LINCOLN-The Posen girls basketball team took everything Alcona had to offer on Monday and still the Vikings came out on top.
The Vikings pulled away from Alcona in the second half, made some free throws and critical times and earned their 58th straight regular season North Star League win after beating the Tigers 55-42 at Alcona High School.
The win gives Posen (14-0, 10-0 NSL) at least a share of the North Star League title and the Vikings can clinch the title outright tonight with a win over Fairview.
The two sides were tied 21-21 at halftime, but it was Posen who pulled away over the final 16 minutes and earned its fifth straight victory over the Tigers. Posen led 36-28 after three quarters and clinched the game at the free-throw line in the final quarter, going 11-for-12.
"This is what it's all about. This is just like the tournament here. That's a good team we played; 11-2 and probably won nine games in a row and they're at home," Posen coach Karl Momrik said. "The difference was the free throws. We made our ours and they didn't make theirs."
Korynn Hincka led Posen with 23 points and Ashley Meyers added 19 points. The duo helped seal the game for Posen in the fourth quarter as Hincka scored nine points and Meyers went 9-for-9 at the charity stripe.
It was a frustrating ending for the Tigers (10-3, 7-2) who struggled to make shots consistently all night. On defense Alcona kept Posen out of its usual rhythm, but couldn't capitalize on Posen's miscues.
"We did everything. We did everything we wanted to do, we just couldn't make baskets," Alcona coach Brad Cole said. "We shoot any type of percentage like we normally shoot and we're in the game."
Karina Cole led Alcona with 18 points and added 15 points for a double-double, but the Tigers went just 4-for-12 at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, impeding their chances of contending for the lead.
A basket from Sydney Pierce with 1:56 to play cut Posen's lead to 49-40, but the Vikings went a perfect 6-for-6 at the line in the next minute to put the game away.
The first half was largely a defensive battle as neither team looked polished and each side made its fair share of mistakes. Posen scored the game's first eight points, but Alcona answered by scoring the next 10 which ended with a basket from Torie Harmon who caught a full-court pass from Kendra Cole.
Posen led 12-10 at the end of the quarter and traded baskets with the Tigers in the second half. The Vikings led by as many as five, but Alcona scored six points near the end of the quarter to force a tie at intermission.
During halftime Momrik told his players they needed to cut down on mistakes if they wanted to win.
"We told the girls we were our own worst enemy in the first half. We made a lot of dumb mistakes, three-second calls, unforced turnovers, things like that and you can't do that," Momrik said.
Hincka led the charge for the Vikings early in the third quarter, grabbing a rebound to score on a putback and driving the baseline for another basket seconds later. Posen led 28-21 with six minutes left in the period and led 36-28 after Alcona managed just three field goals in the quarter.
Hincka took charge again to open the fourth quarter scoring eight straight points to give Posen a 41-28 lead.
Harmon added nine points for Alcona and Kendra Cole had six points and 11 rebounds.
The loss was a good test for Alcona before district play starts in a few weeks, but the inability to execute late in the game left the Tigers leaving the floor disappointed.
"We need games like that to get better. Our ultimate goal is the tournament and if we don't play games like that, we're not going to get any better," Brad said. "It was definitely a good game, we just didn't play to our ability and they did."
Alcona's JV team beat Posen 52-28.
POSEN (55): K. Hincka 9 5-5 23; A. Meyers 5 8-11 19; A. Sharpe 2 1-2 5; K. Lenard 1 0-2 2; A. Patterson 1 0-0 2; J. Hincka 1 2-3 4.
ALCONA (42): Ka. Cole 6 5-6 18; Ke. Cole 1 4-8 6; N. Walen 1 1-3 3; T. Harmon 4 0-0 9; S. Pierce 2 0-0 4; M. Feldhiser 0 0-2 0; S. Schopfer 1 0-0 2.