Alpena hockey team victorious, girls basketball defeats TC Central

TRAVERSE CITY — Despite a sluggish start to Thursday’s contest, the Alpena High hockey team caught fire in the final two periods to come away with a 5-2 win over Grand Rapids Christian at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City.

The Wildcats entered the game ranked No. 8 in Division 3, while the Eagles (6-7) were ranked No. 13 in Division 2.

Grand Rapids took advantage of Alpena’s slow start and scored first as Kavanaugh Kane gathered a rebound and put the puck past Cooper Black to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead that they held after one period.

Alpena quickly put the slow start behind them and took control in the second period.

The Wildcats tied the game 28 seconds into the period on a goal from Colby Plowman who redirected a shot from Owen Limback after Kyle VanDusen won a faceoff in the Grand Rapids zone.

The Wildcats took a lead with 11:00 left in the second period when Plowman dished a pass from behind the net to a wide open VanDusen who lit the lamp.

Alpena scored its third goal of the period with 4:21 left when Charlie Halleck found the back of the net on an assist from Plowman.

The Eagles opened the third period with a goal to cut the lead to one, but Grand Rapids fell apart late and committed a pair of costly penalties down the stretch and the Wildcats took advantage.

Just 10 seconds into the power play, VanDusen scored his second goal of the night on an assist from Limback and Halleck.

The Eagles committed another five minute major and were down two skaters and with three seconds left in the 5-on-3 advantage, Limback scored Alpena’s fifth and final goal of the night with 1:29 remaining and the Wildcats skated away with a win.

“It was another good win. We started a little sluggish, but finished the final two periods strong and came away with a nice win,” Alpena coach Chris Limback said. “We capitalized late in the third period on a pair of power play chances and made Grand Rapids pay for their mistakes. They lacked numbers, but were very skilled.”

The Wildcats will have little time to rest as they return to the ice today and renew a rivalry against a Marquette team coming in ranked No. 11 in Division 2 and riding a seven game winning streak.

“When we set things up to come play in this showcase, I was able to pick our opponents and the game tonight against Grand Rapids Christian made sense because their coach now used to coach at Mona Shores who would always come up to our tournaments,” Limback said. “We haven’t played Marquette in a while and we want to play them. It will be a good test for us and we’re going to keep pushing our kids to get better.”

The Wildcats improve to 11-3-1 overall on the season and today’s game will begin at 11:30 a.m.

TRAVERSE CITY — The Alpena High girls basketball team has been working on putting together a full 32 minute effort.

On Thursday night, the Wildcats took a huge step in the right direction by playing hard and coming away with a 52-43 victory over Big North Conference rival Traverse City Central.

Alpena trailed 15-13 after the first quarter, but continued to battle and stay aggressive.

The Wildcats took a 25-23 halftime lead and played a strong second half and never gave up the lead, but continuing their aggressive play and held on for a key conference win.

“We came out and played a lot better tonight. We took a lead into the half and just talked about how we needed to continue playing aggressive,” Alpena coach Erin Andrews said. “This was definitely a step in the right direction for our team tonight. We’ve been working hard to play for 32 minutes and tonight we did that.”

The Wildcats were led by Maddie Voltz and Abbie Funk who each finished with 12 points. Allie Funk added 11 points and Mollie Girard chipped in with nine points.

Alpena improves to 2-2 in BNC play and is now 3-5 overall.

The Wildcats will return to the court on Monday when they travel to Alcona in what will be the first of three games next week for Alpena.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Posen 61,

Hale 47

HALE — For the second time in as many nights, the Posen boys basketball team got out to a fast start and took it to their opponents en route to another important North Star League victory.

The Vikings led from start to finish and defeated Hale by a final score of 61-47 on Thursday night.

“We took control right away and held a nice lead at halftime. We ran into foul trouble throughout the night, but we had a lot of guys step up and it was good to see,” Posen coach Chris Keller said. “It was good for some guys to get some experience and credit to our defensive effort tonight. We’ve been focusing on fast starts and taking it to our opponents which is what we’ve done the last two games.”

Despite being in foul trouble early in the contest, Jared Sharpe still manage to pour in a team high 26 points to lead the Vikings. Jeremy Misiak added 18 points and the duo of Mark Wisniewski and Sam Brunet played lights out on the defensive side of the ball and brought a lot of energy to lift Posen to another league win.

The Vikings improve to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in NSL play.

Posen is now at the top of the NSL Little-Dipper division and will return to the court next Thursday when they host rival Hillman in another pivotal league game.