ACC going Pink

Numbers told the tale of the Alpena Community College men’s basketball team’s struggle against Henry Ford on Saturday.

The Lumberjacks committed 23 turnovers to Henry Ford’s seven, ACC shot just 23 percent from the field and went 0-for-23 from three-point range.

All of it added up to a long night for the Lumberjacks, who lost 92-53 to the Hawks during a Hoops for Hope pink game at Park Arena.

Five Henry Ford players reached double figures and the Hawks imposed their will from the start, building a staggering 21-1 lead in the first seven minutes of the game.

“We weren’t ready to play right from the get-go. We didn’t play with any intensity all night,” ACC coach Frank McCourt said.

While ACC shot blanks from beyond the arc, the Hawks buried eight triples for the game including six in the first half and four during their early run. ACC shot just 17 percent for the first half compared with 41 percent for the Hawks.

Veyon Bentley paced the Hawks with 19 points. Rodney Butler added 17 and Darryl Mobley Jr., Aveon Simmons and Javan Thomas each chipped in with 11 points.

ACC (6-19, 3-12 MCCAA Eastern) eventually found a little bit of footing in the latter part of the first half, but by then Henry Ford had a sizeable lead.

Down 30-5 with 8:30 left in the half, the Lumberjacks battled back to within 14 points of the lead, 33-19 with 4:01 left thanks in large part to the efforts of Lavario Smith, who scored eight of his team-high 16 points during this stretch. Henry Ford reasserted its authority however in the last few minutes of the period, ending with a 12-0 run for a commanding 45-19 lead at the half.

ACC regrouped and came out firing in the second half, opening the period on a 16-7 run that pulled the Lumberjacks to within 15 points of the lead, 52-37, with almost nine minutes gone.

From there however, shooting largely failed the Lumberjacks and the shots just didn’t seem to fall when they were needed most. ACC fared well at the free-throw line, shooting 20-for-26, but the Lumberjacks had to settle for making free throw shots down the stretch when the majority of their shots from the field were off the mark.

Jake Strong was the only other ACC player to reach double figures, finishing with 12 points. William Gates Jr. added eight points.

McCourt was especially bothered early on by the fact that his team couldn’t control the point.

“What really bothered me is 10 minutes into the game, I talked about getting the ball inside and it was like talking to that wall,” McCourt said.

The Hawks recovered from ACC’s offensive burst early in the second half and reestablished a big lead with a quick 7-0 run that lasted just over a minute. Henry Ford added an 8-0 run later in the half and ended the contest with a 12-0 stretch as the Lumberjacks went without a point for nearly three minutes.

ACC will play at Macomb on Wednesday and return home for its final home game of the season on Saturday against Wayne.

– – –

HENRY FORD (92): Mobley Jr. 5 1-2 11; Bentley 7 2-2 19; Simmons 4 3-4 11; Price 4 0-0 9; Armstrong 2 1-2 5; Rodney Butler 7 1-1 17; Thomas 3 5-8 11; Roderick Butler 3 1-2 8.

ALPENA (53): Strong 5 2-2 12; Smith 5 6-6 16; Dailey 1 5-6 7; Gates Jr. 2 4-5 8; Berryman 3 0-0 6; Wickert 1 2-4 4.