmon added 14. Amy Buczkowski led Posen with nine points.
POSEN (66): Bednarski 3 0-0 6; K. Hincka 13 5-6 31; J. Hincka 3 0-0 6; Couture 2 4-6 8; Lenard 0 2-4 2; Meyers 3 0-1 7; Sharpe 3 0-2 6.
ALCONA (45): Ka. Cole 9 0-0 22; Walen 0 0-2 0; Quick 3 2-4 9; Ke. Cole 3 0-7 6; Smith 2 0-0 4; Carpenter 2 0-0 4.