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Swami grew through fatherly advice

Coaches are considered to be father figures and a person a player looks up to. This is the way it was when Swami was growing up and he feels it should be the same now. If a player screws up, then he can expect un-pleasantries to come his or her way. That is it. It is not to downgrade an individual, but it is all part of maturing and learning.

Sometimes it doesn’t always work out, case in point, the All-Knowing-One heard this on the radio. An eighth grade basketball coach, had a practice for his team. The coach had them run through a play, it was not run correctly. A couple more times the same result, he thought they will get it right, it is just a learning process. By the fifth time, he had enough, stopping the action. He told the entire team, if we do not run it right, everyone will give me ten push ups. Needless to say, it happened, everyone was ready except one player, throwing a temper tantrum and crying, stating he should not have to do them. His reasoning, the coach was not his father and if the truth be known, his real parents would side in with the youngster. Parents do not want to create problems, they would rather smooth everything over and pretend it never happened. Swami hopes for the best this week and area coaches show true parent skills and everyone continues to mature on the court.

TRAVERSE CITY CENTRAL (10-3) at ALPENA (6-4) – Friday – (Boys) – The Wildcats seemed to right the ship after consecutive losses in the Big North Conference that dropped them in the lower quadrant. Despite the seven game win streak by Traverse City Central, it has not been at the expense of the conference. A win by the Wildcats would draw them even with the Trojans, at 2-3. The two teams have played the same competition in the conference, Central took a tight two point win over Traverse City West, while the Wildcats suffered a 10 point loss.

In comparisons, Swami says the Trojans have the upper advantage in the latest non-conference win over Marquette. Josh Burnham’s six of eight shooting lifted Central to a 65-55 win. Burnham did it all for the Trojans 15 points, six rebounds and dishing out three assists. Carson Hall joined Burnham as the only Trojans to finish in double figures with 10. The Trojans have had a week off before taking on the Wildcats.

The Wildcats upset high riding Bay City John Glenn with a second half stifling defense to take a 58-50 win. Alpena used a 36-27 advantage for the win. Swami says anytime you can limit an offense to 12 points per quarter you are doing well. Ball movement kept the Bobcats from playing straight up man-to-man, thus allowing Kelley Stark and Jack Schmanski to get good looking, which they knocked down 20 and 15 points respectively. Tuesday, the Wildcats gained the confidence that is needed to prepare for the second half of the conference schedule taking Tawas for a non-conference affair. The Wildcats first jacked up the defense, then carried over to the offense, in a run away 74-32 game. Kelley Stark was unstoppable from the 3-point line, for his 22 points. Jack Schmanski was a force on the boards, in addition to contributing 13 points, Cooper Bright was the last of the trio finishing in double figures. Swami says it was a game that everyone on the roster got some important playing time that will come in handy later in the year. The All-Knowing-One says it will take another total team effort to down the Trojans.

Swami Sez: Traverse City Central 61, Alpena 56.

ALPENA (7-4) at PETOSKEY (2-10) – Thursday – (Girls) – In order to keep a hold on second place in the Big North Conference, the Wildcats will need a win tonight. Petoskey’s only win in the conference came a week ago against Traverse City West. It was just what the Northmen needed. In the midst of a five game losing streak, the Northmen were due and West was the victim. Sydney Mann led the way with 15, followed closely by Kenzie Bromley with 12. Ellie Pollion rounded out the double digit scoring with 10. It was the first time Petoskey had three double digit scorers in a game. The Northmen suffered a 24 point loss to the Wildcats a short two weeks ago, so they will have to reproduce the same effort if they are going to stay with Alpena.

