Providing a spark

Jore, Seaver give Wildcats a boost in win over Alcona

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Alpena guard Emma Jore (24) goes by Alcona defender Megan Grove (2) during the first quarter of a girls basketball on Tuesday at Alpena High School.

It was three and half months ago that Alpena senior Shelby Seaver suffered a serious ankle injury causing her to miss the entire fall season and the first four basketball games of the year.

On Tuesday night, Seaver returned to the court and her presence, along with the play of Emma Jore gave the Wildcats an offensive boost they have been searching for as Alpena cruised to a 64-35 home victory over Alcona.

“It felt good being back out there. My ankle didn’t hurt as bad and it felt good to be out there and be back doing what I am supposed to,” Seaver said. “I was a little nervous when I was told I was just about to go in, but when I got out on the court I was fine.”

Seaver entered the game with 6:05 left in the second quarter and received a loud ovation. Seaver made the most of her limited time on the court as she went 3-for-3 from the field and split a pair of free throws to finish with seven points in under five minutes of action.

“Shelby is just a natural leader and everyone loves her. The team looks to her to be a leader on the floor and a leader on the bench. She’s always encouraging and has been to every practice even when she couldn’t participate,” Alpena coach Erin Andrews said.

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Alcona’s Faith Wallenmaier (34) blocks a shot attempt from Alpena’s Jessica Leeck (42) during the second quarter.

The Wildcats got off to a fast start as they opened the game on a 13-2 run with all 13 points coming from Jore and Jade Shultz as the Tigers had no answer for Alpena’s offense early on.

Alpena was able to build on its lead and held a 22-8 advantage after one quarter. The Wildcats extended the lead to 33-12 with under five minutes to play in the half when Alcona began to show some fight as it ended the second quarter on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 36-22 at the break.

The Tigers came out of the locker room and scored the first four points of the third quarter to come to within 10 points, but it was as close as Alcona got the rest of the night as Alpena clamped down defensively and turned up the tempo offensively, scoring 14 unanswered points to take a 55-28 lead after three quarters.

“We played really good at times and then sometimes we fell asleep defensively. The third quarter was the difference tonight,” Alcona head coach Mark Feldhiser said. “We appreciate the opportunity to come to Alpena and play and we’re glad they have us come here. We’ll learn from this and move on. We did some good things tonight and I was happy with how we played.”

Alpena built its largest lead of the night after it scored the first three points of the fourth quarter to take a 58-28 lead and it held the Tigers scoreless for eight and a half minutes.

Jore continued her phenomenal play by pouring in a game-high 22 points. Over the last two games, Jore is averaging over 20 points per game.

“I think our offense if working really well and I just execute off of that and my teammates help out a lot by giving me the ball so I give them a ton of credit,” Jore said.

Shultz added 13 points on the night, Dakota Prevo added eight points, Seaver ended with seven points and Jessica Leeck chipped in with six points.

Alcona was led by senior Taylor Livingston who scored 16 points. Megan Grove added six points, Abby Loubaugh ended the night with five points and Hailee Gordy and Faith Wallenmaier each chipped in with four points apiece.

The Tigers fall to 2-2 overall on the year and will host Fairview in a non conference game on Friday.

Alpena improves to 3-2 overall on the season and will travel to Cadillac on Thursday for an important Big North Conference meeting with the Vikings.

“It’s going to be very important for us to get a win Thursday before we head into the holiday break,” Andrews said. “We want to keep our defense going because we feed off of our defense and we need to bother Cadillac offensively which will hopefully create turnovers and lead to offense for us.”

The Alpena JV team earned a 64-32 victory over Alcona on Tuesday. The Wildcats were led by Allison DeRocher and Alysa Funk who each scored 14 points apiece in the win. Taylor Baker added 10 points.

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ALPENA (64): T. Foster 1 0-0 2; M. Girard 1 0-0 2; K. Jones 2 0-0 5; J. Shultz 6 1-2 13; S. Seaver 3 1-2 7; E. Jore 7 1-2 22; J. Leeck 3 0-0 6; D. Prevo 4 0-0 8.

ALCONA (35): M. Grove 1 4-8 6; T. Livingston 8 0-0 16; J. Carpenter 0 0-2 0; B. Fogle 0 0-3 0; H. Gordy 2 0-0 4; F. Wallenmaier 2 0-2 4; A. Loubaugh 2 1-2 5.