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Wildcats unable to slow down Petoskey in 42 point drubbing

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Alpena’s Mason Mumford (24) takes a jump shot over Petoskey defender Benjamin Wagar (22) during the second quarter of a Big North Conference boys basketball game on Thursday at Alpena High School.

The Alpena High boys basketball team opened its season against the same Petoskey team it welcomed on Thursday.

The Wildcats (2-6, 1-5 BNC) lost by 16 in that initial contest and Thursday proved to be nothing like that first game of the year, but not in a way that was favorable for the Wildcats.

They were on the receiving end of a 42-point shellacking on their home court, falling to the Northmen 86-44.

“That was a bad basketball game. We didn’t play with any energy, no intensity, just for whatever reason our guys didn’t have anything tonight and it’s the wrong team to come out flat against,” Alpena coach John Pintar said. “Petoskey is a really good basketball team that’s going to be tough to beat regardless, but the way we came out tonight, our compete level was not good and we have to be a lot better than what we showed tonight.”

Alpena had no answers for Petoskey’s size underneath the basket and was beaten up on the glass all contest. Alpena couldn’t slow down Northmen big Benjamin Wagar who poured in a game-high 23 points.

Wagar scored 16 points in the first half and sat the entire fourth quarter after Petoskey (6-1, 5-1 BNC) closed the third quarter on an 18-0 run.

The Wildcats were held scoreless for nearly an eight-minute stretch that spanned the middle of the third quarter to the early minutes of the fourth. Petoskey blew the game wide open, scoring 26 unanswered points to take a commanding 73-34 lead with just five minutes to play.

Along with Wagar, Petoskey’s Dylan Aldridge had the hot hand, scoring 16 points, which included knocking down four threes on the night. Braidon Ewing and Joseph Marshall each scored in double figures with 12 points apiece for the Northmen.

“I thought we had a few minute stretch early in the game where we did good things offensively and made some shots, but they went right back down and did the same to us. For our defense, when you look at the score, that’s just not acceptable for a defensive effort,” Pintar said. “They caused some matchup problems for us with their size, but it was just our level of intensity that wasn’t there tonight and you get it handed to you and it’s disappointing.”

The lack of rebounding and turnovers hurt Alpena from the opening tip and despite the Wildcats’ attempt to try and claw their way back in the contest, the closest they could get after their slow start was cutting the deficit to nine.

Petoskey closed the first half scoring six of the final seven points to take a 40-25 lead into the break.

A portion of the offense the Wildcats were able to muster came from Cooper Bright who led Alpena with 14 points and Austin Prue chipped in with nine points in the losing effort.

“We looked like we were sleepwalking out there. It didn’t matter who was on the court, we just had no energy as a team,” Pintar said. “From a couple weeks ago playing them even in the second half to tonight is frustrating and we just didn’t bring it tonight like we needed to and that’s the most disappointing part, it’s not losing, but it’s how you lost. We have to take a couple days off and come back ready for next week.”

Alpena will travel to Traverse City West on Tuesday looking for revenge after letting a win slip away earlier in the season.

Alpena’s JV team lost 61-30. Nicholas Geister led Alpena with six points and Devin LaMay had five.

Alpena’s freshman team lost 83-25. Gabe Glawe led Alpena with six points.

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BOX SCORE: Field Goals Made/Free Throws Made/Free Throws Attempted/Total Points

PETOSKEY (86): J. Marshall, 3 6-12 12; G. Wargel, 2 0-0 4; D. Aldridge, 6 0-0 16; T. Slater, 3 0-0 6; I. Graham, 1 0-0 2; B. Wagar, 10 0-0 23; B. Ewing, 5 0-0 12; P. Schuman, 1 0-0 2; J. Copeland, 4 1-1 9.

ALPENA (44): T. Bright, 2 0-0 5; A. Fisher, 2 1-2 5; L. Tucker, 2 0-1 5; M. Mumford, 1 1-2 4; A. Prue, 3 1-2 9; C. Bright, 4 4-4 14; P. McCourt, 1 0-0 2.

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