Second half sends Alcona past Posen

POSEN-The Cardiac Kids pulled off another second-half comeback on Monday.

Trailing after each of the first three quarters, the Alcona boys basketball team turned on the jets in the final quarter to beat Posen 74-63 at Posen High School.

Posen led 45-33 at halftime and 56-52 after three quarters, but couldn’t seem to stop Alcona in the fourth quarter as the Tigers went on a 22-7 run, which included the first eight points of the period to take the lead for good.

Jared Steiner led Alcona’s charge with 26 points, Trent LaVergne added 20 and Carson Jamieson chipped in with 11.

“We didn’t match their energy and intensity in the second half. We played a very good first half of basketball and they’re a good basketball team,” Posen coach Steve Hentkowski said. “They got a few too many easy looks there in the second half and we have to be able to match that in practice tomorrow.”

Nick Hincka scored 28 points for the Vikings, but Posen’s (6-10) offense went cold in the second half as the Vikings suffered through two scoreless stretches that last nearly four minutes.

Posen kept a double-digit lead for the first few minutes of the third quarter, but once the Vikings’ offense dried up, Alcona (11-4) pounced and finished the final 5:28 of the period with an 11-2 run. The Tigers kept up their momentum in the early part of the fourth quarter and finally took the lead for good with a basket from Steiner with 6:50 to play.

This was the second straight win for Alcona that came after trailing in the first three quarters and while it’s been nice to win, it’s caused the Tigers’ coach to be a bit anxious near the end of games.

“It’s kind of like a double-edged sword. I like the effort, but I wish it would be a full-game effort where they come out with that same intensity and I think things would be a little bit easier. I call them the Cardiac Kids (because) they’re going to give me a cardiac arrest I think,” Alcona coach Tim Somers said with a laugh.

Once they had the lead, the Tigers didn’t surrender it and Steiner, LaVergne and Jamieson were among those who kept Alcona’s offense rolling. All eight of Jamieson’s points came in the fourth quarter.

Posen led 19-16 after the first quarter and pushed past the Tigers in the second quarter with Hincka leading the way. Brandon Dietz also proved to be a big help to Posen in the period, going on a personal 6-0 run late in the quarter.

The Vikings found success on the outside in the first half, sinking five three-pointers and also finished the game with a 15-for-20 mark from the free-throw line. But down the stretch, the shots just didn’t fall for the Vikings and Alcona kept pushing the ball inside and clamped down defensively to limit Posen’s chances.

“It’s been an Achilles heel of this team for most of the season. We go through good stretches, but when it comes to closing out a game, we’re struggling.”

Martin Mulka added 12 points for Posen and Lucas Litwinski had eight.

ALCONA (74): Cammack 3 0-0 6; Steiner 11 0-5 26; Jamieson 5 1-3 11; LaVergne 7 5-5 20; Yokom 0 1-2 1; Forsythe 4 0-0 8; Ritchie 1 0-0 2.

POSEN (63): Sharpe 4 2-2 12; Litwinski 3 0-0 8; Beach 1 2-5 4; Hincka 9 9-11 28; Mulka 2 0-0 5; Dietz 2 2-2 6.