Braves win the battle

LINCOLN-The Tawas boys basketball team left no doubt on Thursday who was the best team in the Huron Shores Conference.

Chaz Coffin scored 18 points and the Braves topped Alcona 42-37 to win the Huron Shores Conference title at Alcona High School. The win breaks Alcona’s two-year hold on the conference crown.

Getting the win was far from easy however. A fast start by Tawas (10-9, 5-1 Huron Shores) that saw the Braves leading 16-6 at the end of the first quarter proved to be the difference as the Tigers (12-5, 4-2 Huron Shores) outscored Tawas 31-26 the rest of the way.

“We didn’t get anything going offensively (early). They were a little more physical than us and we didn’t adjust to it very well,” Alcona coach Tim Somers said. “I thought after we came out of halftime, we did a lot better job with them offensively and defensively, but we gave them a little too much room and had to expend a lot of energy to come back.”

Alcona pulled to within two points of the lead twice in the fourth quarter, but Tawas always seemed to have an answer. After a triple from Trenton LaVergne made the score 35-33, Coffin answered with a trey of his own and Dylan Decker followed up with a basket to extend Tawas’ lead back out to seven. With 42 seconds left, Carson Jamieson scored to pull Alcona to within three, 40-37, but the Tigers couldn’t pull any closer. A turnover with seven seconds left doomed Alcona’s chances to rally and Salwey sank a pair of free throws with six seconds left.

“We played hard, had some turnovers at the end that were key and they got some buckets and we had to foul,” Somers said. “The kids played hard, I tip my hat to them for everything they went through this year, especially the seniors.”

LaVergne led Alcona with 11 points, all of which in the second half and Jamieson added 10.

LaVergne single-handedly kept pace with the Braves in the third quarter, but Tawas managed to stay a step ahead and led 31-25 at the end of the period. Alcona was able to force several turnovers in the final quarter, but wasn’t always able to capitalize on them and a couple of times Alcona but the ball right back in the Braves’ hands.

At the start of the game, Alcona had a hard time putting the brakes on Coffin, who scored the game’s first seven points. Alcona had a hard time finding an offensive rhythm in the first quarter, allowing Tawas to take control of the game. Salwey and Coffin combined for 13 points in the period.

Salwey added 12 points for Tawas and Jacob Morgan had eight.

Alcona cut Tawas’ lead to six midway through the second quarter, 18-12, but Morgan sank a triple and added another basket to give Tawas a double-digit lead. The Braves led 25-15 at halftime.

Alcona will have to forgot about the loss quickly as the Tigers host Mancelona on Monday in a district quarterfinal.

“We’ll come back and look at some tape of Mancelona. We’ll tell them this is it. It’s a whole new slate, we’re 0-0, but it’s one game and you’re out,” Somers said. “We need to execute our offensive side a lot better.”

Tawas’ JV team topped Alcona 52-34. Gordon Wallace led the Braves with 12 points and Kyle Costigan added 10 points. Jesse Schram led Alcona with nine points and Nathan Swinson added six points.

TAWAS (42): Coffin 7 2-4 18; Morgan 3 0-0 8; Salwey 5 2-5 12; Decker 2 0-0 4.

ALCONA (37): Cammack 1 0-0 2; Jamieson 5 0-0 10; Steiner 2 2-3 7; Forsythe 2 0-0 4; LaVergne 5 0-2 11; Franklin 1 1-2 3.