Alpena bests Tawas, sets sights on Petoskey

After winning a nailbiter over Traverse City West on Monday for its 14th win in a row, the Alpena boys basketball team cruised to its 15th straight win with ease.

Tyler Pintar scored 23 points, all in the first half, and the Wildcats toppled Tawas 70-34 on Wednesday at Alpena High School, pushing their record to 15-1.

“We have a tough week this week and we don’t want any letdowns,” Alpena coach John Pintar said. “I was proud of the way we played as a team. I thought we did a really good job of moving the basketball and playing defense early.”

Alpena took a 20-4 lead after one quarter and never looked back, building a 49-15 lead by halftime and eventually starting a running clock by the start of the fourth quarter.

Andy Marwede added 20 points for Alpena and all but two players for the Wildcats found their way on to the scoresheet in some form.

Jacob Morgan led Tawas with 12 points and Norman Cloutier added 10.

Now the Wildcats can turn their focus to bigger things, namely wrapping up the Big North Conference title on Friday with a win at Petoskey. The Wildcats topped Petoskey on Jan. 17 at home in a 67-61 win.

A win Friday would also continue the Wildcats’ impressive winning streak, but Pintar said Alpena approaches each game on an individual basis.

“I’ve never talked about a winning streak and I never will. Every game is a new game and that’s how we approach it, in a business-like manner,” Pintar said. “The thing I like most about this group is their competitive attitude, they like to win at everything they do.”

Alpena’s JV team topped Tawas 29-25. Caleb Myers paced Alpena with eight points and Braeden Werth and Austin Hemmingson each added five.

Alpena’s freshman team won 53-47. Jacob Vought led Alpena with 19 and Bailey Marquart added 18.

ALPENA (70): G. Aikens 1 0-0 3; N. Skiba 1 0-0 2; A. Marwede 8 3-5 20; T. Pintar 8 5-6 23; C. Tucker 2 0-0 6; D. Hoes 1 1-2 3; B. Styma 0 4-4 4; E. Martin 1 0-0 2; K. Smith 2 0-0 5; N. Samp 0 0-1 0; J. Hemmingson 1 0-0 2; T. Kollien 0 0-1 0.

TAWAS (34): J. Morgan 4 0-0 12; D. Decker 1 0-0 2; K. Myles 3 0-1 8; N. Cloutier 1 8-8 10; J. Carroll 1 0-0 2.

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