Fight to the finish

Carpenter’s basket lifts Alcona past Posen

News Photo by James Andersen Alcona’s Taylor Livingston (4) is fouled by Posen’s Cami LaTulip during a girls basketball game on Monday at Alcona High School. Livingston scored 16 points as Alcona topped Posen 43-42.

LINCOLN–Jenelle Carpenter scored just one basket on Monday.

It turned out to be the biggest one of the night.

Carpenter scored with 2.2 seconds left to lift the Alcona girls basketball team past Posen 43-42 in a North Star League tilt at Alcona High School.

Carpenter’s basket put the finishing touches on an impressive victory for the Tigers (7-5, 6-3 NSL) after victory was nearly snatched away from them.

“It was a great basketball game,” Alcona coach Mark Feldhiser said. “Exciting ending and I’m really proud of the girls being able to pull that out after kind of letting them back in the game in the third. That’s happened to us a few times this year and I told the team in the locker room the difference this time was we didn’t let it get to us.”

Cami LaTulip scored with 10 seconds left to give Posen (5-6, 4-3 NSL) its only lead of the game, 42-41. After a tip on an inbounds pass gave the ball to Alcona, Brooke Ciarkowski stole the ball around center court and moved the ball ahead to LaTulip for the go-ahead score.

But Alcona had enough time to make one last play.

Megan Grove dribbled down the court and found Carpenter, who caught a pass in the paint and scored the game-winning basket.

“The idea was to get the ball moving up the court as fast as we could with our two point guards and try to have our five trail the play and look for a jump shot,” Feldhiser said of the final play. “They did a nice job, they kept their heads up and found the open player. Funny how that works sometimes. It’s the unsung heroes, somebody you don’t expect that’s going to win the game for you.”

Posen attempted to make two passes to get the ball to Ciarkowski for a last-second shot, but ran out of time.

“I’d say (it’s tough to lose). To be 15 down with 20 seconds to go in the (first) half and come all the way back,” Posen coach Karl Momrik said. “It’s a tough one to lose.”

The win marks three straight for Alcona and came after a spirited effort from the Vikings. Posen trailed 30-20 at halftime and outscored Alcona 14-4 in the third quarter, shrinking the Tigers’ lead to two after 24 minutes.

Alcona played the last three minutes of the fourth quarter without leading scorer Taylor Livingston, who went to the bench with four fouls.

After a basket from Faith E. Romel tied the game 34-34 with 7:50 left, Livingston reentered the game. She made an impact immediately, hitting a three-pointer to give Alcona the lead back and hit four key free throws down the stretch.

It was almost enough to hold the Vikings off as Posen cut Alcona’s lead to one three times before LaTulip’s late score.

“She’s a gamer. That’s what she’s done for three years here is play when we need her,” Feldhiser said of Livingston. “She really comes through in games when we need her to.”

Livingston led Alcona with 16 points and Grove added 11. LaTulip led Posen with 20 points.

Posen struggled mightily in the first half, unable to score consistently and turned the ball over at all the wrong times. With the Vikings aiming to limit Livingston in the post, Alcona went to the outside instead. Alcona connected five times from the long line in the first half and got a good mix of inside and outside scoring to keep Posen off balance.

Alcona led 15-7 after one quarter after Livingston beat the buzzer with a basket and pushed its lead to double digits late in the second quarter.

Ciarkowski beat the clock with a triple to end the first half and Posen carried that momentum over into the third quarter. As Alcona racked up fouls, Posen took advantage. The Vikings were 5-of-6 from the line in the third quarter and improved their defensive efforts on Alcona, forcing several turnovers that led to baskets. With Livingston on the bench, Posen ended the third quarter on a 6-0 run, nearly erasing a double digit deficit.

“We won by eight in the third quarter, won by one in the fourth quarter, but it was one too short,” Momrik said. “We played a lot better in the second half, had a lot more patience. We didn’t have the lead until there was 10 seconds to go and it wasn’t enough.”

The Vikings got key scores from several players down the stretch while Livingston shouldered the load for Alcona. Romel scored with 5:37 left, making it 39-38 before Livingston answered with two free throws. Brianna Kuffel scored her only basket of the game with 2:03 left to make it 41-40.

Both teams are back in action tonight at 7:30 p.m. Posen plays at Oscoda and Alcona hosts Grayling.

Alcona’s JV team defeated Posen 31-22. Rachel Layton led Alcona with nine points and Liz Henderson and Anna Loyer each added eight. Makayla Kamyszek led Posen with nine points.


BOX SCORE–Field goals made/Free Throws made/Free Throws Attempted/Total Points

ALCONA (43): T. Livingston 4 7-8 16; M. Grove 4 1-2 11; H. Gordy 4 0-0 9; B. Fogle 1 0-0 2; F. Wallenmaier 1 0-0 3; J. Carpenter 1 0-0 2.

POSEN (42): C. LaTulip 8 4-4 20; Faith E. Romel 2 3-6 7; B. Ciarkowski 2 1-2 6; B. Kuffel 1 2-4 4; H. Stone 1 0-0 2; A. Eagling 1 0-0 2; M. Menzel 0 1-2 1.


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