Turning it around
By ERIC BENAC
News Sports Writer
LINCOLN-The Alcona boys picked up a much needed 65-45 win on Wednesday against the previously unbeaten Posen Vikings after falling so heavily to Mio on Monday.
“Alcona defeated a good Posen team and they played a terrific defensive game,” Alcona coach Jason Sommers said.
The big difference in the game came in the second half, when Alcona’s defense clamped down on the Vikings offensive strike.
The Tiger’s (2-3) Dawson Forsythe and Brandon Smigelski were especially key for the Tigers, picking up offensive rebounds under the basket to create second and third scoring chances.
Both players generated a lot of steals on the Vikings (4-1) robbing it of any momentum it gained from the first half.
The first half was much closer between the teams. The Tigers’ Trenton Lavergne hit a bucket 15 seconds in to start while Jason Steiner hit a three 30 seconds later to take a 5-0 lead.
Buckets by Lavergne and Carson Jamieson gave Alcona a nine point lead three minutes into the game.
Lavergne led for Alcona with 28 points while Jamieson had 14. Dawson Forsythe picked up 11 and Steiner had 10.
Posen answered back with a 14 point run, led by Nick Hincka and Leon Beccard.
Hincka and Beccard were the most critical members of the Posen squad in the first half. Hincka led Posen in the first half with 13 points while Beccard had nine, picking up 22 of 26 points between the two.
Hincka ended up with 25 total points.
Both players were also key under the basket and defensively as Posen utilized a man-to-man press and double-team tactics to generate turnovers.
Beccard put Posen on the board three minutes in as Hincka racked up six points over the next two minutes. A Beccard three-pointer helped the Vikings take a 14-9 lead with a minute and a half left.
Lavergne answered answered back with two buckets and a trey in the last minute to help tie the first quarter up 16-16.
The second quarter kept at a similar back-and-forth pace. Jamieson hit a three 15 seconds into the quarter and a bucket a minute later to pull Alcona into a 21-16 lead.
Posen stayed scoreless for two minutes until Beccard and Hincka drained back-to-back threes to pull behind Alcona 23-22 with four minutes to go. A pair of free throws by Travis Sharpe popped the Vikings into a 24-23 lead.
Alcona’s man-to-man defense clamped down on Posen for the rest of the quarter. It allowed no field goals for the rest of the quarter, giving up only two Hincka free throws with four seconds left in the half.
The Tigers took advantage of Posen’s struggles at the hoop to take a 33-26 lead at the half. It was aided by a pair of Steiner threes and two Forsythe field goals.
The Alcona defensive press held Posen to 19 points and helped its offense pick up 32 of its own in the second half.
Key to that success was shutting down the Hincka threat and forcing Posen to rely on other players for its offense. This defensive strategy successfully limited Hincka and helped give Alcona the edge for the win.
“We just fell apart in the second half. But, my hat goes off to them. They shot really well tonight,” Posen coach Matt Ponik said.
Alcona has the rest of the year off and will travel to Tawas on January 2nd. Posen hosts Rogers City on December 30th.