Alpena gets a boost in BNC win

Halftime adjustments help Wildcats in win over Traverse City West

News Photo by James Andersen Alpena's Jade Schultz, middle, muscles her way to the basket while being guarded by Traverse City West players Paige Carlson (34) and Mikayla Roman during a girls basketball game on Thursday at Alpena High School.

For the second straight game, halftime adjustments gave the Alpena girls basketball team a boost at the right time.

Maddie Voltz scored 11 of her 18 points in the third quarter and the Wildcats outplayed Traverse City West on both ends of the floor in the second half to defeat the Titans 57-45 on Thursday at Alpena High School.

The victory moves the Wildcats (6-3, 3-2 Big North) into second place in the Big North Conference with a showdown with Traverse City Central on tap next Friday.

Petoskey leads the conference with a 3-0 record, Gaylord is 3-3 amd Central is 2-2.

“Any win in the Big North is important right now. We’re in a spot where I think it can go either way,” Alpena coach Erin Andrews said. “Central’s right up there, Petoskey’s right up there and we’re right up there.”

Much like they did on Tuesday in Cheboygan, the Wildcats played a close game in the first half before running away with it in the third quarter.

Feeding off of Voltz’s solid play, the Wildcats outscored West 21-10 in the third quarter. Alpena’s plan included forcing West to make mistakes and then taking advantage. Alpena forced plenty of turnovers and was able to convert them to pull ahead, while West struggled to do the same on the other end of the floor.

“We had a nice discussion at halftime, so we made some adjustments and got them back out on the floor,” Andrews said. “We had a game plan and we stuck with it.”

Voltz and Jade Schultz finished with 18 points each, leading the Wildcats in the post and scoring at crucial times.

Schultz had two big buckets in the final 43 seconds of the first half, including one with .1 seconds left to give Alpena a 24-22 halftime lead before Voltz caught fire out of the break.

“Maddie Voltz came alive tonight. She cleaned up the boards pretty good and everything she put back she made,” Andrews said. “We had a lot of shots where we were kind of around the basket and we missed them. Maddie and Jade were just there to clean up and that was pretty helpful.”

West attempted to rally in the fourth quarter and cut Alpena’s lead to eight with 2:26 left. But the Titans couldn’t convert more than a handful of turnovers and were held scoreless in the remaining time.

Becca Bohrer paced West with 18 points and Halli Disbrow and Sierra Perkette each added eight.

Alpena held a 12-6 lead after one quarter, but neither team could take control in the first half. Both sides created turnovers, but had trouble converting and the lead changed hands several times.

After Emma Jore hit a free throw to make it 22-20 with 53 seconds left, Schultz came through with a pair of key baskets. She took a feed from Mollie Girard for the first basket to tie the game 22-22 and then grabbed a rebound and nailed a short jumper with .1 seconds left to give Alpena the lead for good.

Alpena will play Ogemaw Heights at 7 p.m. Monday in a makeup game at home.

Alpena’s JV team was tripped up by West 47-43. Anna Young led Alpena with 11 points, Allie Funk had nine points and Abbie Funk had seven.

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ALPENA (57): K. Jones 0 2-4 2; J. Schultz 8 2-3 18; M. Voltz 7 4-5 18; S. Seaver 0 3-4 3; E. Jore 1 3-7 6; J. Leeck 1 0-0 2; D. Prevo 3 2-2 8.

TC WEST (45): M. Walters 1 0-0 2; H. Disbrow 3 2-2 8; S. Perkette 3 1-2 8; G. Miner 1 0-0 2; M. Roman 2 0-0 5; T. Looze 1 0-0 2; B. Bohrer 7 4-7 18; D. Daenzer 0 0-2 0.