Down to the wire
Prevo’s buzzer-beater sends Alpena past Braves
All night long, Morgan Kaniszewski hit big shot after big shot.
But at the end of the night, it was Dakota Prevo who hit the biggest shot of all.
The Alpena junior hit an off-balance shot as time expired to send the Alpena girls basketball team past Tawas 45-43 on Thursday at Alpena High School.
After a timeout with nine seconds left, Alpena (6-1) inbounded the ball and got a shot off in the waning seconds. After a deflection, Prevo grabbed the ball, dribbled once and put up a shot that hit the rim and bounced up before going through the basket for the game-winning shot.
“We pulled through and worked hard as a team. My teammates don’t call me Kobe for nothing,” Prevo said. “I’m very excited. It’s a good moment for the team,” Prevo said.
Prevo’s shot came at the end of a back-and-forth gritty effort by both teams that saw a herculean effort by Kaniszewski nearly carry the Braves to a win.
But in the end, the Wildcats were able to keep her at bay long enough to pick up some key baskets that helped tie the game before Prevo’s big shot.
Kaniszewski led all scorers with 28 points including 19 consecutive points for the Braves. But as her teammates tried to get her open looks down the stretch, they turned the ball over and Alpena took advantage.
With the game tied 39-39 with 3:51 left, Emma Jore scored to give Alpena the lead before Kaniszewski answered with a trey. A basket from Jasmyn Schultz gave Alpena a 43-42 lead with 38 seconds left, but Tawas knotted the game when Julia Frank hit a free throw with 24 seconds remaining.
The game-winning shot didn’t happen the way Alpena co-coaches Steve McCourt and Kelley Miko planned, but they were more than happy with the result.
“You can draw up a play, tell them what you want, but at the end of the day they’re going to go out and play basketball,” Miko said.
Thanks to Kaniszewski’s efforts, Tawas led 35-33 after three quarters, but the Wildcats were able to draw contact early and went 4-for-4 from the free throw line to cut Tawas’ lead from five to one. Kaniszewski scored all but one of Tawas’ points in the second half and found ways to get open even as Alpena keyed in on her.
“She’s a hard worker with a good shot, but one player can’t make up a team,” Prevo said.
Alpena struggled to start the game, but eventually found its footing and trailed 15-12 after one quarter. The Wildcats trailed by five early in the second quarter before going on a 7-0 run to take a 19-17 lead. The two teams traded points before halftime and Tawas got the upperhand, 24-22, after Kaniszewski drained two free throws.
Shelby Seaver led Alpena with nine points and Jore and Prevo each added eight. Schultz chipped in with seven and Kourtney Jones had five.
Alpena hosts Cadillac at 7 p.m. tonight.
Alpena’s JV team topped Tawas 41-26. Savannah Thomson led Alpena with 10 points, Rachel McDonald had seven and Jaime Modrzynski added five.
ALPENA (45): T. Foster 0 1-2 1; K. Jones 2 0-0 5; J. Schultz 2 3-3 9; S. Seaver 4 1-7 9; T. Gentry 1 0-0 3; J. Marwede 2 0-0 4; E. Jore 3 2-2 8; D. Prevo 2 4-8 8.
TAWAS (43): C. Bolen 1 0-0 3; S. Evans 1 0-0 2; K. Costigan 3 0-1 7; M. Kaniszewski 8 9-11 28; J. Frank 1 1-2 3.
James Andersen can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.