The Alpena boys basketball team took out Ogemaw-Heights on Tuesday with a 64-50 win in an aggressive game that saw both teams shooting a lot of free throws.
"Ogemaw's aggressive, especially their defense and we used that against them by drawing a lot of fouls and hitting a lot of free throws," Alpena coach John Pintar said.
Alpena scored first a minute into the game off a Tylar Pintar field goal but Ogemaw took the lead a minute later off a Alec Stevens field goal and free throw. The lead changed hands four times in the first quarter, but stayed with Alpena after a Luke Cordes free throw put Alpena up 10-9.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Alpena’s Brad Styma (12) looks to pass up court while Ogemaw Heights Cameron Zettel (10) and Dennis Erickson try to stop him. Styma scored nine points in a 64-50 Alpena victory.
Ogemaw's offense disappeared for the last half of the quarter as Brad Styma and Cordes hit a field goal each to end the quarter 14-9 in favor of Alpena.
The second quarter saw much more even play offensively. Ogemaw broke a six and a half minute scoreless streak with a Tim Howard field goal to bring the game to 14-11.
The Falcons' aggressive defense was stopped some Alpena drives, but also gave them 11 out of 15 points in the quarter off of successful free throws.
Ogemaw caught up 20-19 with three minutes left in the quarter. But Alpena's successful defense combined with pinpoint free throws created a nine-point streak in under two minutes to give the Wildcats a 29-19 lead.
The Falcons then had their strongest streak of the night scoring eight points in 50 seconds, including a trey and three out of four free throws by Ben Hartley.
"We obviously gave Alpena too many free throw opportunities. We had a lot of great streaks tonight and we were only down by two at the half but we just couldn't put our foot on the gas," Ogemaw head coach Mike Dunn said.
Ogemaw scored first in the third quarter with a free throw by Hartley bringing the score to 29-28. However, Jacob Kendziorski hit a three 40 seconds later while Andy Marwede went on an impressive six-point scoring run to take the game to 38-30.
Alpena ended the period up 43-38.
Fouls were not so troublesome to Ogemaw Heights in the third quarter but would come to haunt the Falcons in the fourth.
Alpena came out strong offensively in the fourth quarter with Blair LaCross getting on the board with a field goal and Cordes contributing another.
Foul trouble from Ogemaw put three points on the scoreboard for Alpena between Styma and Pintar as Alpena took a 50-38 lead just under two minutes into the quarter.
Alpena scored only three more field goals in the quarter, one from Cordes and two from Marwede. The last eight points Alpena scored came off of free throws.
The game then slowed down to a crawl in the last three minutes as each team seemed to take turns taking free throws. The game ended with two sunk free throws by Ogemaw's Dillion Zettel.
Pintar commented on his team's play at the end of the game.
"It wasn't our cleanest effort, we were a little bit off tonight. However we found a way to win by getting aggressive on offensive and with excellent free throw accuracy. It was a real team effort tonight as the points scored were more even than normal with four guys in the double digits," he said.
Alpena is now 7-3 overall and moves to 3-3 in the Big North Conference. The Wildcats play Friday at Traverse City Central.
Alpena's JV team won 69-17 against Ogemaw. They were led by Cody Tucker with 21 points while Ryan Cadarette scored 10 and Zach Martin scored 8 points. They are now 9-1.
The Wildcats' freshman team won off a last minute three-point shot by Joe Ayala, 43-40. Ayala scored 16 while Kolin Ghidoni scored 13.
Alpena (64): J. Kendziorski 1-0-0-3: J. Benson 0-0-1-0: A. Marwede 5-1-2-11: T. Pintar 2-6-10-10: B. Styma 2-5-5-9: B. Hemmingson 0-2-2-2: K. Smith 1-0-0-2: K. Fitzek 2-8-12-12: J. Cordes 3-5-6-11: B. LaCross 2-0-0-4.
Ogemaw (50): T. Howard 3-2-2-8: N. Drumm 0-2-2-2: J. Hunter 1-0-0-2: C. Zettel 2-0-0-4: D. Zettel 0-2-4-2: T. Palm 1-3-6-5: M. VonKronenberger 0-2-4-2: B. Hartley 4-3-4-12: A. Stevens 6-1-3-13.