Defense improves, but offense struggles in Alpena boys basketball loss

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Alpena’s Tucker Bright, left, attempts a three-pointer over a Gaylord defender during the first half of a boys basketball game on Friday at Alpena High School.

ALPENA — Struggles continued for the Alpena High boys basketball team on Friday.

Alpena took on Gaylord and lost with a final score of 56-38. Even though Alpena lost, the Wildcats’ defense improved drastically.

But, Alpena’s offense held itself back after giving up many turnovers to the Blue Devils.

“I thought defensively we did really well tonight. They obviously have a top-notch player in Luke (Gelow), but we held him down for a half,” Alpena coach John Pintar said. “I wasn’t disappointed about our defense, it was just our offense tonight that couldn’t get it done,”

Alpena got off to a terrible start, only scoring two points during the entire first quarter. Two points in a quarter is a season-low for the Wildcats, but the offense did pick up later.

Gaylord took a 12-2 lead during the first quarter, led by Luke Enders and Torino Lamerato both scoring four points each.

The shots started to fall for Alpena in the second quarter. The Wildcats even managed to tie the game up at 14-14 after forcing several turnovers on defense.

Eventually, the Wildcats went to the free-throw line and took the 17-16 lead after a comeback.

Gaylord took back the lead before the end of the first half after forcing Alpena to miss a few shots in a row.

The Blue Devils led 22-17 going into the break.

During the third quarter where Gaylord blew the game wide open. Gelow led the quarter in points after scoring 16 by himself. Gelow was also great defensively after recording a few steals and even throwing down a dunk on the fastbreak.

The Wildcats were held to just 10 points in the third, which put Alpena in a rough spot going into the fourth quarter.

After the quarter, Alpena was down 41-27 and the Blue Devils had all the momentum.

Gaylord finished out the game scoring another 15 points, mostly scored by Gelow.

Alpena scored another 11 points and ended up losing with a final score of 56-38.

“We struggled with turnovers, we missed a lot of open looks that we don’t normally miss, and we just, unfortunately, couldn’t convert tonight,” Pintar said.

Gaylords leading scorer on the night was Gelow with 28 points, while Lamerato had 13.

Tucker Bright and Easton Srebnik lead Alpena in scoring. Bright had 11 and Srebnik had seven.

Alpena takes on Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday.

Alpena hosted its annual Pink-Out game that brings much more meaning than just basketball. The fundraiser for Friends Together raised $1,806.77 between the boys’ and girls’ basketball games.

“All of the parents and for everybody that put this all together we thank them. The community coming out and buying all of these things for this cause is a great thing. Friends Together is one of the best organizations we have in town and what they do for people is amazing,” Pintar said.


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