Posen stays perfect

POSEN-Tuesday’s Posen and Arenac Eastern girls basketball game matched up the only two undefeated teams left in the North Star League and although Arenac led Posen 8-7 after the first quarter, Posen kept its win streak intact with a 50-28 win.

“We played great defense tonight. We took advantage of the fact that they’re a little short on the bench and got the ball inside and got some players in foul trouble. We slotted some kids into different spots and Korynn had a good night to give us a big win,” Posen coach Karl Momrik said.

The Eagles (8-1, 5-1 NSL) focused defensively on shutting down Korynn Hincka, double-teaming her and picking up several steals early in the first quarter. They had several chances to pick up easy baskets, but fell behind 4-0 after two minutes.

Hincka finally scored halfway through the quarter to give Posen (10-0, 6-0 NSL) a 6-2 lead. Arenac’s Brooke Shutte picked up six of eight first quarter points to tie the game up 6-6 with 2:27 to go.

Shutte had 13 total points.

A basket by Johanna Liermann with 1:37 left put the Eagles up 8-6, but a free throw by Austin Sharpe 30 seconds later narrowed the lead to 8-7.

The Eagles’ defense stopped Hincka throughout the first quarter, which seemed to indicate a much tighter game than anticipated.

That all changed in the second quarter.

A three-pointer by Angellica Patterson 10 seconds into the quarter gave Posen a 10-8 lead that it never came close to losing for the rest of the game.

The Vikings outscored the Eagles 18-3 in the second quarter to take a 25-11 lead at halftime.

A big part of this success was Hincka coming to life on offense. She picked up 11 points in the second quarter alone and had several blocks and steals that stifled the Arenac rush.

The Eagles were also hurt by continued scoring problems. They had only one field goal in the second from Shutte and a free throw by Chantal Murdick

“I thought we played a really strong first quarter. That was a good quarter for us against Posen. Posen usually runs you out in the first quarter. We went cold in the second quarter and couldn’t hit any baskets and then we started turning it over and that was really pretty much the game,” Arenac coach Butch Beckham said.

The third period saw continued offensive momentum from Posen. Hincka picked up seven straight points in a one and a half minute span to give Posen a 32-13 lead with 4:17 left in the quarter.

The Eagles defense continued to successfully press against the Posen attack, holding off several scoring chances, but it continued to struggle at the hoop.

Arenac scored eight points in the third quarter, four from Murdick and the quarter ended with Posen up 38-19.

The fourth quarter was highlighted by continued Posen success at the basket as Hincka scored six points. Jenna Hincka, Monica Bartz and Patterson had a field goal each to give Posen 12 points in the quarter.

The Eagles shooting troubles continued to plague it in the fourth. Arenac continued to set up successful offensive plays, using quick perimeter passing to get the ball into position. It just couldn’t get the ball to drop.

Arenac had one basket in the quarter, but hit seven out of 14 shots at the line to narrow the spread. However, it wasn’t enough to overcome Posen as the Vikings ended the game up 50-28.

“Arenac’s a great program. They’re well coached and they got a bunch of good kids down there and (winning) means a lot to us,” Momrik said.

Hincka’s 28 points put her nine points shy of breaking the 2,000 career point mark, a record never beaten by a North Star League girl player. She’ll have the chance to break that record on Friday, when Posen hosts Au Gres.

“We know it was a sloppy first half and when we went into the locker room we said we got to slow things down and get through more and play better defense. (Arenac) is definitely a very strong defensive and offensive team. I give them credit, they’re a very good team,” Hincka said.

POSEN (50): K. Lenard 0-2-4-2; A. Sharpe 0-1-2-1; J. Hincka 1-2-2-4; M. Bartz 2-0-0-4; A. Meyers 3-0-1-6; A. Patterson 2-0-0-5; K. Hincka 12-4-7-28.

ARENAC (28): J. Liermann 2-1-3-5; B. Sendo 0-4-4-4; C. Murdick 2-2-5-6; B. Shutte 5-3-4-13.

Eric Benac can be reached via email at ebenac@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.