No stopping them

Wildcats can’t slow down Redettes in district quarterfinal loss

News Photo by James Andersen Alpena High players Mollie Girard, left, and Maddie Voltz, right, try to prevent a scoring attempt by Marquette’s Sofia van den Ends during the second half of a Division 1 district quarterfinal on Monday at Alpena High School.

ALPENA–The Alpena High girls basketball team threw everything but the kitchen sink at Marquette on Monday.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the Redettes had an answer for every move Alpena made.

Madison Carter scored 18 points, Aspen Michelin added 16 and the Redettes used strong post play and defense to counter the Wildcats on the way to a 59-24 win in a Division 1 district quarterfinal at Alpena High School.

The win moves the Redettes to a semifinal matchup against Traverse City Central on Wednesday.

Alpena (11-10) withstood an early scoring run from Marquette in the first quarter, but over the last three quarters the errant passes, turnovers and inability to score caught up to the Wildcats, who fell behind 24-11 at halftime and never recovered.

“Nobody ever wants to lose by 30 to end your season, but Marquette’s a really, really good team,” Alpena coach Erin Andrews said. “They’re really fast, they’re big, significantly bigger than we are…I thought Jade (Schultz) and Maddie (Voltz) held their own in their own in there, but (we didn’t have) enough.”

Defensively, Alpena could do little to slow Marquette’s post game. Time and time again, the Redettes drove down the floor, moved the ball around the perimeter and when they found the spot they wanted, they dumped it into Carter, Michelin and other for easy buckets.

The Wildcats did their part to limit Marquette’s leading scorers Avery Ledy and Syndey Kivi–they combined for 12 points–but Carter and Michelin came up big in a balanced victory for the Redettes.

Carter had four blocks, four assists, three rebounds and three steals and Michelin added seven assists and four assists.

“We have a pretty balanced team approach,” Marquette coach Ben Smith said. “We kind of move the ball and if it’s open and it’s your night, you’re going to try and square up the ball and score and you’re going to try and make some plays.”

Alpena pushed Marquette out of its comfort zone early and trailed 14-9 with 5:12 left in the second quarter. The game’s turning point came over the next four minutes as Marquette ratcheted up its defensive efforts. Alpena’s next four trips down the floor resulted in turnovers and Marquette converted them into eight points, including a pair of three-pointers.

“After our early start, they settled in and made some plays against us. They made us work on our offensive end to try to get into the sweet spots,” Smith said. “We couldn’t do it for awhile and credit to them for making us work.”

The Wildcats’ struggles continued into the second half. Early in the third quarter, Alpena missed more than a handful of second chance opportunities and chances at the rim and continued to struggle to hold onto the ball. Whether they tried to push the ball inside or get open looks outside, Alpena did everything it could to break Marquette’s defense to little avail.

“We threw everything at them and we knew we were going to have to. We threw every offense that we had at them. We threw every defense that we had at them,” Andrews said. “As long as you know that you did everything you could, that’s all you can.”

Marquette led 38-16 after three quarters, but didn’t slow down any in the final eight minutes, outscoring Alpena 21-8 in the final quarter as several of Marquette’s bench players scored inside.

Voltz paced Alpena with eight points and Schultz added seven.

Marquette started the game on a 10-0 run, but Alpena started to heat up after Voltz put home a third chance opportunity and followed with an inside feed. Schultz added a free throw and a basket on an inside feed to make it 12-7 after one quarter.

Schultz drained a pair of free throws early in the second quarter to make it 12-9, but it was the high point of the night for Alpena as Marquette caught momentum and pulled further ahead.

Despite the early postseason exit, Andrews was pleased with her team’s progress this season, which included a third-place finish in Big North Conference play.

“We ended up third for the Big North. That’s an ok finish,” Andrews said. “We were hoping we were going to be up towards the top and I think that we’re only going to get better.”

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SCORING

Alpena 7 4 5 8

Marquette 12 12 14 21

BOX SCORE: Field goals made/Free throws made/Free throws attempted/Total Points

MARQUETTE (59): A. Michelin 7 2-2 16; M. Carter 8 2-4 18; S. Kivi 3 0-0 7; A. Ledy 2 0-0 5; S. van den Ende 2 0-0 4; M. Milado 0 3-4 3; A. Kelly 2 0-0 4; R. Warchock 1 0-0 2.

ALPENA (24): M. Voltz 4 0-2 8; J. Schultz 2 3-4 7; Ab. Funk 1 0-0 3; M. Girard 1 0-0 2; T. Baker 1 2-2 4.