Met their match

GAYLORD-A career night by Korynn Hincka wasn’t enough to stop St. Ignace.

But the Posen girls basketball team came pretty darn close.

Hincka scored a career-high 40 points and helped rally the Vikings back from several deficits, but Posen ultimately lost to the Saints 74-68 in a regional final on Thursday at Gaylord High School.

A basket from Hincka with 4:50 left pulled Posen to within three, 65-62, and the Vikings got as close as four two times before the game ended, but St. Ignace was able to hang on.

After Abbey Ostman bobbled an open lay-up attempt, Hincka was fouled out with 1:31 remaining. Anna Couture sank a trey with 1:22 left, but after Ostman missed a pair of free throws, Posen was called for a control foul with a few seconds left and Emily Hinsman sank two free throws with a few seconds left to ice the game.

St. Ignace advances to the quarterfinals on Tuesday against Crystal Falls Forest Park.

In a battle of the two remaining unbeaten schools in Class D, the Vikings (23-1) held their own against the Saints (24-0) and overcame a 16-point halftime deficit to pull within four after three quarters.

“We couldn’t be prouder of 11 kids. So many people told us we were going to get rolled by 30 or 40. Where are those people now? These kids put Posen on the map tonight,” Posen coach Karl Momrik said.

With her team in need of a boost, Hincka came through for the Vikings in the third quarter, pouring in 22 points including a personal 10-0 run against the Saints in the last 1:02 of the period. Hincka continually got open for lay-ups under the basket and there weren’t many shots that she missed. She also helped her team with a great night at the free-throw line, sinking 12-of-13.

“That’s a great great team we played. I know Korynn was a player, knew she was a stud, but I’m more impressed with her now than I was coming in,” St. Ignace coach Dorene Ingalls said.

St. Ignace withstood Hincka’s big night and answered with the 1-2 punch of Sarah Cullip and Abbey Ostman who finished with 26 and 17 points respectively. The duo snatched up the majority of rebounds and made things difficult for Vikings’ defenders in the paint.

Kelley Wright added 10 points for the Saints and Emily Hinsman had nine.

Despite some early struggles with turnovers, the Vikings rebounded from an early 12-4 hole to take the lead briefly two different times in the first quarter after they were able to break through the Saints’ press. Six points from Hincka and a triple from Ashley Meyers gave Posen a 13-12 lead with 3:12 left. Cullip hit a shot with 14 seconds left to give the Saints a 16-15 lead at the end of the period.

Meyers added 11 points for Posen and Bev Bednarski chipped in with eight.

A triple from Bednarski saw the contest tied at 20 early in the second quarter, but St. Ignace took firm control of the game from there, going on a 18-0 run to take an 18-point lead. Five different St. Ignace players scored during the run as the Saints did a good job spreading the ball around to players who were open.

“It took a team effort. We just had to grind it out. We ran into early foul trouble, but we had other kids that came in in situations and stepped up,” Ingalls said. “It wasn’t all that pretty, but you’ve got to be able to win ugly. That was an ugly win, but we’ll take it.”

For the second straight year, Posen’s season came to an end in the regional final, but Momrik applauded his team’s hard work against one of the best teams in the state.

“They never gave up. They never quit. Even when they went into halftime, they could have easily come out and gotten rolled in the second half,” Momrik said. “Those kids, you can’t tell them they don’t belong on the same floor with a team that should probably be a Class A team.”

ST. IGNACE (74): Cullip 11 4-5 26; Ostman 8 1-7 17; LaVake 2 0-0 5; Wright 4 0-3 10; Hinsman 3 3-3 9; Chambers 1 0-0 2; Brown 2 0-0 5.

POSEN (68): K. Hincka 14 12-13 40; J. Hincka 1 0-0 2; Meyers 4 1-3 11; Bednarski 3 0-0 8; Couture 2 1-2 7.