Jade Schultz was a force inside for the Wildcats and no one Northmen defender could control her down low. Swami says if Schultz is able to duplicate her effort on Petoskey’s floor. In addition, to the Wildcats finding ways to score it should be an easy night. Friday, Traverse City held the upper hand for a majority of the game, that saw the Wildcats do everything they could do wrong and still remain within striking distance. The Wildcats shot a poor 8 of 25 from the charity stripe, in addition to making errors that kept them from scoring at critical points. Swami says Alpena continued to work and eventually in the fourth, things started to click. The Wildcats Allie DeRocher and Schultz scored the first two buckets of the quarter, becoming leading scorers on the night at 16 and 14 points. Once they captured the lead they built on it with a 11 to 1 run, before running the clock and ball for the win.

Swami says with a win they will remain in contention for the Big North Conference, putting distance between the rest of the competition.

Swami Sez: Alpena 53, Petoskey 42.

TAWAS (4-6) at ALCONA (4-6) – Friday – (Boys) – The Tigers roller coaster season was going up the slope with a physical win over Hillman last Thursday. The foul filled contest saw a combined 56 free throw attempts, in a low scoring 37-31 game. Dominic Clark and Mason Clark accounted for three quarters of the Tigers total points to lead the way. Swami says if Alcona would have hit a majority of the attempts, the Tigers would have had a comfortable win. The game might have been one of neither team wanted to win, but it was Alcona’s perseverance that paid off in the end. It was a different story on Tuesday against Hale, the Tigers attempted everything to stick with the Eagles, but it was to no avail.

In the first meeting, the Braves held serve on their floor with a 48-41 victory. It was a late surge by the Braves providing the difference, Alcona held a slim one point lead going into the final stanza. Swami has seen, who the Braves go is the point production Camden Groff can put up. In this game, he canned 24. Dominic Howe paced the Tigers with 12.

In a tune up game, Tawas was completely undermined by the quickness of Alpena. Groff was limited to four points after averaging in the low 20’s for the first ten games. Noah Davis had an exceptional game down low against the Wildcat bigs, scoring half of the Braves total point production. Also Alcona went down to defeat at the hands of Hale, in North Star League action. The Tigers could not contain the big three of the Eagles. Howe with 15, and DJ. Howe adding 11 did not cover the points Eagles Joseph Kimmerer put up in a 78-49 loss.

Swami says the contest should be more conducive for Alcona tonight, as long as they can control Groff, who will be looking to lite up the nets after being held to a season low. The All-Knowing-One turn a bout is fair play, the Braves held serve and now it is time for the Tigers to do the same.

Swami Sez: Alcona 50, Tawas 42.

HILLMAN (3-6) at HALE (9-1) – Friday – (Boys) – On paper this game for the Tigers looks like a drubbing, in the Little Dipper Division of the North Star it is a different situation. The Tigers are presently three games behind the Eagles in second place tie of the conference, and could cut into the lead with a win.

The Tigers did not help themselves out dropping a 63-34 game to Big Dipper Division leader Mio. Hillman just couldn’t control Drew Hess from pumping in 33 points in the win. The Tigers matched the Eagles step for step in the first half, but an explosion in the second half that left Hillman in a hole they couldn’t dig themselves out of. The All-Knowing-One the inability to hit shots did not help the Tigers effort either. The score did not indicate the effort of Hillman. Nash Steinke was the only Tiger to finish in double figures with 11. Swami says the inability to defend the 3-point line dealt the Tigers a blow as the Thunderbolts connected on a game high 13 treys.

Hale’s Joseph Kimmerer showed why he is one of the top players in the area, pouring in 30 points, grabbing 17 rebounds, also having time to dish out six assists. The All-Knowing-One says he does not feel that Kimmerer is a self proclaimed super start, feels his shot just comes natural. In addition, he likes to keep everyone on the team involved, as David Wanty and Keaton Ludwig also finished with 15 and 11 points respectively. The exclamation point was dotted with a team high 16 rebounds by Garrett Beebe. This is was Swami considers the Eagles a complete team, each player has a specific role and they feel good when they achieve it. The absolute truth coming from Swami’s mouth, the Tigers will have to play above their ability tonight, if they stand a chance to drag down the Eagles.

Swami Sez: Hale 68, Hillman 45.

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