Wildcats rally to win BNC opener

Courtesy Photo/Gaylord Herald Times Alpena’s Jade Schultz (11) jostles for position with Gaylord’s Savannah Gapinski during a girls basketball game on Thursday at Gaylord High School.

GAYLORD–The Alpena High girls basketball team refused to give up on Thursday.

Allie DeRocher scored 15 points and the Wildcats erased a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat Gaylord 48-45 in their Big North Conference opener.

Abbie Funk added 12 points for Alpena (1-1, 1-0 Big North), which trailed 34-20 at halftime, but outplayed the Blue Devils in the second half. Alpena outscored Gaylord 12-4 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 38-32 and then capped its comeback by besting the Blue Devils 16-7 in the fourth quarter.

“It sure did (feel good to win). Defensively, they did everything I asked,” Alpena coach Erin Andrews said. “I’m so proud of them for chipping away at it.”

Alpena traded baskets with Gaylord in the first quarter and trailed 16-14 after eight minutes. A run of bad luck at the basket on Alpena’s part, allowed the Blue Devils to outscore Alpena 18-6 in the second quarter for a commanding lead. The Wildcats couldn’t get shots to fall and struggled again to finish at the rim.

“(At halftime), we said, ‘Hey, we know what we need to do.’ We made some offensive adjustments and we made some adjustments on our press,” Andrews said. “I told them to believe in what we’re doing and believe that we could come back and win.”

Things changed in the third quarter as the Blue Devils were limited offensively to a pair of free throws and just one field goal. On the other end, DeRocher caught fire, pouring in 12 second-half points. Funk helped Alpena’s run too, scoring six points in the fourth quarter and Maddie Voltz added four crucial points in the fourth quarter.

Voltz finished with game with 11 points and Anna Young and Jessica Leeck each had one.

“It’s absolutely fantastic (to start conference play with a win). I told them in the locker room how proud of them I was,” Andrews said. “It wasn’t over until the end and they played like that tonight.”

Becca Ross paced Gaylord with 20 points, scoring 15 of those in the first half.

Alpena hosts Grayling at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Alpena’s JV team lost to Gaylord 54-32. Allison Urlaub led Alpena with 11 points, Elyse Clark had nine and Jenna Leeck had eight.

Alpena’s freshman team lost to Gaylord 44-25.

Onaway 49, Posen 39

POSEN–Kennedy Crawford scored 22 points and the Onaway girls basketball team won its season opener on Thursday, defeating Posen 49-39.

Buoyed by some easy buckets and strong rebounding, the Cardinals (1-0) pulled away from the Vikings in the second quarter to take a 31-18 lead at halftime.

“We ran the floor pretty well,” Onaway coach John George said. “We scored a lot of easy buckets and we rebounded really well.”

Playing its second game in as many nights, Posen (0-3) struggled again to make easy shots and to match Onaway’s rebounding efforts. Posen trailed 14-10 after one quarter and rallied to Onaway’s lead to 11 by the end of the third quarter, 39-28.

“We’re not rebounding and we’re missing too many bunnies,” Posen coach Karl Momrik said. “We can work on some things, but we have to play smarter.”

Madison Menzel led Posen with 14 points.

Posen plays at Alcona on Tuesday and Onaway plays at Inland Lakes on Tuesday.

Tawas 39,

Rogers City 37

TAWAS — The Rogers City girls basketball team opened its season on Tuesday and suffered a tough road loss at Tawas, falling to the Braves by a final of 39-37.

The game was tight throughout the first half and the Hurons trailed by three at the half, but the third quarter proved to be the difference as Tawas began pulling away, outscoring Rogers City 8-2 in the quarter.

Desite a valiant attempt at a comeback and scoring 16 points in the final quarter, it wasn’t enough as Tawas held on for a two point victory.

“We never could get into a rhythm all night long in hardly any phase of the game. A dismal third quarter cost us greatly, but give Tawas credit, they seemed to get every loose ball and had a lot of second chance opportunities after the initial shot,” Rogers City coach Duane Pitts said. “We have to clean some things up. Sometimes first games look a little bit sloppy and this was definitely the case tonight.”

The Hurons were led by Taylor Fleming who scored 14 points on the night. Kyrsten Altman and Karissa Rabeau added seven points apiece in the losing effort.

Rogers City will be back in action Friday at Hillman.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Mio 66, Au Gres 42

MIO–Drew Hess scored 23 points, Brennon Mills added 19 and the Mio boys basketball team topped Au Gres 66-42 on Thursday.

Mio (3-0) took control of the game early, jumping out to a 20-2 lead after one quarter. The Thunderbolts found success from the long line early on and drained six triples in the first quarter. Mio finished the game with 12 three-pointers.

The Thunderbolts pushed the lead to 34-16 at halftime and 50-28 after three quarters.

Brendan DeFlorio added 11 points for Mio and River Waisanen had 12.

Bradley Sweiderson paced Au Gres with 22 points.

Mio plays at Atlanta on Monday.