OSCODA-The Oscoda girls team found out how much difference a single quarter can make on Wednesday in the second round of a Class C district.
The Tigers taught the Owls this lesson by playing a dominating first quarter that helped give them the momentum to snatch a 65-44 victory.
"We knew that Oscoda would being playing really scrappy so we knew it was important to come out and set the tempo right away. Kendra Cole and Megan Quick did a good job of setting that tempo," Alcona coach Brad Cole said.
Alcona will play Johannesburg-Lewiston on Friday in the district final.
Kendra recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Quick scored eight points and snagged six steals and four assists.
Quick was especially effective, hitting two three pointers in three minutes to help propel the Tigers to a 11-2 lead in the first quarter.
Oscoda struggled to maintain momentum, but it wasn't from lack of trying. The Owls simply missed too many shots that they should have hit while Cole stopped second and third scoring chances with her skillful rebounding.
Quick and Karina Cole were also especially effective in stealing the ball, halting the Owls momentum' and setting up further scoring chances.
Karina, normally a heavy scoring leader for Alcona, only hit three points in the quarter, but Brad Cole was not disappointed.
"Karina took an interesting approach tonight. She wasn't driving at the basket or shooting the ball as much as normal. She took a more team-oriented approach and it was really effective at setting up scoring opportunities at the right points," Cole said.
Karina still ended up as one of the team's top scorers with 13 points. Nikki Smith was a huge contributor earning a double-double by scoring 13 points and snatching 10 rebounds. Turner Somers maintained a consistent presence throughout the night for the Tigers by scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds.
"Nikki really stepped up tonight with her best game of the year," Cole said.
All of the offensive momentum seemed to go Alcona's way in the first period and when the quarter ended, Alcona was up 24-11. The Tigers were able to consistently hold a double digit lead throughout the game.
The second half saw heavy slow down from Alcona offensively as the Owls' scrappy play kept the Tigers busy defending against steals.
Particularly effective for the Owls was Andrea Rousseau who stole a lot of balls from Alcona to set up offensive opportunities, but the Owls weren't able to capitalize on them as they only scored four points in the second quarter.
The Tigers took advantage of the Owls' inability to hit the basket in the second quarter by scoring 13 more points, including two treys by Karina to take a 37-15 lead at halftime.
The Tigers ran into offensive trouble in the third quarter as Owls' defense seemed to rush the Tigers, making them force plays that ended with the ball flying out of bounds past the grasping hands of desperate players.
However, the Tigers were able to keep pace with the Owls, maintaining a 49-28 lead.
The fourth quarter seemingly delayed the inevitable with the Tigers going up 62-32 with three and a half minutes left to play. The Owls were able to pull together a 12-3 streak off the quick play of Rousseau, but it was too little too late.
"It was a great team effort tonight. Everybody played pretty well. We're not quite firing on all eight cylinders yet but we have a practice before our game on Friday to get into game shape," Brad said.
Alcona (67): N. Smith 6-0-0-13: Ka. Cole 4-3-4-13: C. Carpenter 1-1-2-3: M. Quick 3-0-0-8: S. Pierce 0-1-3-1: T. Somers 5-0-0-10: M. Feldhiser 1-0-0-2: Ke. Cole 4-4-6-12: A. Terpstra 1-1-2-3.
Oscoda (44): A. Rousseau 5-6-8-16: P. Senn 2-0-0-4: C. Keathley 1-2-4-4: K. Scott 0-1-2-1: C. Brown 1-0-1-2: S. Yates 0-2-4-2: B. Keathey 0-2-4-2: T. Lapointe 2-5-8-9: E. Toppi 1-0-2-2: M. Walker 1-0-0-2.