Alcona boys hold off Rogers City in second half

LINCOLN-The Alcona boys basketball team bounced back from a tough 55-36 Friday loss against Mio with a 66-41 win over Rogers City on Tuesday.

Alcona’s (9-6, 8-3 North Star League) win was far from a sealed deal at the beginning, however, as it trailed Rogers City 12-8 after the first quarter.

“We knew they played last night so we jumped on them early, hoping they had weak legs. We really paced the first quarter,” Rogers City coach Jesse Streich said.

The Hurons’ (1-14, 0-9 NSL) Chris Lopez dropped the game’s first bucket 30 seconds into the first quarter. Trenton Lavergne answered back four seconds later to tie the game up.

Lopez led Rogers City with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Rogers City was able to hold Alcona scoreless for the next three minutes utilizing strong man-to-man pressure and a tough presence on the rebound. If the Tigers missed a shot, there was usually a Huron player waiting to grab it.

The Hurons were also helped by treys from Adam Belusar and Casey Szatkowski as well as double team pressure on Alcona’s Lavergne. Lavergne was held to only four in the first, while Dawson Forsythe picked up the rest.

Rogers City picked up the first basket of the second quarter a 1:15 in to take a 14-8 lead. However, by the time the half ended, the Tigers led 26-18.

“The turning point in this game was when our defense dialed up the pressure and took care of rebounding,” Alcona coach Jason Somers said.

Alcona finally seemed to find its pace in the second as Lavergne hit six straight points in the first three minutes to tie the game up 14-14. A bucket by Alec Link pulled Alcona into a 16-14 lead with 4:21 left in the half.

Lavergne paced Alcona with 25 points.

Alex Hincka picked up a pair of buckets for Rogers City, but the Hurons were otherwise held scoreless for the rest of the half. Alcona’s man-to-man generated defensive pressure that created turnover oppotunities.

The Tigers turnaround continued on into the third, when it outscored the Hurons 28-10 to take a 54-28 lead going into the fourth.

The Hurons started losing the battle under the hoop as tall Alcona players like Carson Jamieson and Forsythe snagged Huron rebounds and prevented second and third chance scoring oppotunities.

Jamieson contributed 14 points for Alcona while Forsythe had eight.

Rogers City’s 12 points in the fourth were matched by Alcona, to help seal the Tigers win.

“We haven’t put four quarters together yet. We’re so young, it’s going to take time,” Streich said.

Alcona faces Hillman on Friday while Rogers City hosts Whittemore-Prescott.

The Tigers’ junior varsity squad picked up a 67-33 win over Rogers City.

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