Pushed to the limit

LINCOLN-Close games seem to be the forte of the Alcona girls basketball team this week.

The Tigers capped a tough three-game stretch with a 62-49 win over Mio on Thursday, finally pulling away from the Thunderbolts in the fourth quarter.

The win comes after a 55-42 loss to Posen on Monday and a 70-55 win over Tawas on Tuesday. In both of those cases the Tigers found themselves in close games that were ultimately decided in the second half.

“We had to work through fatigue against an aggressive Mio team tonight,” Alcona coach Brad Cole said. “With districts on the horizon this is a good test for us.”

Alcona (12-3) got all it could handle from Mio in the first half and trailed 29-26 at halftime. The Thunderbolts (8-7) passed the ball well and were able to disrupt Alcona’s usually potent offense to stay ahead for most of the half.

Mio scored the game’s first seven points and broke a 13-13 tie at the end of the first quarter with a free throw from Jalen DeFlorio and a three-pointer from Shelby Booth in the waning seconds.

A quick basket from Carah Curtis pushed Mio’s lead to six with 7:30 left in the half, but Alcona fought back to a 20-20 tie with 4:11 remaining after Karina Cole scored on a floater.

Alcona took the lead with 1:01 left after Cole scored on a breakaway layup, but Mio took control of the game again in the final minute and Brooke Ellis’ basket with five seconds left sent Mio into halftime with the lead.

Karina led Alcona with 34 points, scoring 18 of those in the second half. She added nine rebounds and four assists.

Sydney Pierce added eight points and nine rebounds for the Tigers and Kendra Cole had six points and seven rebounds.

Mio kept pace with Alcona in the third quarter and trailed 44-43 at the end of the period, but the Tigers pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Thunderbolts 18-1.

“They were getting rebounds and putting them back up,” Mio coach Hellen DeFlorio said. “We weren’t attacking as much as we needed to.”

Jalen led Mio with 14 points and Booth added 12.

Despite the loss, DeFlorio was encouraged with her team’s performance and received compliments from Brad after the game.

“He told me we gave you everything we had and you played well,” DeFlorio said. “I take that very well when another coach compliments you.”

Mio plays at Hillman on Monday.

Alcona’s JV team beat Mio 53-11. Kendra LaFave led the Tigers with 14 points, Keilee Elmer had 13 and Brittany Decker added nine.

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.