Titans blow by Wildcats in fourth quarter

Offense failed the Alpena girls basketball team at the worst possible time on Monday.

After playing Traverse City West to a 25-25 tie after three quarters, the Wildcats were outscored 13-3 in the final period and lost 38-28 to the Titans at Alpena High School.

Alpena (4-10, 3-6 Big North) went without a field goal in the fourth quarter and its only points game from three Caten Teff free throws after she was fouled on a three-point attempt.

“We couldn’t get anything going offensively. We couldn’t buy a bucket,” Alpena coach Jenny Poli said.

A slow start for both teams saw West leading 4-2 after the first quarter, but a 14-9 run by the Wildcats in the second quarter gave them a 16-13 halftime lead.

Christina Kollien led Alpena with nine points and Ami Milligan added six points, all of which came in the second quarter.

Defensively, Alpena did a good job defending West sophomore Katie Placek and held her to nine points.

“We played really great defense. We went to a box-and-one with her and Christina did a great job on her,” Poli said.

Kimmy Bilinski paced West with 12 points.

Alpena was patient offensively in the first half and committed only seven turnovers for the game, but struggled in the second half, only scoring 12 points in the final two quarters.

“We’ve got to find some confidence and start shooting the ball,” Poli said.

Placek was held scoreless in the fourth quarter, but the Titans got plenty of offense from other players to slide past Alpena for the win. The Titans improve to 6-8 on the year and 6-2 in conference play.

Alpena plays at Sault tonight.

West’s JV team topped Alpena 40-27. Morgan Allen paced Alpena with 11 points and Jen Mainville added four.

Alpena’s freshmen team improved to 11-1 with a 39-28 win over the Titans. Samantha Szymanski led Alpena with nine points, Hailey Britton added seven and Rachael Barkley chipped in with six.