The Alpena boys basketball team's 71-31 win over Cheboygan on Monday may have been its biggest point spread of the season, but it was an even bigger night for senior Andy Marwede.
Marwede scored a career high 41-points for the third highest single-game total in Alpena history.
"It feels great (to score that many points in a game), but more importantly it's all about the win. I was just making my shots, my teammates were hooking me up and it's all about the team," Marwede said.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Alpena’s Andy Marwede (4) works through two Cheboygan defenders during a boys basketball game on Monday. Marwede scored a career-high 41 points in Alpena’s 71-31 win. This is the third highest score in a single game in Alpena history.
Alpena's (12-1, 7-1 Big North) final 40-point victory during Hoops for Hope night was far from obvious as Alpena ended the first quarter up only 19-17.
Cheboygan utilized a fast paced man-to-man press that stifled Alpena's offense throughout the first quarter. The Chiefs were also helped out by the accurate three-point shooting of Luke Harrington.
Harrington hit four treys in the first quarter and led Cheboygan with 12 points. Derek Sturvist hit his only bucket of the game in the first quarter as did Ben Pearson.
The Chiefs hit seven three-pointers in the game.
Marwede dominated for Alpena offensively in the first quarter, scoring 15 out of 19 points for the Wildcats. He hit four free throws and a trey, but was limited to hard fought post shots against an aggressive Cheboygan defense.
This defensive pressure from the Chiefs didn't surprise Alpena coach John Pintar.
"Cheboygan's a quality team, despite what the score ended up. They beat Petoskey a week ago and lost by only two to them the week before. They're a good team and I knew that this was going to be a battle, but fortunately we really got our defense going," Pintar said.
Alpena's defense finally broke through in the second and third quarters. The Wildcats held Cheboygan scoreless for both quarters as its own offense started to break the press.
Marwede picked up 14 points in the second quarter, often scoring on fast paced passes from his teammates, especially guard Tyler Pintar.
Pintar picked up seven points in the second quarter and 13 overall.
The Chiefs offense struggled against Alpena's press. They were often forced to take difficult or awkward shots against Alpena defenders and struggled to get rebounds.
Alpena took a 47-17 lead into the second half.
The Wildcats continued to dominate in the third quarter. Marwede scored 12 points in the third quarter.
By the time Marwede hit two free throws with 2:24 left in the third quarter, Alpena had a 63-17 lead. Pintar pulled his starters and let his bench players finish the game out. Tyler Kollien hit a bucket while Eli Martin hit a three.
Alpena took a 68-17 lead into the fourth.
The Chiefs' scoring drought ended 10 seconds into the fourth quarter when Liam McNeil hit a trey. McNeil hit another trey later on while Logan Guenther added his own. The Chiefs outscored Alpena 16-3 in the fourth quarter, but couldn't make up the difference.
"Our kids got really locked in in the second and third quarters, especially the second. We just played great team defense, we were all over the passing lanes, getting steals and I just saw great teamwork all night," Pintar said.
Alpena travels to Cadillac on Thursday.
The Alpena JV team picked up a 58-35 win. Austin Hemmingson led with 14 points while Caleb Myers scored 12. Braedan Werth added nine points while Dylan Tucker had seven. Every other player on Alpena's squad picked up at least a single bucket.
ALPENA (71): A. Marwede 15 8-9 41; T. Pintar 5 1-2 13; C. Tucker 3 1-2 7; E. Martin 1 0-0 3; K. Smith 1 0-0 2; N. Samp 1 0-0 3; T. Kollien 1 0-0 2.
CHEBOYGAN (31): D. Sturvist 1 0-0 2; L. McNeil 2 0-0 6; B. Pearson 1 0-0 2; L. Harrington 4 0-0 12; L. Guenther 1 2-2 5; B. Hiller 1 2-6 4.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.