Hillman, Alcona advance to district title games

WOLVERINE — After a wild ending in the district opener, the Hillman girls basketball team needed to focus on another tough test against Onaway in Wednesday’s district semifinal game at Wolverine High School.

The Tigers passed the test and once again found a way as they defeated the Cardinals by a final score of 57-50 to advance to Friday’s district championship game.

After trailing 13-9 after one quarter, the Tigers bounced back to take a 23-16 lead into the break and put together a strong third quarter, extending their lead and cashing in on free-throws late in the game to secure the victory.

“We made a run late in the third and we were in the double bonus early in the fourth quarter and we cashed in on our opportunities at the free-throw line,” Hillman coach John Kuzewski said.

The Tigers made 12 free-throws in the final quarter and despite playing much of the first half without leading scorer Bailey Schook, the rest of the Tigers picked it up, including Brooke Jones who had redemption on her mind after fouling out of Monday’s district quarterfinal game against Posen.

Jones led Hillman with 22 points on the night and Schook scored all 12 of her points in the game in the second half.

Kennedy Crawford led all scorers with a game high 23 points for the Cardinals.

The Tigers will be in search of their second district title in three years when they return to Wolverine to take on the host Wildcats.

“It was our goal at the beginning of the season to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season and I think we’ve accomplished that goal,” Kuzewski said. “The girls have all come together and they all stepped up tonight. We are playing our best basketball right now and we’re playing like we’re capable of playing and we understand we have a huge opportunity on Friday to bring home another district title.”

Alcona 40,

Roscommon 37

OSCODA — Nothing came easy for the Alcona girls basketball team in Wednesday’s district semifinal matchup against Roscommon at Oscoda High School, but in the end, the Tigers found a way, edging the bucks 40-37 to advance to Friday’s district championship game.

“It was a bit of an off game for us, but all we needed to do was win and we got it done,” Alcona coach Mark Feldhiser said.

The contest was tight the entire way, with Alcona holding a 9-8 lead after one quarter, before Roscommon responded with a solid second quarter to take a 15-13 lead at the break.

The teams were tied 24-24 heading into the fourth quarter, but senior Faith Wallenmaier came up big when the Tigers needed her to with some sharp shooting late in the game.

“Faith absolutely saved us tonight with great shooting in the second half,” Feldhiser said. “The team fought hard in the second half and got the job done.”

Megan Grove led Alcona with 12 points and Bri Fogle finished with five points.

The Tigers move on to play Oscoda on Friday in what will be the third meeting between the two North Star League rivals.

The undefeated Owls are looking to put an exclamation point on a historical season and continue its run, while Alcona is looking to pull off an upset on Friday.