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Alcona routs Cardinals for first district title since 2018

Courtesy Photo/Ben Murphy Members of the Alcona girls basketball team pose with a Division 3 district championship trophy after defeating Whittemore-Prescott in a district final in Whittemore on Friday. The win gave the Tigers their first district championship since 2018.

WHITTEMORE — At end of a crazy week, the Alcona girls basketball team was left standing as a district champion.

Kelsey Hansen scored 15 points, Lily Bilbey added 10 and Karen Sharboneau had seven as the Tigers defeated Whittemore-Prescott 49-23 on Friday in a Division 3 district final.

The win gives Alcona (12-4) its first district title since 2018 and advances the Tigers to a regional semifinal matchup with St. Ignace on Monday at 7 p.m.

Despite dealing with injuries and having limited practice time over the past few weeks, Alcona rose to the occasion on Friday. The Tigers led 11-4 after one quarter and 19-11 at halftime before putting the game away in the third quarter.

“Our goal was to put the game away in the third quarter and that’s what happened,” Alcona coach Mark Feldhiser said. “We had an uptick in defense and got some easy baskets as a result.”

Alcona advanced to the final after defeating Tawas earlier in the week. On the other side of the bracket, Oscoda, the two-time defending district champion, had to drop out of the tournament due to issues with COVID-19, allowing the Cardinals to advance to the final.

“We’ve been telling the girls, ‘You don’t always know what’s going to happen and things aren’t always going to go the way you think they’re going to go, but we just keep playing and we were able to pull it out tonight,” Feldhiser said.

The Tigers will have a tall task ahead trying to knock off the Saints, perennial Division 3 title contender, but Feldhiser said he’s going to tell his team to be ready for anything.

“I was really proud of our team tonight. We were missing some players and I’m proud of how the girls stepped up. Our bench did a great job,” Feldhiser said. “We’re going to go up there and play ball and you don’t know what’s going to happen between now and then.”

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